A major new report on police killings suggests far more people of color have died in police custody than previously known. The report by the Raza Database Project and UnidosUS found that deaths of Latinos, Asian and Indigenous peoples have been historically undercounted. Researchers documented the deaths of 32,542 people who have been killed by police since 2000, 60% of whom constitute people of color, who make up just 40% of the U.S. population. “We found many more killings than expected,” says Roberto Rodríguez, professor at the University of Arizona and director of the Raza Database Project, a network of researchers, scholars, journalists, activists and family members of victims killed by law enforcement. “There is no systematic effort to count, to collect this data. The FBI is supposed to, but they don’t. It’s up to the media and independent researchers, and it’s really difficult,” Rodríguez says. We also speak with Marissa Barrera, who became an advocate against police violence after police in Woodland, California, killed her brother, Michael Barrera, in 2017. “All the other families that I work with, they have similar stories just as bad,” Barrera says. “We go through the same things.”
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