Four of every five people shot by Chicago police in past six years were African-American men, according to a data obtained by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. A total of 435 people were shot by officers and 92 were killed from 2010 through 2015 in the city.
The newspaper found that about half of the officers involved in the shootings were African-American or Hispanic and most of them were experienced. The data from 2010 to 2015 showed that of 435 people who were shot, 170 were injured and officers fired at least 2,623 bullets in that time frame.
However, the data also found that the number of police shootings reduced with 44 last year compared to over 100 shootings in 2011.
Chicago, which was on the edge in recent months over alleged racial profiling by law enforcement, is undergoing major changes to the department and various bodies after protests over a 2014 shooting in which a white officer fired 16 bullets at Laquan McDonald, a black teen.
Police union President Dean Angelo Sr. defended the department’s record.
“When you look at the map, 80 percent of narcotics arrests, gun arrests and gang arrests happen in these poor areas,” he told the newspaper. “Where you’ve got dope, you’ve got guns. It’s not about ethnicity — it’s about criminal involvement.”
He also added that police officers experience split-second decisions about when to use lethal force in order to protect themselves.