According to an ongoing tally by The Guardian titled “The Counted,” 2015 was the deadliest month of 2015 for police-related killings in America. At 118, last month’s total put U.S. law enforcement on track to see more than 1,150 deaths by the year’s end. Twenty of the 118 were reportedly unarmed, 108 of the victims died from gunfire and eight died after altercations in police custody.
The deaths of at least four police-related deaths caught national attention last month. Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead in her cell in Texas after an aggressive traffic stop. Even after she was laid to rest, questions regarding her mysterious passing remain. Just days after Bland’s death, an Alabama teen, 18-year-old Kindra Chapman, was also found dead in her cell. Both deaths were ruled a homicide. A third woman, Ralkina Jones, was also found dead in her jail cell in Cleveland. Authorities have yet to release details regarding her death. The Guardian noted that eight women, five of whom were black, died in police custody last month, although they did not include those without “clear evidence” of police responsibility for the deaths, including that of Bland’s.
Of the 20 unarmed victims who were killed by gunfire was also Sam Dubose, who was fatally shot in the head by now-former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing. Tensing recently posted bail after being charged with murder. Another case that garnered less attention nationwide was the death of 39-year-old Johnathan Sanders, who was placed in a 20 minute chokehold by an officer in Mississippi on July 8.
“The Counted is recording every killing by police in the US this year because the federal government does not currently publish a comprehensive database,” report reads.