Graph of the day – Something is terribly wrong with the US police forces

I’m a big fan of the USA. They played a major role saving democracy and freedom in the WWII and afterwards. First by defeating Nazis on the Western front together with the British but also by providing the Soviet Union with guns, vehicles, food, clothes, boots and raw material which the Red Army used to defeat the Nazis on the Eastern front. And after the war, US troops stayed in Europe which prevented the Red Army from invading us. Even if Sweden was not a NATO country, we co-operated closely with NATO and USA.

The main reason for me being a fan is however not its military. There are two major reasons for my “Americanism”. The first reason is the political system with its checks and balances and a constitution protecting the citizens from the state. The second reason is the vibrant US economy which has made lives easier and richer by the production of a vast number of innovations.

However, USA is also a country with enormous differences between different people. Income and wealth are more unequally distributed in the USA than in most other countries, access to health care is not universally guaranteed across the USA, and as we have seen lately, people are still treated differently depending on the colour of their skin.

The Black Lives Matter movement has made in shockingly clear that racism is still an issue in the American society. The death of George Floyd has put the US police forces in the focus of the spotlights. Hopefully, the ongoing debate will result in reforms that change the behaviour of police officers. Because that is urgently needed in a country where violent crime rates are unrelated to police killings.

Violent crime rates (left axis) and police killing rates (right axis) in the 50 largest cities in the USA, 2013-2019.




I nicked the graph above, updated it, from That site contains a database of police killings. The mere existence of the database proves that the US forces are problematic. The site also shows that black people are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people.

2 thoughts on “Graph of the day – Something is terribly wrong with the US police forces

  1. Fasansfullt. Hur har detta kunnat pågå i världens rikaste land? Behovet av reformer är verkligen stort. Jag hoppas att de genomförs så snart som möjligt. Det förutsätter nog att inte Trump blir omvald.


  2. Pingback: The Crumbling States of America | Globalisation, furry animals and anything but fishing

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