Anaheim, CA police face allegations of murder and brutality after fatally shooting two Latino men and firing rubber bullets at crowds of protesters. Residents there are calling for police accountability since 2009, when officers shot and killed Cesar Cruz, a 35-year-old father of five.
This is the eighth officer-involved shooting within one year in the city of Anaheim. Anger is high.
The nation’s crime control establishment collects vast amounts of information on crime nationwide. However, it does not systematically collect statistics on where, how often, and under what circumstances police use deadly force. In fact, no one anywhere comprehensively tracks the most significant act police can do in the line of duty – taking a life.
According to Rinku Sen, executive director & publisher of ColorLines magazine, & Alysia Tate, Editor & Publisher of The Chicago Reporter., the problem of fatal police shootings in America goes beyond a few bad apples. In a 2007 internet article on “American Forum,” found at http://www.sonomacountyfreepress.com/police/08_toomany.html they naturally identify persistent and systemic problems of police brutality for communities of color. They conclude that between 1980 and 2005, close to 9,600 people were killed by police in America — an average of about one fatal shooting every day, tho they do not cite their source. However, they go on to say that the real number may be higher due to underreporting by some departments to the federal government.