2020 will be known as a devastating year. More than 300,000 people in America died due to complications from the novel coronavirus. But it was the single death of a Black man in Minneapolis that sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality. It also sparked our Mountain West News Bureau to dig into the numbers of people killed in our region during interactions with law enforcement. And we found something startling. The Mountain West has the highest rate of fatal encounters with police in the entire country.
Drawing on extensive data from across the region and listening sessions with Mountain West residents and law enforcement officers, our series "Elevated Risk" takes a hard look at law enforcement in the region.
Like most of us, police want people to understand their perspective. And if they see a problem, they want to be part of the solution. Sometimes that involves leaving the force and looking at policing from the outside. In the final part of the Mountain West News Bureau's series, "Elevated Risk: Police Violence in the Mountain West," Madelyn Beck talked with some of those former officers to get their insights.
This is the fourth story in the Mountain West News Bureau series " Elevated Risk ," a project powered by America Amplified , a public radio initiative....
People of color are at high risk for police violence, and while data on Indigenous people specifically is difficult to come by, the numbers we do have are alarming. In Montana, Indigenous people are 60% more likely than white people to be killed by the police — and that's likely an undercount. For the Mountain West News Bureau's ongoing series Elevated Risk, Savannah Maher reports on one victim of that statistic.
Police kill more people per capita here in the Mountain West than almost any other place in the nation. Researchers say there’s one big reason why: guns.