Police Shootings Appear to Dip in 2021

The Orlando Police Department created a new unit in 2021 that sends behavioral health experts instead of law enforcement officers to respond to 911 calls for mental health crises.

It's in an effort -- one of a number around the country -- to avoid confrontations with law enforcement responding to non-violent calls and potentially avoidable fatal police shootings. More than 20% of people fatally shot by police since 2015 had mental illness, according to the Washington Post's "Fatal Force" database.

CJR Director Howard Henderson says, "We've seen the power of protesting in reshaping the public consciousness. We've been able to see the role of protesting and making sure that the policymakers recognize the concerns of the constituents."
"Research shows that since 1980, 17,000 killings by police have gone uncounted," Henderson said, citing the University of Washington report. "In order to adequately deal with it, you've got to know the extent to which it exists."

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