|Michael Brown was one of thousands killed by police in the last couple of years. According to new data, more than 1,000 people were shot dead by law enforcement in 2015 - and one in five of the victims were unarmed|
American police officers killed up to 1,200 people in 2015, figures reveal.
Fifteen per cent of victims were black males under the age of 34, while two per cent were white men of the same age.
The data has emerged from a number of data projects set up by media outlets in recent years because the U.S. government does not have a database that documents this information.
At least six innocent bystanders were shot dead by police officers, according to The Counted, which was set up by The Guardian, The Washington Post's counting project, and the aggregation site Killed By Police.
More than 40 children under the age of 18 were killed last year, the data shows.
And one in five of the victims were not armed.
The bleak details which emerged this week have led many to question how effective the numerous anti-police violence protests have been.
Due to different criteria, the final tallies reached by the Washington Post, The Guardian and Killed By Police differ.
The Guardian found 1,134 people were shot dead by police in 2015. Killed By Police concluded 1,199, while the Post settled on 980.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has now vowed to roll out the data project being tested by the government to track these figures on a federal level.
Addressing the issue in October, FBI director James Comey slammed the U.S. government's lack of data on police killings.
'It is unacceptable that The Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper from the U.K. are becoming the lead source of information about violent encounters between police and civilians.
'That is not good for anybody,' he said, according to the Post.
'You can get online today and figure out how many tickets were sold to The Martian, which I saw this weekend... The CDC can do the same with the flu.
'It’s ridiculous — it’s embarrassing and ridiculous — that we can’t talk about crime in the same way, especially in the high-stakes incidents when your officers have to use force.'
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