In March alone, 111 people died during police encounters — 36 more than the previous month. As in the past, numerous incidents were spurred by violent threats from suspects, and two officers were shot in Ferguson during a peaceful protest. However, the deaths follow a national pattern: suspects were mostly people of color, mentally ill, or both.
Conversations about police procedurals and officer misconduct were also front and center last month, due in large part to the Department of Justice’s damning report of racial discrimination and unlawful activity in Ferguson’s police department. Although the incident occurred last January, video of officers brutally beating an unarmed Floyd Dent — and allegedly framing him for drug possession — also circulated the internet in March — raising questions about police corruption in Detroit.