Jury’s Decision to Be Read in Kim Potter’s Trial for Daunte Wright’s Death: Live Updates


Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

When George Floyd was murdered on a street corner in Minneapolis last year, setting off racial justice protests across the country on a scale not seen in decades, many activists who had fought for years against police brutality were hopeful that the upheaval would prove to be a turning point, moving the country toward more accountability for the police when they kill on the job.

And when Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer who kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, was convicted on two counts of murder in April, the verdicts were hailed as a signal that the criminal justice system was shifting — and that juries, especially, were more willing to hold officers to account.

Yet more than a year and a half after Mr. Floyd was murdered, with another police brutality trial underway in Minnesota — for the killing earlier this year of Daunte Wright — criminal charges against police officers, much less convictions, remain exceedingly rare.

According to data kept by a research team led by Philip M. Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University, 21 officers have been charged this year with murder or manslaughter in connection with an on-duty shooting.

While that figure is an increase from 2020, when 16 officers were charged, and is the highest annual total since Mr. Stinson began tracking the data in 2005, it remains small next to the roughly 1,100 people a year who are killed by the police in America.

“It seems to be business as usual,” Mr. Stinson said. “It’s very, very difficult to make systemic change.”

Despite the protests of 2020 and the sustained public attention on police violence, the overall number of killings has barely budged. So far this year, 960 people have been killed by the police, according to Mapping Police Violence, a nonprofit group that keeps track of police killings. That figure is roughly in line with data the group began collecting in 2013.