Fatal Police Shootings Persist Despite the Pandemic, ACLU Report Finds

511 people were shot and killed by the police in the US in the first six months of 2020.

Catherine Caruso
3 min readAug 20, 2020


Image: Koshi Kunii/Unsplash

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has not curbed the rate of fatal shootings by police officers in the US, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published on Wednesday.

“The Other Epidemic: Fatal Police Shootings in the Time of COVID-19” reveals that deadly police shootings have not decreased during the pandemic, despite social distancing protocols and stay-at-home orders. Some states have even seen an increase in police shootings.

As of June 30, police officers shot and killed 511 people this year, up from 484 in the first half of 2019. And in the last five years, law enforcement officers have fatally shot at least 5,442 people.

In seven states — Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Montana, and Nevada — there have been more fatal police shootings in just the first six months of 2020 than in any previous years on average.

The new report infers that deadly police shootings have become so routine in America, that even a worldwide public health crisis cannot seem to slow them down.

From 2015 to 2019, there was an average of 19.4 fatal police shootings per week during the first half of each year. In 2020, this number is still the same.

“The findings of this report show that police violence in our country is not situational, but rather endemic to our country’s policing institution,” the ACLU’s policing advisor Paige Fernandez said in a press release.

“Despite a once in a lifetime public health crisis that has upended societal norms and caused a decrease in physical interaction, police still manage to kill people at the same rate as before the outbreak of COVID-19.”

The report also found that Black, Latino, and Native American people are disproportionately…



Catherine Caruso

Freelance writer covering culture, politics, and LGBTQ+ rights. catherineann.caruso@gmail.com