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Fatal Shootings By Police Twice As High As Official Number, Report Says

Police and protesters square off outside the Ferguson Police Department, in March.Earlier in the day, the resignation of Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson was announced in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

According to an analysis done by The Washington Post, police across the country have fatally shot at least 385 people so far this year –- a rate that comes to more than two a day and is twice the number counted by federal authorities.

The newspaper says it used interviews, police reports, local news accounts and other sources to arrive at the number. "The Post tracked more than a dozen details about each killing through Friday, including the victim's race, whether the person was armed and the circumstances that led to the fatal encounter. The result is an unprecedented examination of these shootings, many of which began as minor incidents and suddenly escalated into violence."

The Post said about half the victims were white, half minority, "The Post tracked more than a dozen details about each killing through Friday, including the victim's race, whether the person was armed and the circumstances that led to the fatal encounter. The result is an unprecedented examination of these shootings, many of which began as minor incidents and suddenly escalated into violence."

The newspaper says since January 1, 171 white men, 100 black men, 54 Hispanic men and 6 Asian men were among those killed in police shootings. That figure compared to a total of 20 women.

It said the majority of the deaths — 212 — were of suspects between 25 and 44 years of age. More than 80 percent of those killed by police were armed with a gun, knife or blade, car or truck or "other weapon or object," but 49 people were unarmed and 13 were carrying a toy weapon, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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