November 30, 2015

Just the facts: Police killings

The first reliable statistics on lynching begin in 1882, and they show an average of 67 African-Americans lynched per year between 1882 and 1890. But lynching’s high point came in the 1890s, at the very time when Jim Crow laws were imposed throughout the South. The peak year was 1892, when 161 African-Americans (out of a total of 230) were lynched — an average of more than three every week. Lynchings also became more racialized during this time. Though mobs also lynched whites, Mexicans, Asians and Native-Americans, blacks constituted an ever-growing proportion of victims — 44 percent in the 1880s, 72 percent in the 1890s and 89 percent between 1900 and 1909.

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