Huffington Post - Racism alone can't explain why non-Latino white Americans are 26 times more likely to die by police gunfire than Germans. And racism alone doesn't explain why states like Montana, West Virginia and Wyoming - where both perpetrators and victims of deadly force are almost always white - exhibit relatively high rates of police lethality.
An explanation may be found in a key distinguishing characteristic of American policing - its localism.
Each of America's 15,500 municipal and county departments is responsible for screening applicants, imposing discipline and training officers when a new weapon like Tasers are adopted. Some under=resourced departments may perform some of these critical tasks poorly.
To make matters worse, cash-strapped local governments like Ferguson, Missouri's may see tickets, fines, impounding fees and asset forfeitures as revenue sources and push for more involuntary police encounters.
More than a quarter of deadly force victims were killed in towns with fewer than 25,000 people despite the fact that only 17% of the US population lives in such towns.
By contrast, as a rule, towns and cities in Europe do not finance their own police forces. The municipal police that do exist are generally unarmed and lack arrest authority.
As a result, the only armed police forces that citizens routinely encounter in Europe are provincial (the counterpart to state police in the US), regional (Swiss cantons) or national.
What's more, centralized policing makes it possible to train and judge all armed officers according to the same use-of-force guidelines. It also facilitates the rapid translation of insights about deadly force prevention into enforceable national mandates.