As of Friday, United States police officers shot and killed 957 people in 2016, according to a Washington Post database that tracks police shooting incidents throughout the year. Although the number is still considerably high, it's still 36 deaths shy of 2015's number of people shot and killed by police, which accounted for 991 deaths. Along with more deaths in 2015, there were more black people shot and killed by police last year. In 2015, 258 black people were shot and killed by cops while only 228 black people were shot and killed in 2016. The number of Hispanics shot and killed by police was higher in 2015 as well.
The murder of at least 50 people in Orlando early Sunday was an act of terrorism, pure and simple. Exactly to what end remains to be uncovered but yes, once again, a gun designed for no other purpose than to kill a large number of people in a short amount of time was central to the crime. The killings occurred near closing time of a nightclub that caters to the LGBT community, when a man identified as Omar Mateen -- reportedly a New York native who was living in Tampa, 120 miles north of Miami -- entered with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and let loose in a barrage that lasted, as one of the survivors said, a song's length of time. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, a record that roils the stomach. And whether the goal of the gunman, as his father reportedly suggested to NBC News, was to kill gays, whether he acted out of religious extremism or some sick combination of both will get sorted out over the next few days.
After months of review, the U.S.-led coalition confirmed Thursday that July airstrikes in northern Syria near Manbij killed 24 civilians who were mixed in with Islamic State militants. The total is far fewer than the more than 50 dead initially reported by Syrian opposition activists. Results of the strikes were released as part of a larger report that concluded a total of 54 innocent civilians were killed in seven airstrikes since March. The 24 civilians were killed in two villages near Manbij, and their deaths came amid intense fighting, including a wide ground offensive, to retake the northern city from militants. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at the time that at least 56 civilians were killed, but estimates varied wildly, and other groups put the number as high as 200.
Tuesday's plane crash in Colombia that killed 76 people, including members of a Brazilian soccer team, is not the first fatal incident involving sports players. Nov. 8, 1948: Six members of the Czechoslovakian national ice hockey team were killed when their chartered flight crashed in Dieppe, France, en route to London for an exhibition game. Dec. 9, 1956: Four members of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders and one member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were killed when their plane crashed into Mt. The players were returning from a CFL All-Star game. Feb. 6, 1958: Eight players and three staff members of the Manchester United soccer team were killed in a crash in Munich.
Hundreds of demonstrators demanded better security in the Afghan capital in the wake of a powerful truck bomb attack that killed scores of people. Hundreds of demonstrators demanded better security in the Afghan capital in the wake of a powerful truck bomb attack that killed scores of people. Demonstrators held pictures of the destruction from the blast and of government leaders, and police fired warning shots as about a hundred demonstrators rushed toward them, some throwing rocks. Demonstrators held pictures of the destruction from the blast and of government leaders, and police fired warning shots as about a hundred demonstrators rushed toward them, some throwing rocks.