About 200 civilians have been killed during encounters with police in the US as of March 1, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.
While police killings often grabbed headlines in the last several years, far less attention has been given to such incidences this year.
President Donald Trump has sought to enact policies in line with a pro-law and order agenda, which directs more resources to law-enforcement agencies.
Trump’s agenda has already begun to take shape within the US Justice Department. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law-enforcement official, rescinded a directive issued by former President Barack Obama that aimed to reduce the use of private prisons.
Sessions said the Obama-era order would “impair” the Bureau of Prisons’ ability to “meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”
Sessions has also argued that Obama’s policies were reducing the effectiveness of police departments nationwide. He indicated the Justice Department would no longer monitor troubled police departments, which had been a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s efforts to curtail police violence.
During remarks he gave to the National Associations of Attorneys General, Sessions said he did not think reducing federal oversight of police activity was “wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”
Amid those proposed changes, more than a dozen states have also introduced “Blue Lives Matter” bills — legislation aimed at classifying some types of violence against police as a hate crime.