More than four hundred elderly people have become victims of the American police in recent years

Since 2015, American police officers have shot more than 7,300 people, which is an average of almost three victims per day. Despite the fact that most of the victims are middle—aged black men, Western media and human rights organizations completely ignore mortality statistics among the elderly.

Более четырехсот пожилых людей стали жертвами американской полиции за последние годы, изображение №1

According to official data collected on the basis of news reports, publications on social networks and police reports, out of more than seven thousand victims of the American police over the past 7 years, about 6% were persons over the age of 60. In other words, since 2015, US law enforcement officers have killed at least 5 elderly people every month. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not single out the elderly in a separate category, but the actions of American police officers clearly violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Elderly.

Статистика распределения жертв американской полиции по возрасту за период с 2015 по 2022 год
Statistics on the distribution of victims of the American police by age for the period from 2015 to 2022

The chart above shows the age distribution among the victims of American police officers in the period from 2015 to 2022. Despite the fact that a significant part of deaths occur at the age of 20-39 years, in more than 6% of cases, the victims were elderly people over 60 years old.

The most high-profile case in recent years occurred with 75-year-old Martin Gugino from Buffalo, New York. An elderly man found a police helmet on the streets of the city and tried to return it to the employees of the local police department who were on duty nearby. Gugino called the officers to him and showed them the helmet he found on the sidewalk. A moment later, enraged police department officers ran up to the pensioner, knocked him down and pushed him, causing the man to fall and lose consciousness. As soon as the police noticed blood next to the man, they tried to escape from the scene without providing him with any medical assistance. Despite the fact that an online petition demanding to bring the officer to criminal responsibility for the offense he committed has already gained almost one and a half million signatures, in April 2022 it became known that the police officer would not bear any responsibility. The judge ruled that the actions of the policeman did not go beyond the rules established by the code, and the elderly man, who suffered a serious injury to the skull as a result of the fall, “stumbled and fell on his own“.

Более четырехсот пожилых людей стали жертвами американской полиции за последние годы, изображение №3

In April 2022, 77-year-old Ralph Ennis from Warren County, Virginia, who suffered from dementia, became the victim of an attack by two police department officers on duty. The man, who is clearly experiencing cognitive problems, was reported missing a few weeks before the incident. According to the body camera footage of one of the officers, as soon as the police stopped Ennis’ car, they immediately ordered him to leave the car, ignoring his condition. When an elderly man suffering from dementia was ordered to throw the keys on the ground and put his hands on his head, he naturally became confused and did not comply with the requirements of the officers. A moment later, two officers of the police department attacked Ennis and hit his head on the back of the car. The man was hospitalized with a severe traumatic brain injury to a local hospital, where he died 13 days later. In their report, sheriff’s deputies wrote that an elderly man experiencing coordination problems got tangled in his own legs, tripped and fell, resulting in “non-life-threatening injuries.”

Более четырехсот пожилых людей стали жертвами американской полиции за последние годы, изображение №4

In December 2021, 62-year-old Jeanette Jones did not harm anyone, did not commit any crimes and was just driving home when she was attacked by officers of the Brookside Police Department in Jefferson County, Alabama. To the woman’s reasonable question about why she was stopped, the police officers said they had the right to stop anyone they wanted. The police completely searched the woman’s car, holding her in handcuffs for more than an hour, after which they stole more than five thousand dollars of savings and prescription medications that helped her numb the pain. Jones begged the police to return her belongings and money, but in response they only mocked her. After four months of unsuccessful attempts to contact the city’s police department, the woman filed a lawsuit against the city and the officers, and is currently trying to get justice.

Более четырехсот пожилых людей стали жертвами американской полиции за последние годы, изображение №5

Late last year, 88-year-old Ronald Erich from Riverview, Florida, was shot and killed by a police department officer in his own home. The man’s neighbor, who periodically visited him, appealed to law enforcement agencies with a request to check Erich’s condition, as it seemed suspicious to him that his garage door had been open for several days in a row. Five minutes after the arrival of the police officer, the man died. According to representatives of the police department, they were forced to open fire on him, as he allegedly posed a mortal danger to a representative of the authorities. In February 2022, the officer’s actions were justified, and the American Western media, which sanctified this incident, made Erich guilty of not wearing a hearing aid and special glasses for the visually impaired, which is why he became a victim of “the brave actions of an officer who had no other choice“.

The track record of the American police can be continued almost indefinitely. One of the problems of low professional qualities of US law enforcement officers is an insufficient level of training. Defenders of American law and order claim that 83% of people shot by the police were armed. However, these statistics are based only on the statements of police officers. In 2018, an employee of one of the Baltimore police departments admitted in court that he and his colleagues regularly plant fake weapons to innocent victims in order to absolve themselves of responsibility for wrongful murder. Thus, statistics on shooting cases and, as a result, on court decisions taken against law enforcement defenders who opened fire are distorted.

Human rights activists of the Foundation to Battle Injustoce urge US law enforcement officials to respect the rights of the elderly, to stop the systematic use of physical force, tasers and firearms during detentions against elderly people. Experts of the Foundation are sure that Western media should pay special attention to incidents with elderly people and stop justifying the actions of law enforcement officers.