Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are 2 of 728 Americans that police killed this year

Fatal Encounters is an online database that tracks people killed during interactions with law enforcement.

And in 2016, Fatal Encounters has recorded a police-involved killing for every day except one — June 17.

There was only 1 day in 2016 when police didn't kill anyone.

Credit: Sarah Frostenson

This month alone, police officers have been involved in the deaths of 17 people, including Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The two black men join a growing list of individuals killed by police under questionable circumstances.

Sterling and Castile’s deaths have both led to national uproar. But it’s important to know Sterling and Castile are just two of 728 people who have died this year in situations involving law enforcement.

Here are a few of the police killings in the Fatal Encounters database that happened in July:

Fatal Encounters tracks and verifies killings by police with reports from the media, the public, and law enforcement. Situations recorded in the database range from high-speed police shootouts to self-inflicted injuries ruled as suicides. Some of the data is incomplete, with information about a victim’s race, age, and other factors often missing. It’s possible the database is missing some deaths, too.

Some of the killings in this database were likely legally justified, and Fatal Encounters doesn’t comment on when there is or isn’t an appropriate use of force. But keeping track is important, as even though the FBI collects some of this data from local and state agencies, its scope is limited.

This is a calendar that shows all the deaths involving law enforcement that have happened this year:

some data

  • 1 or more police killings
  • 4 or more police killings
  • 8 or more police killings
  • no killings
Credit: Sarah Frostenson

It's hard to gauge whether these types of killings are becoming more common. But there is increasing scrutiny on police behavior in the wake of the deaths of Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and Michael Brown at the hands of officers — and Americans’ confidence in their local police forces has hit a 20-year low. The Fatal Encounters database is much more complete than the FBI figures, giving perhaps the best context we have for the wide range of police use of force.