According to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 people were shot and killed by police in Utah in 2018.

Utah has about 3 million people. According to a statistic published in the Economist from December 2014, eight people were shot and killed by police in Germany, a country of more than 80 million people. The numbers have not changed much for Germany and other developed countries. Germany is comparable, as it is a diverse country with a large population.

If Germany had the same rate as Utah, about 500 people would have been shot by police. There would be an uproar and change would come quickly. Here, we shrug our shoulders and move on. We got used to it and it’s considered normal. And Utah is not even the worst in that respect.

I think there are two reasons for that wide discrepancy. One is that American police forces are much more aggressive in pursuing even small-time criminals. Instead of letting them go without firing a shot and arresting them another time, they need to be brought down, even with a bullet. In many cases, dozens of shots are fired into an already incapacitated suspect as if one or two is not enough. Why?

The other reason is that there are so many guns in circulation that police officers never know who has one and who doesn’t. So they err on the side of caution and shoot first while asking questions later.

Like in the Old West. One slight wrong move, and you are dead.

Thomas Fritz, Sandy