An ongoing tracking project by The Washington Post finds that the number of people fatally shot by police in the United States in the first half of 2017 is nearly identical to figures for the previous two years.
The newspaper says 492 people were shot and killed by police during the first six months of the year. Most frequently killed were white males armed with guns or other weapons. Twenty-five percent of those killed were mentally ill. Black males also made up about 25 percent of those killed, although they represent only 6 percent of the U.S. population.
The Post began tracking shootings by police after the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Despite protests and calls for reform of police department policies since, then there has been no reduction in the overall number of deaths.
The newspaper reports that the number of police officers killed in the line of duty also has held steady for the past two years.