Almost two black people were killed every week in the U.S. by a white police officer between 2006 and 2012.
According to a recent analysis by USA Today, these numbers are based on "justifiable" homicides that were self-reported by 750 local police agencies to the FBI.
The U.S. averaged 96 killings of black people by white police yearly, and about 400 total police killings annually.
The analysis says that 18 percent of black people killed from 2006 to 2012 were under age 21, compared to 8.7 percent of whites. However, the 750 police departments that self-reported are only a small part of the 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, so the actual numbers are likely higher.
''There is no national database for this type of information, and that is so crazy," University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert told USA Today. "We've been trying for years, but nobody wanted to fund it and the [police] departments didn't want it. They were concerned with their image and liability. They don't want to bother with it.''
"I've looked at records in hundreds of departments and it is very rare that you find someone saying, 'Oh, gosh, we used excessive force.' In 98.9% of the cases, they are stamped as justified and sent along," added Alpert.
Citing the numbers from the USA Today story, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry read off several names of "unarmed" black people who were killed by white police officers (video below).
“In the past decade alone, these men and hundreds of others have lost their lives to police,” said Harris-Perry on Saturday.
She also compared the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to Dred Scott, a St. Louis slave who unsuccessfully sued for his and his family's freedom in 1857.