At least a dozen officer have been charged with murder or manslaughter this year in the event of a deadly shooting in which a police officer killed another person. It’s small progress, and there’s so much more that can be done.

The number of prosecutions marks a ten-year increase in which only five officers were charged each year from 2005 to 2014. Many of this year’s cases were boosted by videos taken by bystanders and police body cameras. However, the increase of killer cop prosecutions has increased only slightly.

The dozen prosecutions this year doesn’t include the six Baltimore police officers who were indicted for the death of Freddie Gray. Four of the six officers face charges of murder and/or manslaughter. Experts say that the increase isn’t related to increased shootings, but rather increased scrutiny on police.

“It’s not that there has been this massive uptick in civilian deaths. It’s just that there has been this massive uptick in scrutiny and protests,” said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the criminal law reform project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

There’s still much work to do in regards to complete police reform. Renegade officers are still killing people at an alarming rate.

For more on this story, visit ReutersProsecution of U.S. police for killings surges to highest in decade”

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced