Police violence a leading cause of death for black men: Study

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A study just published in Proceedings National Academy of the Sciences found police violence is a leading cause of death of young men in the United States.

The lead researcher is Frank Edwards from Rutgers University and the others are from Washington University in St. Louis and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

The study estimates 1 in every 1,000 or 96 in every 100,000 black men can expect to be killed by police. It assessed the lifetime risk of men and women from five different racial and ethnic groups: Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Latinx, White, and Asian /Pacific Islander.

The researchers used data from the National Vital Statistics System and Fatal Encounters…a journalist led database to track deaths involving police from 2013 to 2018.

Some of the key takeaways from the study include:

  •      Black men are 2.5 more likely than white men to be killed by police.
  •      Latino and American Indian men are also more likely than white men to be killed by police.
  •      However, white men are more likely than Asian/Pacific Islanders to be killed by police.

Overall a woman’s risk of being killed by police is about 20 times lower than men, but the risk for all groups spikes between 20 and 35 years’ old.

The researchers argue that police violence should be seen as a public health issue and argue “austerity in social welfare and public health programs has led to police and prisons becoming catch-all responses to social problems.”