Study shows Black men more likely to be killed by U.S. police

Edited by Ed Newman
2019-08-06 07:27:29


New York, August 6 (RHC)-- African American men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement over their lifetime, according to a new study.  The Rutgers study identified police violence as a leading cause of death for young men in the United States and that racial bias was a definitive factor in their murders.

The study examined over 11,000 fatal police encounters between 2013-2017 and concluded that African American men and women, American Indian/Alaska Native men and women and Latino men faced a higher risk of being killed by police compared to their white peers.

According to the report’s findings, the risk of death for each racial group peaks between the ages of 20 and 35 and declines as the suspects get older.  Men between the ages of 25-29 faced the highest mortality rate in instances when fatal use-of-force by police was deemed as a leading cause of death, right behind accidents, suicide, other homicides, heart disease and cancer.

The chance of being killed by police for Black men was 1 in 1,000 compared to about 1 in 2,000 for men in general and about 1 in 33,000 for women.  Black women, were 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than white women.

According to the study, police were 1.5 times more likely to kill American Indians compared to white men and American Indian women faced a similar risk compared to white women.  Latino men were 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.  Latina women were about 1.2 times less likely to be killed than white women.

"The inequality is not surprising," said Frank Edwards, assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University-Newark and lead author of the study.

The study was based on data compiled by mortality files stored on the National Vital Statistic System and the Fatal Encounters (FE) database, a journalist-led project that documents police killings through public records and news coverage.

The study noted that such data are critical because the fatal encounters “have profound effects on health, neighborhoods, life chances and politics, and have resulted in structural inequalities in the United States between people of color and white people.”


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