May 9, 2018

The deadly cost of police violence

According to [a study]  published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, there were 57,375 and 54,754 years of life lost in total due to police violence in the US in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

For context, those figures are roughly the same as years lost to meningitis and childbirth-related deaths each year. The figures for police killings are higher than those due to both cyclist road injuries and unintentional firearm injuries, according to national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Essentially the disproportionate number of years lost boils down to the average age of victims. According to the research, police violence was greatest among younger age groups across racial and ethnic groups, but the share of [years of life lost] “was higher among even younger ages in people of color compared with whites”.

The report concluded: “Police violence disproportionately impacts young people, and the young people affected are disproportionately people of color. Framing police violence as an important cause of deaths among young adults provides another valuable lens to motivate prevention efforts.”

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