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Black people have been saying it for years. Maybe now some people will start listening.
According to a new study, almost 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in this country are expected to die at the hands of law enforcement, making them 2.5 times more likely than that of white men and boys with their encounters with police.
“That 1-in-1,000 number struck us as quite high,” said study leader Frank Edwards, a sociologist at Rutgers University, to the Los Angeles Times. “That’s better odds of being killed by police than you have of winning a lot of scratch-off lottery games.”
The report also revealed that for all young men, police violence was one of the leading causes of death between 2013 to 2018. The report also proved that Latino men and boys, black women and girls and Native American men, women, and children are also killed by police at higher rates than their white counterparts.
The cries from people of color have now been validated.
Sullenly, the report came out just days after the New York Police Department fired Daniel Pantaleo, the man that was responsible for the death of Eric Garner in 2014. The decision was five years too late.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill terminated the 34-year-old after courts determined he violated department policy by restraining Garner with the prohibited chokehold back in 2014. O’Neill also revealed that Pantaleo will not receive his pension, as whatever contributions he made towards his pension will be returned.
Garner’s 27-year-old daughter, Erica, participated in several “die-ins” to protest officer-related shootings and became one of the main figures asking for criminal-justice reform. She died of a heart attack in 2017. The family received $5.9 million from the city to settle a wrongful death claim in 2015.
As more groups begin to study police violence, given that it’s a public health problem, hopefully, there will be a tangible change in how police departments train their officers.
“It can have these toxic effects on communities, in terms of both their physical and mental health,” Edwards explained.
“We believe these numbers, if anything, are a little bit conservative, maybe a bit too low,” he continued. “But we think that these are the best that can be done in terms of just getting a baseline risk estimate out there.”