ARE YOU NEXT? When Will the Next Gunning Down Take Place? From [HERE] People of color in the United States have dramatically more years stripped from their lives due to police violence than white people, according to a new study.
“This is the first study that quantifies years of life lost due to police violence in the US by age and by race,” said Anthony Bui, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We found that deaths from law enforcement are a major public health concern.”
The researchers drew on data from The Counted, a 2015-2016 award-winning Guardian investigation into police killings, which concluded that Native Americans, black Americans and Hispanic Americans, in that order, were disproportionately the victims of fatal police violence.
The new research added a fresh aspect to those findings by looking at the public health metric of “years of life lost” (YLL), which essentially subtracts the age individuals had attained when they died from their life expectancy, in order to find out how many years were “lost” by their premature death.
The UCLA, Harvard and UC Berkeley researchers calculated that people of color comprised 38.5% of the population, but 51.5% of the years of life lost.
“Media reports and other studies have already shown that these deaths from police violence disproportionately affect people of color,” Bui said. “Our results confirm this, but then we also show that these deaths are occurring largely among young people whose life expectancies were long.”
According to the 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 YLLs “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.”