From [HERE] Activists for racial justice have long expressed concern that the rash of headline-grabbing police killings of black Americans was damaging the mental well-being of African-American communities.
A report published in The Lancet, a leading British medical journal, on Thursday appears to give credence to those concerns.
Using mental health survey data and a database of police shootings, a team of health researchers concluded that when police officers in the United States kill unarmed black people, it damages the mental health of black Americans living in those states.
The mental health of white Americans was not similarly affected, the researchers found. Nor were negative health effects associated with police killings of unarmed white Americans or armed black Americans.
While these findings might seem unsurprising, particularly to African-Americans, the researchers contended that their study was a significant attempt to assess the measurable, if indirect, harms that police violence has inflicted on the broader psychological and emotional well-being of African-Americans.
“‘Having seen something so horrific and traumatic that happened to someone else, I’m reminded in a very painful and salient way that the deck might be stacked against me,’” Atheendar S. Venkataramani, one of the study’s authors, said of how black people might perceive police killings. “It’s really about all the kinds of insidious ways that structural racism can make people sick.”