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Home / Health / Police violence is an urgent public health problem in the US, warns new medical research – Quartz

Police violence is an urgent public health problem in the US, warns new medical research – Quartz



Police violence should be considered a public health problem, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, uses Years of Lifespan (YLL) to measure the impact of police violence on public health. YLL is a measure used by public health officials to compare the burden of disease and injury across different populations. YLL focuses on the number of years a person – according to the life expectancy of their country – could have lived if they had not prematurely died from an identifiable illness or injury.

In their report, researchers from Berkeley's medical schools report that Harvard and UCLA are showing what many already know: police violence has a disproportionate impact on young people, and these young people are disproportionately colored people. The study also finds that police violence has a similar impact on public health as meningitis and maternal mortality. "However, many of these conditions receive more attention than police force, for example, in terms of grants," said researchers.

The researchers analyzed YLL based on police brutality by race and age in the US in 201

5 and 2016. They collected data from The Counted, a publicly available record that The Guardian had put together and described as more complete than the National Vital View Statistics System. There were 1,146 and 1,092 deaths from police violence in 2015 and 2016. Slightly more than half of the deaths were among White Americans, 26% were among blacks and 17% were among Hispanics.

The average death toll from police violence was 3.5 per million. Black Americans had a death toll of 7.2 per million, well above the rates for Hispanics and whites, at 3.3 and 2.9 per million. In terms of YLL, 57,375 and 54,754 police violence occurred in 2015 and 2016. Colored people make up 39% of the US population, but 52% of all YLL in those two years.

The researchers hope that police violence will be designed as a public health problem and their impact will be compared to broadly sympathetic issues such as meningitis and maternal mortality, it will focus more on prevention efforts.

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