Harvard Study: Police Kill More People Than Pneumonia, Influenza, Measles – Should be Treated as a Public Health Epidemic
By David Love
Pastor Charles Burton lies on the driveway of the Ferguson, Mo., police station in October, outlined in chalk as a memorial to Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a white police officer. Associated Press
This year was seminal in terms of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and Black activism around police violence and the need to reform the criminal justice system.
As the year comes to a close, public health researchers have concluded that police killings are a public health epidemic that should be recorded and treated as such. If this is the case, then there are serious and very real implications for the victims of police violence, who are disproportionately Black people.
The study by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, entitled “Police Killings and Police Deaths Are Public Health Data and Can Be Counted,” was published in the medical journal PLOS Medicine this month. Among its major points, the study noted that over the past year, there have been major controversies and civil unrest around the problem of police violence and police deaths. Meanwhile, although the deaths of police officers are counted, there is no reliable source of accounting for the killing of civilians by …read more
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