Between cancer and diabetes
August 23, 2019 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Getting killed by police is a leading cause of death for young black men in America (SLLATimes). "Police use of force accounted for 1.6% of all deaths of black men between the ages of 20 and 24"
posted by splitpeasoup (15 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
I was a little confused at first, but after reading, my understanding of the statistics are:

- The lifetime risk of police killing you if you are a black American man is about 1 in 1000, which is a little more than twice as likely as the other ethnic groups they looked at.
- The annual risk of police killing you if you are a black American man peaks between the ages of 25 and 29 at about 4 in 100,000. (They calculated the lifetime risk by simulating a cohort repeatedly experiencing the empirical annual risks.)
- That annual risk is about as much as cancer or diabetes, but that's because not very many 20-somethings die of those things. The lifetime risk of dying from cancer is more like 1 in 5.

The paper in question: https://sci-hub.tw/https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821204116
posted by value of information at 8:51 PM on August 23 [3 favorites]


By the way, one striking thing to me about the charts in there is that police seem about as likely to kill 15-year-old kids of all ethnicities as 45-year-olds, or a little less than half as likely as 25-year-olds. I didn't realize police were killing that many children.
posted by value of information at 8:57 PM on August 23 [5 favorites]


The fact that police use of force as a cause of death shows up as any percentage that doesn't have a lot of zeroes in front of it (i.e., 0.0003% or whatever) is...I don't even have words. "Disgraceful" sure as shit doesn't cut it.
posted by maxwelton at 9:31 PM on August 23 [40 favorites]


America is just so fucked up...
posted by Windopaene at 9:39 PM on August 23 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure what the stats are here in the UK, but Wikipedia has a list. It looks to me like people in general are literally thousands of times more likely to be killed by a cop in the US than in the UK. Or am I missing something?

If that's true, then having a less homicidal police force could save more black lives than completely eliminating police racism. Certainly reducing racism is it's own reward, and would have other benefits besides fewer deaths, but it looks like there is more than one elephant in the room here.
posted by swr at 11:17 PM on August 23 [10 favorites]


or we could abolish the police.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:27 AM on August 24 [13 favorites]


As a U.S. physician, going to a Black Lives Matter event is literally a more effective public health intervention than promoting flu shots. That should be eye opening.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:08 AM on August 24 [34 favorites]


The rise in death rate from age 10 to 20 is huge for black kids, and looks like about 5 times the risk of white kids.
posted by fleacircus at 3:12 AM on August 24 [5 favorites]


A Killer Cop Gets Fired, and Somehow the Cops Are Angry: Daniel Pantaleo suffered the absolute minimal consequence for killing Eric Garner. The fact that the police union is throwing a tantrum is sick and outrageous.
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 AM on August 24 [21 favorites]


Thanks for posting a link to the paper. 4 per 100,000 is quite different than the framing in the article. Funny how hard it is to explain infrequent events in a way that makes sense to our poorly-tuned sense of frequency. Everything lower than one percent seems to either slip into the “meh” bucket or activate the outrage glands at maximum output.

I strive to deal with the nuance of life but it is hard. Even harder than entering italics on my phone. How do you people •do that•?

As for “we can just get rid of the police,” like most libertarian stuff it sounds just as practical as me treating my diabetes by getting rid of food. It does eliminate one set of problems, but there are ... other issues that arise. Like introducing a new invasive species to get rid of an invasive species. Society is a complex system and it’d be nice if in ten years people weren’t Monday-morning quarterbacking today’s solution as “obviously a bad idea, what were they thinking?”

posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 8:06 AM on August 24 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what the stats are here in the UK, but Wikipedia has a list. It looks to me like people in general are literally thousands of times more likely to be killed by a cop in the US than in the UK. Or am I missing something?

You’re not missing anything. Your police generally aren’t armed; ours our. It’s really hard for police to kill someone without access to a gun.
posted by Automocar at 8:27 AM on August 24 [2 favorites]


As far as that debate goes (possibly not very far?) this list is probably more useful.

Venezuela tops the list with 1632.7 police killings per 10 million people. The UK is near the bottom with 0.2/10,000,000. The US is somewhere in the middle with 30.4.
posted by Grangousier at 8:43 AM on August 24




"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder." - Colin Kaepernick

I stand sit with Kaepernick.
posted by neuron at 10:30 AM on August 24 [8 favorites]


"As far as that debate goes (possibly not very far?) this list is probably more useful.

Venezuela tops the list with 1632.7 police killings per 10 million people. The UK is near the bottom with 0.2/10,000,000. The US is somewhere in the middle with 30.4."
Sandwiched between Angola and Bangladesh!
posted by PollyWaffle at 5:55 PM on August 24


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