The U.S. police brutality epidemic is a real problem for tens of thousands of Americans every year. Indeed, in 2012 alone, over 55,000 people in the U.S. were injured or killed by police. The numbers come from a research study published in the peer-reviewed journal Injury Prevention. According to the research, the majority of the deaths that occurred as a result of the U.S. police brutality epidemic were caused by police use of firearms or the “excessive use” of tasers, which are supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to guns.
As RT reports, the study was intended to give a larger context and more background to the permeating use of forceful violence among police in the United States, a practice that has resulted in the U.S. police brutality epidemic. Pervasive police violence has, in turn, led to violent, destructive, and even deadly protests in the United States.
As many people watching the police violence and public retaliations in the U.S. may have already deduced, the police brutality epidemic has only broadened in scope since the 2012 study titled “Perils of Police Action: A Cautionary Tale from US Data Sets.” In the study of U.S. police brutality, it was discovered that in 2012, fully 55,400 individuals in the U.S. became victims of police officers employed in the nation. The police’s actions were described as “abuse of power” and/or “loss of control out of anger or fear.”
While the numbers themselves are frightening, when you break it down further, it gets even more terrifying for anyone who might find themselves detained or arrested by police in the U.S. According to the research, for every 10,000 people stopped or arrested by police, almost 34 of them will end up dead or injured so severely that they require treatment in a hospital.
As many U.S. citizens have already figured out, a person’s age, ethnicity, and/or race are big factors when it comes to being engaged by police in the fist place. Certain races and ethnicities, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans, are stopped/arrested/detained far more frequently than their white or Asian counterparts.
“Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics had higher stop/arrest rates per 10,000 population than white non-Hispanics and Asians. Given a national history of racism, the excess per capita death rate of blacks from US police action rightly concerns policy analysts, advocates and the press.”
The U.S. police brutality study did uncover one somewhat surprising fact, given the current U.S. police/race relations protests and the outrage gripping the nation as a result. According to the published research, African Americans stopped and/or arrested by police in the U.S. are “no more likely” than their white counterparts to lose their lives as a result of their police encounter.
The problem, according to the study, isn’t that African American’s are killed by U.S. police at a greater rate their white neighbors but rather that they are detained by law enforcement at a much higher rate.
As previously stated, the rate of police violence has only increased since this 2012 study (published in March 2016). In 2015 alone, 1,207 people were killed in the U.S. as the result of the current police brutality epidemic. As the Washington Post reports, 547 people have already been killed by police in the U.S. in 2016.
The publication of the 2012 study into the U.S. police brutality epidemic came in the midst of several highly-publicized police killings of African-American suspects and just before the now-notorious shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of law enforcement. Following the deaths of those men, both caught on tape, the United States erupted in widespread anti-police brutality protests. In a handful of cases those protests became violent, and in a couple, the violence turned deadly for uniformed police officers.
In Dallas, a shooter killed five police officers and wounded at least seven more. The shooter was, in turn, killed by police. According to multiple reports, Micah Xavier Johnson lashed out at police patrolling a Black Lives Matter protest in retaliation for the U.S. police brutality epidemic that has cost a disproportionate number of African American lives.
The U.S. police brutality epidemic has also become very politicized, with sides being taken largely along party lines.
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