Majority of victims of US police killings are African Americans: Study
Over half of all police killings in the United States in the past for decades were unreported, with the majority of victims being Black Americans, according to a new study.
The research was done at the University of Washington School of Medicine and published in the Lancet, a peer reviewed journal.
The study found that in the US between 1980 and 201, more than 55% of deaths, over 17,000 in total, from police violence were either misclassified or went unreported.
The study also discovered that Black Americans are more likely than any other group to die from police violence and are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans.
“Underreporting obfuscates and minimises the larger public health issue, high rates of fatal police violence with serious disparities in race and ethnicity,” the authors wrote.
The analysis also showed that, during the time period studied, nearly 60% of deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police had been misclassified or not reported.
"Inaccurately reporting or misclassifying these deaths further obscures the larger issue of systemic racism that is embedded in many US institutions, including law enforcement," Fablina Sharara, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said in a statement.
The study is one of the most comprehensive examinations ever of police violence in the US.
Widespread protests have broken out across the US in recent years over the killings of unarmed Black people by police.
These included the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Advocates and legislators have since pushed for federal-level police reform.
The killing triggered protests and civil unrest across the US and countries around the world over widespread racial injustice and police brutality in America and other Western nations.
Floyd, 46, died after white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying on the ground during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.
On June 25, 2021, Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.