African-Americans Far more Likely to be Injured by Police than Whites

Tuesday, September 09, 2014
California Highway Patrol officer Daniel Andrew is seen on video straddling Marlene Pinnock on the ground and punching her in the head near a Los Angeles freeway Photo: Action Cam vis YouTube)

Being a black person in the United States comes with much greater risk than being white when involved in police incidents, federal health reporting statistics show.


Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sunlight Foundation examined non-fatal injuries stemming from law enforcement encounters and found a significant gap in how whites and blacks are treated.


From 2001 to 2012, “black people suffered over five times as many nonfatal injuries per capita from law enforcement as white people did cumulatively,” Damian Ortellado wrote for the Sunlight Foundation. For black men, the injury rate per 100,000 people came out to 117, while for white men it was 21 per 100,000. In fact, white men had fewer total injuries than black men despite being involved in five times as many police incidents.


The numbers also showed that the same racial disparity existed among women as well as men, Ortellado found. “Using the same injury estimate to population count methodology yields nearly identical comparisons between black women and white women, where black women receive five times the rate of nonfatal injuries caused by law enforcement when compared to white women,” he wrote.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Emergency Room Reports Reveal Racial Disparity in Injuries Caused by Police (by Damian Ortellado, Sunlight Foundation)

White Cops Policing Minority Communities…All Too Common (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Black Americans Given Longer Sentences than White Americans for Same Crimes (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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