Nav: Home

Hispanic men most likely to have fatal interaction with police in segregated neighborhoods

February 07, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. - While most media attention seems to focus on the number of black males killed by police, new research published in the journal Social Science & Medicine indicates that among men of color, Hispanic males were two times more likely to have a fatal interaction with the police in neighborhoods that have a high percentage of Hispanic residents - and police agencies with more Hispanic officers were associated with higher odds of Hispanic fatalities.

The results suggest that even the most diverse police forces are not exempt from the need for reforms within their ranks, according to Chris St. Vil, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and co-author of the study led by Odis Johnson Jr., an associate professor in the departments of Sociology and Education and a faculty scholar at the Institute of Public Health at the Washington University in St. Louis.

"We should be taking a closer look at specific neighborhood mechanisms and police agency characteristics in order to better understand this crisis," says St. Vil, an expert in trauma, violence and victimization. "There are nuances and idiosyncrasies we need to take into consideration that may vary from community to community, police agency to police agency and district to district.

"We can't just assume it's only black males at risk."

Those mechanisms include unemployment rates, high school dropout statistics, education levels and population, according to St. Vil.

"Crime rates alone don't explain this problem," he says. "We must include these other factors and how they contribute to social disorganization and possibly more aggressive tactics by police."

The novel research is the first to merge a crowd-sourcing data set with a nationally representative sample of law enforcement agencies contained in the Bureau of Justice Statistics Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS).

Part of the challenge for researchers examining fatal interactions with police (FIP) is the absence of reliable data from which to begin their studies, explains St. Vil.

"The motivation behind this research was based on the fact that data collected by federal agencies is not comprehensive," says St. Vil. "Reiterating a statement by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder back in 2015, the federal government lacks the ability to comprehensively track the number of incidents of either uses of force directed at police officers or uses of force by police and that obtaining better data on police shootings would represent a common-sense step to address serious concerns about the need to safeguard civil liberties."

Until federal agencies begin to collect and record accurate data, St. Vil says researchers will not have the information necessary to draw conclusions that inform a national dialogue about the depth of the problem.

"We have accurate data on how many members of an endangered species die each year, but we don't have fully sanctioned federal statistics that can be used with confidence on fatal interactions with police," says St. Vil. "Some are saying fatal interactions with police are not a problem; others are saying it is a problem.

"Accurate data can provide a better picture, and the answer can go either way, implicating or vindicating the police."

For the current study, the researchers used two publically accessible databases: fatalencounters.org (FE) and killedbypolice.net. They merged these sources with the data provided by nearly 2,800 police agencies in the LEMAS survey to explore how FIP from May 1, 2013, to Jan 1, 2015, vary across racial and ethnic groups and the role played by neighborhood and agency characteristics.

Although St. Vil says the study avoids problems that result in the kind of underreporting that characterize federal surveys the research is not without its limitations.

"We acknowledge the issues that might call crowd sourcing into question, but we wouldn't have to use that data set if the feds were doing their job," he says.
-end-


University at Buffalo

Related Data Articles:

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.
Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.
Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.
Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.
Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.
Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.
Ecologists ask: Should we be more transparent with data?
In a new Ecological Applications article, authors Stephen M. Powers and Stephanie E.
Should you share data of threatened species?
Scientists and conservationists have continually called for location data to be turned off in wildlife photos and publications to help preserve species but new research suggests there could be more to be gained by sharing a rare find, rather than obscuring it, in certain circumstances.
Futuristic data storage
The development of high-density data storage devices requires the highest possible density of elements in an array made up of individual nanomagnets.
Making data matter
The advent of 3-D printing has made it possible to take imaging data and print it into physical representations, but the process of doing so has been prohibitively time-intensive and costly.
More Data News and Data Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.