How Studies and Statistics Show Police Brutality is Linked to Racism

Cover of New York Times Magazines. Credits to Kadir Nelson.

During the year of 2020, police brutality and criticism of our law enforcement is at an all-time high. With the untimely deaths of black men and women; George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and many more innocent people, the country has divided itself among whether or not there is a link between racism and police brutality and murders committed by law enforcement.

According to a study done by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health claims that, “Black people are more than three times as likely as white people to be killed during a police encounter”. An example done by the study suggests that black Chicagoans are over 650% more likely to die when dealing with law enforcement than white people. The study also says that, “The wide variance in death by police shows how preventable these deaths are….”. The police have gone out of their way to use excessive force and caused preventable deaths, such as suffocation and shooting first before understanding the situation and making no attempt to de-escalate the issues they are presented with.

Another article done by Frank Edwardsm Hedwig Lee, and Michael Esposito says that the risk of being murdered in the use of force in the United States spikes when factors such as age, race/ethnicity, and sex come into play. The study claims that 1 in 1000 black men can expect to be killed by the police, probability of which shoots up at ages twenty to thirty-five, heavily affecting people of color. In the study, the author writes that the risk is highest for black men, and that the US kills far more people than police do compared to other industrial democracies. 

America has given the police so much freedom. An article written by the Washington Post explicitly says that since 2015, the police have shot and killed 5,400 people. 


Taylor worked as a EMT in the medical field. Credits to Facebook.

In cases like the one of Breonna Taylor, it is rare for cops to be trialed and rightfully convicted. Breonna’s family stays at home missing their innocent daughter while being offered a $12 million dollar settlement for silence, her murderers get to go home every night and be with their families, hands washed clean of her blood as they claim that it is an accident. With only charges following them, there is no justice served. Time and again, law enforcement gets away with committing a heinous crime by claiming that what they did was a mistake, or that they were threatened; scared as if they weren’t pointing a gun at a sleeping woman, or sitting on a man who cried out for his mother. America can no longer afford to ignore this issue.

 Just as much as anyone else, Black Lives Matter, and black lives deserve to feel safe.