Police are three times more likely to kill black men compared to white men. A new University of Minnesota School of Public Health study surveyed various stakeholders to learn why they think violent encounters between law enforcement and young black men occur in their communities.
The study, led by PhD student Mr. Collin Calvert and co-authored by faculty, Drs. Rhonda Jones-Webb and Sonya Brady, was published in the Journal of Urban Health.
The study surveyed 48 key stakeholders in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota from four groups: young black men aged 14-24 years, parents and educators, police officers, and staff in youth-serving organizations. The stakeholders were asked to:
- identify causes of violent encounters between police and young black men;
- describe police officers who serve in their communities;
- describe interactions between police and young black men.
The study found:
- except for police, all stakeholder groups felt violent encounters between police and young black men were caused by officers lacking a connection with their communities;
- fear and distrust across stakeholder groups was also seen as a cause of violent encounters — with youth fearing police after having seen or heard of violent encounters and officers fearing youth due to the availability of firearms and previous assaults on officers;
- several stakeholder groups said racism and prejudice among police was another cause of violence between police and young black men;
- positive interactions between police and youth were seen as the result of established, trusting relationships developed over time.
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, Publish on February 28