Black Americans are nearly three times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts, with even larger disparities among those who are unarmed. The trend is also harming the mental health of the black community, according to new research published in The Lancet from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Boston University School of Public Health.
“These deaths don’t just have immediate consequences for the families and friends. There’s a true mental health spillover effect for those not directly involved,” says Atheendar S. Venkataramani, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, and co-lead author of the study.
In a national survey of nearly 40,000 black Americans who were interviewed within three months following at least one death of a black American at the hands of police in their state, the team found that police killings of unarmed black Americans were associated with worse mental health among other black Americans in the United States general population.
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