US study shows increase in deaths due to law enforcement

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New York, Jan 16 (IANS) There was a 45 percent net increase in deaths from legal intervention in the US between 1999 and 2013, a recent study has found.

Researchers from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and colleagues analysed nationwide data on individuals who were killed as a result of legal intervention or law enforcement during the period to find that 96 percent of these deaths occurred among men, of which 78 percent occurred between ages 15 and 44 years.

American Indians or Alaska Natives (whose numbers were small) had the highest rates of death from legal intervention, but blacks and African Americans, and white Hispanics or Latinos all had rates that were significantly higher than those experienced by non-Hispanic whites and Asians or Pacific Islanders, a FAU statement said.

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Between 1999 and 2013, 279 (in 2000) to 507 (in 2012) people were killed each year by legal intervention, other than by legal execution, the researchers said.

In 2013, an estimated 11.3 million arrests in the US resulted in approximately 480 deaths from legal intervention. Between 1999 and 2013, there were 5,511 deaths by legal intervention.

In terms of urbanisation, the highest mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black and African American men aged 15 to 44 years was in large central metropolitan areas, while the lowest occurred in non-core, non-metro rural areas.

Data for this study was obtained from the Compressed Mortality File (CMF) administered by the Office of Analysis, Epidemiology and Health Promotion of the National Centre for Health Statistics, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Internet-based CDC WONDER, a wide ranging online data epidemiologic research system.

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