(CNN) — Over a 16-year period, black children were six times more likely to be shot by police than their white peers, according to a study published in the journal. Pediatrics which supports the existence of a disparity that activists have long emphasized.
On the other hand, Hispanic children were three times more likely to be shot dead than white children, according to the study.
“The results are not surprising, but that doesn’t take the tragedy out of these results,” lead researcher Dr. Monika K. Goyal told CNN. “When we see that this extends to children, it makes this problem even more tragic,” he added.
Police mistreatment of adult Black people took center stage this year, sparking protests across the United States following deaths or serious injuries to people in police custody. Similar cases in recent years involving black children, including Tamir Rice, 12, have highlighted how minors can also be victims of police violence.
Goyal and his team found that 140 teens were killed by police interventions between 2003 and 2018. Of those cases, 131 involved firearms, according to the study. The vast majority of the victims, approximately 93%, were men, with an average age of 16 years.
“Although these numbers are small, Dr. Goyal points out that there is a possible domino effect, as the death of each child has a far-reaching impact on an entire community,” says one Press release from Children’s National, where Goyal is Associate Chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Services and Director of Academic Affairs and Research.
Let the data be a ‘call to action’
“These findings are probably an underestimate of the true number,” Goyal told CNN. “This (rate) did not include children who were shot but did not die,” he explained.
“We had a sufficient sample size to show that there were big differences, when we compared the deaths of children due to police shootings between white and black children and white children with Hispanics. We had the appropriate supplies, “he added. “We would have found those same results in a longer period of time,” he said.
During this same period, 6,512 adults were shot dead by the police. And black and Hispanic adults had the highest death rates compared to white adults, according to Children’s National.
Goyal hopes that studying these cases will foster tangible change, he said.
“Our country is really considering the differential use of police force in communities of color,” Goyal said. “These disparities extend to young people and my hope is that this data is a call to action to start engaging in that hard work of truly understanding the policies that exacerbate these disparities,” he added.
Goyal and his team spent more than seven months reviewing injury statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to isolate firearm-related deaths. They compared data from death certificates using information from the US Census Bureau on racial and ethnic groups.
His work adds to a growing body of data on the racial disparities black children face compared to their peers.
Other statistics from everyday life reflect what black children are exposed to
Black and Hispanic children are more likely to be hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus than white children. They are also more likely to have higher case rates and virus-related complications.
And health disparities existed before the pandemic: Newborn black babies have three times more likely to die when they are cared for by white doctors (as opposed to when they are cared for by black people). And black children, even when healthy, are 3.5 times more likely to suffer serious complications or die. after surgery.
Black children are also more likely to disappear than white children, even though they make up a smaller portion of the US population.
In July, 8-year-old Nolan Davis from Missouri organized and led a “Children’s Black Lives Matter March” which attracted nearly 700 participants, including children. In the march hundreds of these children could be heard singing: “We are the children, the powerful, powerful children. We are here to tell you that black lives matter.
Nolan wanted to make sure all voices were being heard, his mother told CNN.
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