Laquan McDonald murdered by Chicago Police

Study shows that Police killings effects the mental health of Black Americans

In a quasi-experimental study published in a British journal, The Lancet:

Police killings of unarmed black Americans have adverse effects on mental health among black American adults in the general population. Programs should be implemented to decrease the frequency of police killings and to mitigate adverse mental health effects within communities when such killings do occur.


In their population-based, quasi-experimental study, they:

Combined novel data on police killings with individual-level data from the nationally representative 2013–15 US Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate the causal impact of police killings of unarmed black Americans on self-reported mental health of other black American adults in the US general population. The primary exposure was the number of police killings of unarmed black Americans occurring in the 3 months prior to the BRFSS interview within the same state. The primary outcome was the number of days in the previous month in which the respondent's mental health was reported as “not good”. We estimated difference-in-differences regression models—adjusting for state-month, month-year, and interview-day fixed effects, as well as age, sex, and educational attainment. We additionally assessed the timing of effects, the specificity of the effects to black Americans, and the robustness of our findings.

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