Race, Ethnicty and Death Due to Law Enforcement in US Men

16 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2016

Date Written: January 5, 2015


Citizen deaths from law enforcement activities have drawn intense interest in recent years. Nationwide statistics may provide a useful perspective on this issue but have seldom been widely reported.

To assess race, ethnicity and death from legal intervention in the U.S., an analysis examined U.S. vital statistics for the United States, 1999-2012. Decedents of interest were U.S. residents with underlying cause of death coded as legal intervention.

Results: In the period 1999-2012, 5071 persons (age-adjusted rate 1.22 per million) died from legal intervention including 1357 blacks (2.36) and 3487 whites (1.06). Among men aged 15-54, there were 954 deaths in Hispanic whites (5.44, 95% confidence interval 4.78-5.45). Among non-Hispanics there were 1230 deaths in blacks (8.16, 7.70-8.62) and 2056 in whites (2.75, 2.63-2.87). Rates peaked at age 25-34. Rates were generally highest in the West but black/white ratio was highest in the Middle Atlantic and in large and fringe metro areas.

Conclusions: Death resulting from interpersonal violence is a major public health concern. As for homicide, marked racial, ethnic and geographic disparities exist in deaths from legal intervention.

Keywords: homicide, violence, firearms, police, Hispanic Americans, African Americans

JEL Classification: C10, C21, C40, J15, J18

Suggested Citation

Gillum, Richard, Race, Ethnicty and Death Due to Law Enforcement in US Men (January 5, 2015). Howard Law Research Paper No. 16-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2827717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2827717

Richard Gillum (Contact Author)

Howard University ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

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