A new CDC report recognizes police-perpetrated killing as major cause of violent death.

by Mike Ludwig, Truthout

In a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal researchers acknowledge in detail that police-perpetrated killings are a major cause of violent death in the United States, and Black and Indigenous men are disproportionally killed by police compared to all other groups tracked in the data.

Experts say the analysis is a step forward for the CDC, but crucial data on people who died while in police custody or inside local jails is likely missing from the report. Reforms meant to address police violence have stalled across the country, and reckless police shootings and reports of lethal neglect continue to make headlines three years after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis, sparking a nationwide uprising.

Members of the NYPD Crime Scene Unit instigate the scene where officers from the 34th precinct fatally shot an armed man who refused to drop his gun.

About 71,000 violent deaths were recorded across the United States in 2020, according to the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System, which collects data from death certificates, police reports, coroners and health providers. While a majority of violent deaths were recorded as suicides (58 percent) and homicides (31 percent), the CDC’s most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examines police-perpetrated killings in further detail than the agency has in the past and calls for more research on glaring racial disparities.

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