A study published by researchers Anthony Bui, Matthew Coates, and Ellicott Matthay of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found a new way to encourage police shooting accountability by calculating the average number of years lost in the lives of police shooting victims.
“Framing police violence as an important cause of deaths among young adults provides another valuable lens to motivate prevention efforts,” researchers wrote. “ [Years of Life Lost will] highlight that police violence disproportionately impacts young people, and the young people affected are disproportionately people of color.”
The researchers pulled data from the Guardian’s police shooting death database, The Counted, and found that in the 1,146 police killings in 2015 and the 1,092 in 2016, 51.5% were people of color. Different studies indicate that Black males between 15 and 34 years of age are 9 to 16 times more likely to be killed by police than any other race. Based on the ages and life expectancies of the victims, an average of 57,375 years of life was lost in 2015 and 54,754 in 2016.
In the wake of the death of Stephon Clark, the unarmed 22-year-old black man killed in his own backyard by Sacramento PD over a month ago, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg introduced an initiative to reintroduce community police procedure to rebuild the relationship between the community and police officers.
But some people feel as though the relationship between the community and law enforcement is too strained to repair.
Black Lives Matter Sacramento leader, Tanya Faison, feels that the community needs to focus more on self-empowerment and is organizing a cop-watching group with volunteers to help citizens with their inactions with police, believing that these practices will lessen the number of black and brown deaths by police officers.
Whatever way the city decides to handle police shootings, both the city council and advocacy groups seem to agree that police shootings in Sacramento police shooting deaths have gotten out of control.