Police interactions in this country can turn violent and deadly quickly. Especially for people of color. We’ve seen countless videos of Black and Brown citizens being brutalized by law enforcement all across the country. With many having to hospitalized after a run-in with the police.
Newly released data from the Center for Disease Control shows that since 2015, more than 400,000 people have been treated in emergency rooms because of violent interactions with police or security guards. While this figure may seem high, many of the country’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies don’t tally the number of people who need medical care after officers injure them. So, the number is actually higher. From the available data, it shows in the small number of police departments that do keep track of hospitalizations, when force is used, more than 50% of incidents end with a suspect or bystander getting hurt.
In San Jose, CA, police use of force sent 1,300 people to the ER from 2017-2020. These uses of excessive force have cost San Jose taxpayers more than $26 million in civil rights lawsuit payouts since 2010. In Chicago, 34% of use of force incidents end in a hospital visit. Chicago’s inspector general said that this number is an undercount, and the figure is likely higher. From 2016-2019, Chicago police used force on citizens over 18,000 times. In 78% of the time, that force was used against a Black person. Over the past decade, Chicago has spent more than $500 million on police misconduct lawsuits. And that number is still climbing.
The question we all should be asking is, how many more have to be injured or killed by police use of excessive force before something is done. There is a lot of talk about police reform and accountability, but very little action. It’s time to get serious about correcting injustice at the hands of law enforcement.
Get justice if you’ve been injured by the police.