Five years ago, Mike Brown, an unarmed Black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a White police officer, Darren Wilson. The incident led to days of protests across the country and an uprising in Ferguson.
A discussion on race in America took center stage on national news outlets and social media. However, Wilson was acquitted of all charges and more Black people were shot and killed by police in the years that followed Brown’s untimely death.
In fact, a new study revealed that Blacks are in danger when it comes to being confronted by police. According to a study by Frank Edwards of Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice, Hedwig Lee of Washington University in St. Louis’ Department of Sociology, and Michael Esposito of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, police violence against Blacks could be considered a state of emergency.
The study, which can be viewed on the website fatalencounters.com, revealed that roughly one in 1,000 Black boys and men will be killed by police in their lifetime. For White boys and men, the rate is 39 out of 100,000.
In 2015, a year after Brown was killed, the report showed that 15 percent of the Black people police killed that year were unarmed, compared to just 6 percent of White people who were unarmed when killed by police.
The study also revealed that states with higher rates of racial segregation, incarceration, economic disparity, and unemployment also tend to have higher levels of police violence against Blacks.
Brown’s death was one of the first high-profile police shootings of the decade. It was followed by the police killings of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, and Freddy Gray, to name a few. Even with more regulations and police body cams in certain police districts, the alarming police violence against Black people continues to this day.