In news that is as heartbreaking as it is predictable, a study has found that over the last 16 years, Black kids were six times more likely to be fatally shot by police than white children.
CNN reports that the study found that from 2006 to 2018, 140 children were killed as a result of police intervention, and 131 of those cases involved a firearm with 93 percent of the victims being boys with an average age of 16. “The results are not surprising, but that doesn’t take away from the tragedy of these results,” lead researcher and director of Academic Affairs and Research at Children’s National, Dr. Monika K. Goyal told CNN. “When we see that this extends to children, it makes this issue even more tragic.”
There has been a renewed focus on police brutality this year for very obvious reasons. This problem is nothing new and the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice six years ago proved then that not even age can protect a Black body from police violence.
“These findings are likely an underestimate of the true toll,” Goyal told CNN. “This (rate) did not include children who were shot but didn’t die.”
This shit is just depressing. Children dying is always a sad topic but it’s worse when it’s something that’s completely preventable. I’ve seen white kids do some outlandish shit: pop off on the cops, and get a slap on the wrist—which is fine because they’re kids being dumb. It would simply be nice if our children were also allowed to be young and dumb without it potentially costing them their life.
The study also found that 6,512 were fatally shot by police during this same time frame, with Black and Hispanic adults having the highest mortality rates. “Our country is truly reckoning with the differential use of police force in communities of color,” Goyal said. “These disparities extend to youth, and my hope is that this data is a call to action to start engaging in that hard work to truly understand the policies that exacerbate these disparities.”
This study just adds to the list of racial disparities that even children have to face. The pandemic has disproportionately affected Black kids, with Black children more likely to be hospitalized and face complications from the virus. Not to mention they’re more likely to face absurd levels of discipline and potentially racist environments when they enter the classroom.
“As the country works to reform policing practices and strives to mitigate disparities in our justice system, it is essential we do not forget the disproportionate impact on children of color,” Dr. Goyal said in a statement released by Children’s National. “Our study confirms these disparities that are stark and unacceptable.”