There have been several high-profile deadly encounters between young men and law enforcement. One recent report lists police brutality as a fast-rising cause of death for certain segments of the nation's population. Though not every conflict with law enforcement includes the excessive use of force, Arizona residents who have suffered needless harm from these interactions may be unsure of their rights in seeking justice.
The report, which was the result of research conducted by a prominent university, reviewed data compiled by two separate resources; a journalist-run database that reviews fatal law enforcement encounters throughout the United States and the National Vital Statistic's mortality files. By analyzing the data gathered, the report lists deadly force by police as the sixth-highest cause of death for young men, particularly those between the ages of 25 to 29. Depending on race, the risk of death may increase.
The report concluded that, for men between the ages of 20 to 35, the chances are significantly higher for a fatal conflict with law enforcement. Increased age appears to diminish this risk. Though race may factor into the chances that a police encounter may turn deadly, the described age group includes men of every race. For the second time in as many years, life expectancy has decreased, though it was unclear whether the report points to deadly force as a significant contributing factor in this decline.
The published report, which can be found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that more access to community-run health and social service programs could help counter this trend. It also points to the possible restriction of armed officers in crisis situations that could devolve into police brutality incidents. Arizona residents who have suffered physical harm or sustained significant damages due to an abuse of power by those in law enforcement may benefit from the assistance provided by an experienced attorney who can help them pursue just compensation through the civil justice system.