Overpolicing in the form of invasive police encounters like stop-and-frisk affects the health of residents in American neighborhood according to sociologists Abigail Sewell and Kevin A. Jefferson. This infographic illustrates the key findings in their research.
(Image credit: Melissa Brown)
In a recent Journal of Urban Health article, they use data from two datasets based on the health and policing experiences of New Yorkers. They argue that numerous public health risks are associated with overpolicing including:
- Poor/fair health
- High blood pressure
- Asthma episodes
In their analysis of the health and policing in New York, the researchers sought to answer the following questions:
- What are the health effects of the concentration of police stops within certain neighborhoods?
- Is there a relationship between reports of poor health and invasive Terry stops?
- If health effects of invasive police encounters in neighborhoods exist, do they vary by race and ethnicity?
The researchers found that neighborhoods with high frisk rates increased the odds of having health issue related to all the risks mentioned above. They also found that police stops generally worsen the health of Blacks and Latinos, but does not have as significant effect for Whites and Asians. In light of these results, the researchers argue that police actions potentially affect communities by exposing residents to invasive practices that generate illness. You can download a pdf of the graphic here.
~ Melissa Brown is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Maryland and social media manager for the Critical Race Initiative.