By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare
Research from a University of of Texas Institute in Austin, Texas discovered that nearly 7,000 people died while in law enforcement custody. The research showed an average of 623 deaths a year over a ten year period, with an increase in deaths in 2015 with 683 deaths of people while in custody. Over 90% of the people who died had not been charged with a crime. Reportedly 70℅ of the deaths were determined to be caused by natural causes, 11℅ were determined to be by suicide and 8% in what law enforcement call justifiable homicides.
The research project director Amanda Woog, a postdoctoral fellow at the institute, told The Texas Tribune researchers hope to find more information on each specific death.
“We can’t have an informed conversation about who’s dying at the hands of police or who’s dying in jails if we don’t literally know who’s dying and how they’re dying,” Woog said. “I think this information can help us get to the bottom causes of mortality in the criminal justice system and with that lead us to solutions.”
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