Christen Smith On How Trauma From Police Violence Is Killing Black Women In America

Christen Smith: When we think of police lethality, we typically consider the immediate body count: The people that die from bullets and baton blows. The death toll gives the impression that black...
Phots: Chritsten Stewart/Erica Garner (Late)

“The fallout of police violence is killing black women like Erica Garner.” That’s the name of a recent article in The Conversation by Christen Smith. She’s an associate professor of African and African diaspora studies and anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Christen Smith writes, quote, “When we think of police lethality, we typically consider the immediate body count: The people that die from bullets and baton blows. The death toll gives the impression that black men are the disproportionate victims of police killings. But these numbers do not reveal the slow death that black women experience. The long-range trauma police brutality causes can be as deadly as a bullet. The pain of loss kills with heart attacks, strokes, depression and even anemia,” end-quote.

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