Title

Impact of law enforcement-related deaths of unarmed black New Yorkers on emergency department rates, New York 2013–2016

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-9-2020

Journal / Book Title

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Abstract

Background Law enforcement-related deaths of unarmed black Americans may lead black communities to distrust public institutions. Our study quantifies the impact of law enforcement-related deaths of black New York residents on the use of hospital emergency departments (ED) during 2013–2016.

Methods We used regression discontinuity models stratified by race and time period (2013–2015 and 2015–2016) to estimate the impact of law enforcement-related deaths on ED rates. Dates of deaths and media reports were from the Mapping Police Violence database. We calculated the daily overall and condition-specific ED visit rates from the New York’s Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System.

Results There were 14 law enforcement-related deaths of unarmed black New York residents from 2013 to 2016. In 2013–2014, the ED rate among black New Yorkers decreased by 7.7 visits per 100 000 black New Yorkers (5% less than the average ED rate) using the date of media report as the cut-off with a 2-week exposure window. No changes in ED rates were noted for black New Yorkers in 2015–2016 or for white New Yorkers in either time period. Models using the date of death followed a similar pattern.

Conclusion The decrease in ED rates among black New Yorkers immediately following media reports of law enforcement-related deaths involving unarmed black New Yorkers during 2013–2014 may represent potentially harmful delays in healthcare. Reforms implemented during 2015–2016 might have modified the impact of these deaths. Further investigation into the population health impacts of law enforcement-related deaths is needed.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2020-214089

Published Citation

Liu SY, Lim S, Gould LH Impact of law enforcement-related deaths of unarmed black New Yorkers on emergency department rates, New York 2013–2016 J Epidemiol Community Health Published Online First: 07 October 2020. doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-214089

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