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50. Policing as a Public Health Issue with Dr. Frank Edwards

Episode Summary

On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Even after no pulse could be detected, the officer continued kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than two additional minutes. This tragic death joined a long list of black Americans who have been disproportionately killed by police, including those that have made the news like Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who haven’t. Helping us to understand the health impact policing has on people of color and their communities is Dr. Frank Edwards, a Sociologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Criminology at Rutgers University. 

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Key Takeaways To Tune In For

  • [01:05] Dr. Edward’s background and how he got interested in this work 
  • [03:30] Criminal justice data is notoriously bad in the US 
  • [04:15] What does the research show about how African Americans  are treated in the United States 
  • [07:15] Two fundamental causes of different policing among different races 
  • [12:30] Does income from writing tickets create an incentive against more vulnerable communities
  • [15:30] Does more police encounters lead to more violent encounters and does it show the same across races
  • [18:30] People who live in a society where there is police violence, enter a state of stress when being pulled over by the police
  • [26:00] The relationship between childhood and policing across race 
  • [27:35] Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men, and black women are 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than white women 
  • [29:00] Possible solutions to police violence
  • [32:55] Are communities that have health experts respond to mental health calls more successful
  • [37:00] The prison system being used for inexpensive labor
  • [42:30] Dr. Edward’s parting words

Resources talked about in this episode

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