Police Violence is a Public Health Issue
Violence perpetrated by law enforcement is a critical public health issue. Prior studies show Black people experience a higher risk of police-inflicted violence, which leads directly to injury, psychological harms, and death. Beyond effects on the victims themselves, police violence affects the mental and physical health of Black families and communities.2 The data on this page shows that the vast majority of individuals killed by police since 2013 in Philadelphia have been Black, and the vast majority of these incidents have occurred in predominantly Black or Latino neighborhoods.3,4 These are the same neighborhoods that experience other health inequities, demonstrating a disproportionate burden of other health threats as well.
HOMICIDES* BY POLICE FROM 2013-2020 AND BLACK AND HISPANIC POPULATION IN PHILADELPHIA BY POLICE DISTRICT4
*Homicides by police officers includes by firearm, taser, or baton.
82% OF HOMICIDES BY POLICE OCCURRED IN CENSUS TRACTS THAT ARE 50% OR MORE BLACK OR HISPANIC
AVERAGE ANNUAL RATE OF HOMICIDES BY POLICE
Per 1 Million of Total Population (2013-2019)4
BLACK PEOPLE WERE VICTIMS OF HOMICIDE BY POLICE IN PHILADELPHIA AT 9.2X THE RATE OF WHITE PEOPLE
Harmful police practices also include non-fatal use of a firearm by police and unwarranted interactions with police such as stop-and-frisks without suspicion.1 As with fatal shootings, the map below shows most non-fatal shootings by police occur in Philadelphia’s Black and Brown communities.4 The 15th, 22nd, 24th, and 39th police districts serve the North and lower North areas of Philadelphia and have experienced the highest number of non-fatal police shootings.4
NON-FATAL SHOOTINGS BY POLICE FROM 2015-2020 AND BLACK AND HISPANIC POPULATION IN PHILADELPHIA BY POLICE DISTRICT5
81% OF NON-FATAL SHOOTINGS BY POLICE OCCURRED IN CENSUS TRACTS THAT ARE 50% OR MORE BLACK OR HISPANIC
STOP AND FRISK PRACTICES OF THE PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT6
A recent ACLU analysis examined a random sample of pedestrian stops by the Philadelphia Police Department during Q3 and Q4 of 2019. Black people are over 70% more likely to be stopped by police than white people. Black people are over 80% more likely to be frisked during a pedestrian stop than white people.
Hispanic and Latino categories are both used in this data visualization to remain consistent with the sources of this data. Hispanic and Latino are not meant to be used interchangeably.
- Addressing Law Enforcement Violence as a Public Health Issue. American Public Health Association. Retrieved from https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2019/01/29/law-enforcement-violence
- Bor, J., Venkataramani, A. S., Williams, D. R., & Tsai, A. C. (2018). Police killings and their spillover effects on the mental health of black Americans: a population-based, quasi-experimental study. The Lancet, 392(10144), 302-310.
- Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Drexel University Urban Health Collaborative. (2019). Close to Home: The Health of Philadelphia's Neighborhoods. Retrieved from https://www.phila.gov/media/20190801133844/Neighborhood-Rankings_7_31_19.pdf
- Sinyangwe, S., Mckesson, D., & Packnett, B. (2016). Mapping police violence. Ferguson Protestor Newsletter https://mappingpoliceviolence.org https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/
- Shooting Victims. City of Philadelphia Police Department. Retrieved from https://www.opendataphilly.org/dataset/shooting-victims
- Davis, E., Whyde, A., & Langton, L. (2018). Contacts between police and the public, 2015. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report, 1-33. Retrieved from https://aclupa.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/106_plaintiffs_tenth_report_on_14th_amendment_issues.pdf
Rivera Joseph S, Galpern D, Brown Weida E, Rich J, Corbin T, Carroll-Scott A. Police Violence is a Public Health Issue. Drexel University Urban Health Collaborative; February 2021.