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LA Times: Cause of Death: COVID-19, Police Violence or Racism?

Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani, an internist and health policy researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has plumbed the power of despair to erode the health of specific American populations. He was part of a team that assessed changes in the mental health of Americans who lived in states where at least one unarmed black man had been killed by police. In the three months following these deaths, the team found a measurable drop in mental health among black Americans — and the more deaths there were, the greater the effect. Mental health did not suffer in cases when police killed a black person with a weapon. “It’s not like we’re giving them a choice here,” Venkataramani said of the latest spasm of protests. The neglect of African Americans’ economic, social and health problems has been “so pernicious, so ingrained and so predictable,” he added, “how could you not be out there calling attention to these issues?”

Read more in the LA Times or in Newsweek: Black Men Are at Greater Risk of Police Violence and George Floyd’s Killing Is a Symptom of Systematic Racism, Experts Say. Also, watch ABC13 Eyewitness News: Police killings can have profound effects on mental health of Black Americans, expert says.