Hispanic children were three times more likely to be shot to death than White children, the study found.
“The results are not surprising, but that doesn’t take away from the tragedy of these results,” lead researcher Dr. Monika K. Goyal told CNN. “When we see that this extends to children, it makes this issue even more tragic.”
Goyal and her team found that 140 adolescents died from police intervention from 2003 to 2018, and of those cases, 131 involved firearms, the study states. The vast majority of the victims — roughly 93% — were male, with an average age of 16 years.
“These findings are likely an underestimate of the true toll,” Goyal told CNN. “This (rate) did not include children who were shot but didn’t die.”
“We had a sufficient enough sample size to show that there were large differences, when we compared deaths of children due to police shootings between Black and White children and White to Hispanic children — we were appropriately powered,” she added. “We would have seen those same results over a larger time period.”
During this same period, 6,512 adults were fatally shot by police, and Black and Hispanic adults had the highest mortality rates compared with White adults, according to Children’s National.
Goyal hopes the study of children’s fatal police encounters will foster tangible change, she said.
“Our country is truly reckoning with the differential use of police force in communities of color,” Goyal said. “These disparities extend to youth, and my hope is that this data is a call to action to start engaging in that hard work to truly understand the policies that exacerbate these disparities.”
Black children face worse odds in everyday lives
Goyal and her team spent more than seven months combing through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s injury statistics to isolate the firearm-related deaths. They compared the data, from death certificates, using US Census Bureau information on racial and ethnic groups.
Their work adds to a growing body of data on the racial disparities Black children face compared with their peers.
Nolan wanted to make sure every voice was being heard, his mother told CNN.