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September 7, 2021

The Harmful Effects of Policing—From the Neighborhood to the Hospital

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Advanced General Pediatrics and Primary Care, Department of Pediatrics, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Outreach, Research, and Evaluation Center, Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, Sacramento
  • 5Division of Health Policy & Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis
  • 6Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis
JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 7, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2936

From historical slave patrols and the enforcement of Black Codes and Jim Crow laws to the more recent War on Drugs and “stop and frisk,” police violence is one of the oldest forms of structural racism in the US.1 Policing tactics have relied heavily on the use of force to subjugate Black and Hispanic and Latinx communities and uphold white supremacy by enforcing race, class, and other visible and invisible boundaries.1To maintain these boundaries, police officers are trained to use strategies that include violence and harm, forcing their subjects to acquiesce. While not a new phenomenon, police violence among racial and ethnic minority groups has been catapulted to a subject of considerable attention within the national public discourse, capturing the interest of individuals, communities, and policy makers across the US over the past year. Following the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, there has been a sustained public outcry against police training and tactics, brutality, and the allocation of police funding in cities across the US.

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