Most research on lethal force by law enforcement officers (LEOs) has focused on firearm deaths by LEOs among certain racial groups (e.g., African Americans). Specifically, not much is known about LEOs-induced lethal injuries among Hispanics. The purpose of this study was to characterize LEOs induced fatal injuries, the methods used, among various demographic groups of Hispanics, and the years of potential life lost before the age of 80 years due to lethal force by LEOs. Data from the Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) were analyzed for the years 2011–2020. LEOs killed 1,158 Hispanics; most were males (96.2%) with the majority being shot (89.9%). Two-thirds (66.9%) of those killed were Hispanics 20–39 years of age and from the Western U.S. These Hispanic deaths resulted in 53,320 YPLLs. Males and those ages 20–39 years lost the most YPLLs. The rate of fatal encounters with LEOs for Hispanics grew by 44.4% over the decade, with the highest rate in 2020. Mitigation of unnecessary Hispanic deaths by LEOs needs to include changes in law enforcement agency policies, hiring practices for LEOs, improved data collection for LEOs use of lethal force, improved mental healthcare and training for LEOs, use of less lethal strategies for citizen control by law enforcement, deference education for all young adults, and long-term changes in social forces that have created and maintained disenfranchised communities of color.
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Price, J.H., Khubchandani, J. Lethal Force Usage by Law Enforcement Officers Against Hispanics, 2011–2020. J Community Health 48, 819–823 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-023-01222-8