Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Do Native American lives matter?

CDC, National Center for Health Statistics

From Stephanie Woodard, In These Times:

...Patchy government data collection makes it hard to know the complete tally[of Native Americans killed by police]. The Washington Post and the Guardian (U.K.) have both developed databases to fill in the gaps, but even these sometimes misidentify or omit Native victims.

To get a clearer picture, Mike Males, senior researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, looked at data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected from medical examiners in 47 states between 1999 and 2011. 

When compared to their percentage of the U.S. population, Natives were more likely to be killed by police than any other group, including African Americans. By age, Natives 20-24, 25-34 and 35–44 were three of the five groups most likely to be killed by police. (The other two groups were African Americans 20-24 and 25-34.) Males’ analysis of CDC data from 1999 to 2014 shows that Native Americans are 3.1 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans.

Yet these killings of Native people go almost entirely unreported by mainstream U.S. media.

In a paper presented in April at a Western Social Science Association meeting, Claremont Graduate University researchers Roger Chin, Jean Schroedel and Lily Rowen reviewed articles about deaths-by-cop published between May 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, in the top 10 U.S. newspapers by circulation: the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Denver Post, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.

Of the 29 Native Americans killed by police during that time, only one received sustained coverage—Paul Castaway, a Rosebud Sioux man shot dead in Denver while threatening suicide. The Denver Post ran six articles, totaling 2,577 words. The killing of Suquamish tribal member Daniel Covarrubias, shot when he reached for his cell phone, received a total of 515 words in the Washington Post and the New York Times (which misidentified him as Latino). 

The other 27 deaths received no coverage...


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