According to a new study conducted by Yale researchers, black men are disproportionately affected by the killings of off-duty police officers in the United States.
Nearly 40% of the victims were Black men, according to an analysis of 242 cases of people killed by police officers while off duty between 2013 and 2021. White men made up the second-most common victim demographic at 25.2%, followed by Hispanic men at 11.2%.
The study found that off-duty officers’ presence often exacerbated confrontational situations, that many incidents occurred while off-duty officers were performing side jobs as security officers, and that these officers frequently obscured information about their involvement in situations that turned deadly.
You can read about the study in the journal Health Services Research.
Researchers say the results highlight the need for more specific regulations and a deeper consideration of the roles of off-duty officers.
The study also analyzed the data by victim race and ethnicity to see if there was a correlation between off-duty police officer violence and on-duty officer violence.
The percentage of people killed by off-duty police was found to be significantly higher for Black women (12.8%) than for any other racial or ethnic group (87.2% killed by on-duty officers) when the data was broken down by gender and race. While on-duty police were responsible for 98.5 percent of murders, only 1.5 percent of white men were killed by off-duty officers.
“Police perpetrate lethal violence while off duty, compromising public health and safety. Additionally, off-duty police-perpetrated killings are reported differentially by the news media depending on the race of the victim,” the researchers concluded.