(CNN) – Although the true extent of the impact of police brutality is difficult to quantify, a new report indicates that more than 2,600 Latinos have died at the hands of the police or while in custody in recent years.
The report, released Thursday by UnidosUS in partnership with a group of researchers, academics, activists and family members of Latinos who died at the hands of the police, indicates that there is a far lower count of deaths of people of color. And he says much more needs to be done to generate an accurate database that collects information on ethnicity.
As part of its initial effort and aware of the limitations of its method, the newly formed group, the Raza Database Project, analyzed eight national databases that track deaths at the hands of the police. To do this, they combine news published in the media and public records.
Review the categories
The researchers examined in detail the entries identified under the categories of “white” “other” and “unknown” and compared the names with the data sets of surnames from the 2010 census. have been misidentified.
Between 2014 and May 9 of this year, there were 15,085 people who died in police custody or in clashes with agents, according to the report.
After the group did the analysis, the number of Latinos rose about 24% from 2,139 to 2,653, the report says.
The number of deaths of Asian / Pacific Islander Americans and Native Americans also increased significantly.
However, these findings should not be considered as definitive, as the method applied may lead to an overcount or an undercount, according to the report.
The limitations of government reporting on deaths at the hands of the police
Roberto Rodriguez, project director, said the group’s estimates are not exhaustive but offer a more precise look, especially given the gaps in data collection at the government level.
The group noted that the numbers may not yet count all Latinos and other people of color because they may not have Hispanic-origin last names.
In recent years, various activists and the media have taken it upon themselves to collect data on police violence because there is no federal information database.
However, they found that law enforcement agencies tend to group people into broader racial categories rather than ethnicity.
“There is no standardization of how people are labeled and there is no centralization,” said Rodriguez, who is also an author and former associate professor at the University of Arizona. “All these groups are doing the government’s job,” he added.
Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS, said the group’s findings are a “troubling” indication that over-policing in communities of color may be more widespread than previously thought.
“The figures that we already knew are unacceptable, these new figures are inconceivable,” Murguía said in a statement. “These data demand immediate consideration by those in Congress who are working on much-needed police reform legislation to ensure that their solutions truly reflect the scope of the problem.”
Rodriguez said the group plans to expand on the findings that were released Thursday. And they will also launch more initiatives to delve into the issue of Latinos killed by the police or in the custody of law enforcement.
The cases of Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez in Chicago
The publication of the report coincides with an increase in the last months of requests in the Hispanic community for the police to be held accountable, after the deaths of minors and adults in encounters with the police.
In Chicago, 13-year-old Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez, 22, were killed by police after two foot chases in March.
The two deadly shootings sparked outrage and led to protests in Chicago, in which community members demanded changes in the practices and policies of the Chicago Police Department. The events prompted Mayor Lori Lightfoot to announce last month that the city’s police department has to implement a policy on foot chases by the summer.
Latino deaths in California
Meanwhile, in California the family of Mario Gonzalez Arenales placeholder image seeks justice for the 26-year-old who died on April 19. Gonzalez died in police custody in Alameda, California, after being immobilized for about five minutes in a park. The officers were responding to various calls the police had received about a man who appeared to be drunk and a possible robbery.
On the other hand, the family of Sean Monterrosa will host a series of events next week to honor his life and raise awareness on the issue of police brutality among black and people of color. Monterrosa, 22, was shot dead last year by an agent in Vallejo, California, just a week after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced that the state will review Monterrosa’s case.