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Environmental Injustice and Police Violence Overlap Across the U.S.

Being a person of color in the United States means being physically vulnerable to both environmental hazards and police violence, two professors argue.
August 8, 2016, 7am PDT | Elana Eden
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UC Davis professors are exploring the connections between police killings of black Americans and toxic environmental conditions. In a forthcoming article, they argue that "place and environment matters when discussing police violence," reports Brentin Mock in CityLab.

Environmental hazards are overly concentrated in communities of color, where police violence has also been persistently protested.

The authors propose understanding U.S. racism as "an embodied experience of structural, environmental insecurity." Professor Lindsey Dillon adds:

"Toxic exposure is also a form of slow violence and slow death… For many people, the lived experience of police violence and toxic exposure—these different forms of physical vulnerability both live together. We have to think of them together instead of thinking of them separately."

Mock offers context in anticipation of the article, touching on the police killings of Freddie Gray in Baltimore (where he, like Korryn Gaines, struggled with lead poisoning) and Eric Garner in New York (who suffered from asthma, a condition whose distribution is racialized across New York and the U.S.), among others.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, July 21, 2016 in CityLab
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