Compounding Trauma: the Intersections of Racism, Law Enforcement, and Injury

This article was originally published here

Curr Trauma Rep. 2022 May 12:1-8. doi: 10.1007/s40719-022-00231-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Traumatic injury sits at the nexus of law enforcement and structural racism. This narrative review aims to explore the major impacts of law enforcement on health, its intersections with US structural racism, and their joint impacts on traumatic injury and injury care.

RECENT FINDINGS: Many of the same forces of systemic disadvantage that put Black people, other people of color, and other marginalized groups at risk for violent injury also expose these same individuals and communities to intensive policing. Recent evidence speaks to the broad impact of police exposure and police violence on individual and community physical and mental health. Moreover, injured patients who are exposed to law enforcement during their care are at risk for erosion of trust in and relationships with their healthcare providers. To optimize the role of law enforcement agencies in injury prevention, collaboration across sectors and with communities is essential.

SUMMARY: A broad approach to the prevention of injury and violence must incorporate an understanding of the intersecting impacts of law enforcement and structural racism on health and traumatic injury. Clinicians who seek to provide trauma-informed injury care should incorporate an understanding of the role of law enforcement in individual and community health.

PMID:35578594 | PMC:PMC9096065 | DOI:10.1007/s40719-022-00231-7