Segregation, Policing, and Public Health: Exploring the role of hypersegregation on racial disparities in policing and public health

Authors: Kevin Credit*, University of Chicago, Christian Villanueva, University of Chicago, Qinyun Lin, University of Chicago, Marynia Kolak, University of Chicago
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Urban Geography
Keywords: policing, segregation, social determinants of health, spatial analysis
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Recently, racial disparities in policing have come to the forefront of the public consciousness in the US (and across the world). Unfortunately, local law enforcement agencies do not consistently provide public data on police killings, or, on the other hand, aspects of policing that do not always result in charged crimes, such as traffic stops. In order to fill this gap, several organizations have begun to collect and publish their own open source data on police killings and traffic stops, namely “Mapping Police Violence” and the Stanford Open Policing Project. These datasets include key racial/ethnic characteristics of the victims, as well as detailed information on the spatial location of the event.

At the same time, an emerging body of research has begun to assess the role of structural racism and “hypersegregation” (i.e., an observable spatial expression of structural racism) on police brutality and associated social determinants of health more widely. Thus the purpose of this paper is to supplement this literature by exploring the spatial characteristics of these new open datasets and investigating the extent to which racial disparities in policing – and other health outcomes – differ in hypersegregated areas compared to similar (control) areas that are not identified as hypersegregated. This cross-sectional analysis will be augmented by a longitudinal analysis that includes time-varying information on segregation, police action, and other health outcomes in order to begin to draw inferences on the impact of the structural factors that engender hypersegregation on racial disparities in policing.

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