This week, the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote about a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which outlined the “most distinctive” cause of death for each of the 50 states. Something that’s not a giant shock to anyone living in Las Vegas and especially those who have watched and dealt with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (and other Las Vegas area police departments) over the years, was that “run ins with police” was declared the most distinctive cause of death for those living in Nevada. (I’ll let you make that joke about the police being officially classified as a disease.)
Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.
From the LVRJ article:
Nevada’s most distinctive cause of death — though not its most frequent — isn’t a disease.
It’s encounters with law enforcement, according to a new state-by-state report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Encounters with law enforcement in this case does not include executions.
The study maps out how geography factors into the prevalence of rare killers. For 22 states, the total number of these types of deaths was under 100.
The Silver State falls into that group, with deaths by so-called legal intervention at 82, a rate 2.8 times the national average, said Francis Boscoe of the New York State Cancer Registry and the lead researcher in the study.
Researchers couldn’t identify a clear reason why death by legal intervention garnered the most distinction in Nevada as well as New Mexico and Oregon.
Since it’s actually not real clear in the original article, the criteria for “most distinctive cause of death” needs to be explained a bit. As stated in the first paragraph, the most distinctive cause of death isn’t the most frequent cause of death. What it actually represents is the cause of death for which a state ranks highest compared to the rest of the country. So, in essence, it means your state excels in a certain specific way of dying, when compared to the nation at large. In Nevada’s case, summary executions by police happen at almost three times the rate of the rest of the United States. Interestingly enough, these stats for deaths that are preceded by the arrival of a cop don’t actually include executions involving a judge and jury. I don’t doubt that brought Texas’ ranking down in a big way. (You saw what I did there.)
As far as those CDC researchers not being able to identify the reason why coming into contact with a cop is especially dangerous in Nevada, they should come with me some time and talk to some of the people living in Las Vegas, especially those in poor and/or minority neighborhoods. The heavy-handed and violent tactics of the police, along with their shoot first mentalities, utter lack of accountability, and retaliatory practices toward anyone that tries to hold them accountable all play a part in the “distinctive” level of danger interacting with Las Vegas area cops represents. In fact, in a city that not only encourages, but often glorifies unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excess drinking, it takes a lot to distinguish yourself as an accomplished killer. As people here are all too familiar though, the LVMPD has a long history of striving to be the most distinctive in that regard.
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Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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