Almost half of the people who die at the hands of police have some kind of disability, according to a new report, as officers are often drawn into emergencies where urgent care may be more appropriate than lethal force, NBC News reported.
The report, sponsored by a disability organization, proposes that while police interactions with minorities draw increasing scrutiny, disability and health considerations are still neglected in media coverage and law enforcement policy.
"Police have become the default responders to mental health calls," write the authors, historian David Perry and disability expert Lawrence Carter-Long.
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The report wades directly into the racial debates over policing, noting that while coverage of police brutality cases has understandably "focused on race," that lens can also obscure how disability also factors into police interactions.