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I wrote a book along with my co author. His name is Jay Aronson . He is a professor of human rights at Carnegie Mellon. I’m a professor of pathology at Howard University. And I’ve been studying death in custody since my first year of medical school, young man by the name of Amadou Diallo, he was shot at 42 times by New York Police Department, he was hit 19 He had entrance wounds in the soles of his feet. And no law enforcement officer ever went to jail for his death, he was reaching for his wallet, he was unarmed. That changed the game for me, I wanted to understand why people were dying in custody, what the circumstances were in custody. And what I found was is that there’s inaccurate data in this country. The first chapter of the book is dedicated to Ida B Wells, Ida B Wells is a journalist at the turn of the century, that talked about lynchings in this country. And she was trying to bring attention to lynching. And what she decided as a journalist was that she was going to write the red record, that read records a list of a narrative of how many people are dying based upon just a review of newspapers and public available information. So this book is an ode to journalists owed to advocates that have been on the frontlines trying to understand death in custody and the disparities that we find in death in custody. But the federal government has been silent on this. So the book is called Death in Custody, How America Ignores the Truth, and What We Can Do About It. We have an associated podcast called Official Ignorance, the Death in Custody podcast. And it’s really to get us to understand that we need to be putting pressure not just on the Department of Justice, but also on the Centers for Disease Control and their Vital Statistics System to be able to capture death and custody. We believe there’s a there’s a couple of solutions right one of the solutions is to create a checkbox on the US standard death certificate that says Death in custody yes or no. And by that we can be able to capture through an objective measure individuals physicians medical examiner’s and coroner’s that certified death for a living. They would certify those deaths and we would capture them at the Centers for Disease Control.

 

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