Hexbyte Glen Cove Black Americans are most likely to experience fatal police violence thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Black Americans are most likely to experience fatal police violence

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

More than 55% of deaths from police violence in the USA from 1980-2018 were misclassified or unreported in official vital statistics reports according to a new study in The Lancet. The highest rate of deaths from police violence occurred for Black Americans, who were estimated to be 3.5 times more likely to experience fatal police violence than white Americans.

Researchers estimate that the US National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), the government system that collates all in the USA, failed to accurately classify and report more than 17,000 deaths as being caused by during the 40-year study period.

“Recent high-profile police killings of Black people have drawn worldwide attention to this urgent public health crisis, but the magnitude of this problem can’t be fully understood without . Inaccurately reporting or misclassifying these deaths further obscures the larger issue of systemic racism that is embedded in many US institutions, including law enforcement. Currently, the same government responsible for this violence is also responsible for reporting on it. Open-sourced data is a more reliable and comprehensive resource to help inform policies that can prevent police violence and save lives,” says co-lead author Fablina Sharara of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington School of Medicine, USA.

To examine the extent of under-reporting, researchers compared NVSS data to three non-governmental, open-source databases on police violence: Fatal Encounters, Mapping Police Violence, and The Counted. These databases collate information from news reports and public record requests. When compared, the researchers’ new estimates highlight the extent to which deaths from police violence are under-reported in the NVSS and the disproportionate effect of police violence on Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people in the USA.

Across all races and states in the USA, researchers estimate that NVSS data failed to report 17,100 deaths from police violence out of 30,800 total deaths from 1980-2018 (the most recent years of available NVSS data), accounting for 55.5% of all deaths from police violence during this period. Using a predictive model, researchers also estimated the total number of deaths from police violence in the USA, for all races/ethnicities and all states for 2019, estimating an additional 1,190 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths from police violence from 1980-2019 to 32,000.  

Black Americans experienced fatal police violence at a rate 3.5 times higher than white Americans, according to this analysis, with nearly 60% of these deaths misclassified in the NVSS (5,670 unreported deaths from police violence out of 9,540 estimated deaths). From the 1980s to the 2010s, rates of police violence increased by 38% for all races (with 0.25 deaths from police violence per 100,000 person-years in the 1980s as compared to 0.34 deaths from police violence per 100,000 person-years in the 2010s).

Compared to the deaths recorded in the new analysis, NVSS also missed 56% (8,540 deaths out of 15,200) of deaths of non-Hispanic white people, 33% (281 deaths out of 861) of non-Hispanic people of other races, and 50% (2,580 deaths out of 5,170) of Hispanic people of any race.

Deaths due to police violence were significantly higher for men of any race or ethnicity than women, with 30,600 deaths in men and 1,420 deaths in women from 1980 to 2019.

Previous studies covering shorter time periods have found similar rates of racial disparities, as well as significant under-reporting of police killings in official statistics. This new study is one of the longest study periods to date to address this topic.

The authors call for increased use of open-source data-collection initiatives to allow researchers and policymakers to document and highlight disparities in police violence by race, ethnicity, and gender, allowing for targeted, meaningful changes to policing and public safety that will prevent loss of life.

Additionally, the researchers point out that because many medical examiners or coroners are embedded within police departments, there can be substantial conflicts of interest that could disincentivize certifiers from indicating police violence as a cause of . Managing these conflicts of interest in addition to improved training and clearer instructions for physicians and medical examiners on how to document police violence in text fields on death certificates could improve reporting and reduce omissions and implicit biases that cause misclassifications.

“Our recommendation to utilize open-source data collection is only a first step. As a community we need to do more. Efforts to prevent police violence and address systemic racism in the USA, including body cameras that record interactions of police with civilians along with de-escalation training and implicit bias training for police officers, for example, have largely been ineffective. As our data show, fatal police violence rates and the large racial disparities in police killings have either remained the same or increased over the years. Policymakers should look to other countries, such Norway and the UK, where police forces have been de-militarized and use evidence-based strategies to find effective solutions that prioritize public safety and community-based interventions to reduce fatal police violence,” says co-lead author Eve Wool of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington School of Medicine, USA.

The authors acknowledge some limitations in the study. This paper does not calculate or address non-fatal injuries attributed to police violence, which is critical to understanding the full burden of police violence in the USA and should be examined in future studies. The data also do not include police officers killed by civilians, police violence in USA territories, or residents who may have been harmed by military police in the USA or abroad. Because the researchers relied on death certificates, which only allow for a binary designation of sex, they were unable to identify non-cisgender people, potentially masking the disproportionately high rates of violence against trans people, particularly Black trans people.  The authors note that the intersectionality of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other identities and the relationship to fatal police violence should be studied in the future.

A Lancet Editorial adds, “The study is a potential turning point for improving national estimates of fatalities from police violence by incorporating non-governmental open-source data to correct NVSS data…Better data is one aspect of a public health approach; introducing harm-reduction policies is another. Policing in the USA follows models of hostile, racialised interactions between civilians and armed agents of the state. Marginalised groups are more likely to be criminalized through the war on drugs or homelessness. Reducing hostile or violent interactions between police and civilians, particularly those who are most vulnerable overall, is a forceful case for investment in other areas of community-based health and support systems, including housing, food access, substance use treatment, and emergency medical services. Strategies to lower fatalities from must include demilitarisation of , but with the broader call to demilitarize society by, for example, restricting access to firearms…Police forces too must take greater responsibility for police-involved injuries and deaths. Such changes are long overdue.”

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern

Hexbyte Glen Cove

An artist’s impression of an accretion disk rotating around an unseen supermassive black hole. The accretion process produces random fluctuations in luminosity from the disk over time, a pattern found to be related to the mass of the black hole in a new study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers. Credit: Mark A. Garlick/Simons Foundation

The feeding patterns of black holes offer insight into their size, researchers report. A new study revealed that the flickering in the brightness observed in actively feeding supermassive black holes is related to their mass.

Supermassive are millions to billions of times more massive than the sun and usually reside at the center of massive galaxies. When dormant and not feeding on the gas and stars surrounding them, SMBHs emit very little light; the only way astronomers can detect them is through their gravitational influences on stars and gas in their vicinity. However, in the , when SMBHs were rapidly growing, they were actively feeding—or accreting—materials at intensive rates and emitting an enormous amount of radiation—sometimes outshining the entire galaxy in which they reside, the researchers said.

The new study, led by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign astronomy graduate student Colin Burke and professor Yue Shen, uncovered a definitive relationship between the mass of actively feeding SMBHs and the characteristic timescale in the light-flickering pattern. The findings are published in the journal Science.

The observed light from an accreting SMBH is not constant. Due to that are not yet understood, it displays a ubiquitous flickering over timescales ranging from hours to decades. “There have been many studies that explored possible relations of the observed flickering and the mass of the SMBH, but the results have been inconclusive and sometimes controversial,” Burke said.

The team compiled a large data set of actively feeding SMBHs to study the variability pattern of flickering. They identified a characteristic timescale, over which the pattern changes, that tightly correlates with the mass of the SMBH. The researchers then compared the results with accreting white dwarfs, the remnants of stars like our sun, and found that the same timescale-mass relation holds, even though are millions to billions times less massive than SMBHs.

Explainer diagram – When Black Holes Line Up. Credit: Lucy Reading-Ikkanda / Simons Foundation

The light flickers are random fluctuations in a black hole’s feeding process, the researchers said. Astronomers can quantify this flickering pattern by measuring the power of the variability as a function of timescales. For accreting SMBHs, the variability pattern changes from short timescales to long timescales. This transition of variability pattern happens at a characteristic timescale that is longer for more .

The team compared black hole feeding to our eating or drinking activity by equating this transition to a human belch. Babies frequently burp while drinking milk, while adults can hold in the burp for a more extended amount of time. Black holes kind of do the same thing while feeding, they said.

“These results suggest that the processes driving the flickering during accretion are universal, whether the central object is a supermassive black hole or a much more lightweight white dwarf,” Shen said.

“The firm establishment of a connection between the observed light flicker and fundamental properties of the accretor will certainly help us better understand accretion processes,” said Yan-Fei Jiang, a researcher at the Flatiron Institute and study co-author.

Astrophysical black holes come in a broad spectrum of mass and size. In between the population of stellar-mass black holes, which weigh less than several tens of times the mass of the sun, and SMBHs, there is a population of black holes called intermediate-mass black holes that weigh between about 100 and 100,000 times the mass of the sun.

Researchers have discovered a definitive relationship between the mass of Supermassive Black Holes (SMBHs) and their light flickering patterns. This relationship encodes critical information about accretion processes and could be used to help locate elusive mid-sized black holes. Credit: Mark A. Garlick / Simons Foundation

IMBHs are expected to form in large numbers through the history of the universe, and they may provide the seeds necessary to grow into SMBHs later. However, observationally this population of IMBHs is surprisingly elusive. There is only one indisputably confirmed IMBH that weighs about 150 times the mass of the sun. But that IMBH was serendipitously discovered by the gravitational wave radiation from the coalescence of two less-massive black holes.

“Now that there is a correlation between the flickering pattern and the of the central accreting object, we can use it to predict what the flickering signal from an IMBH might look like,” Burke said.

Astronomers worldwide are waiting for the official kickoff of an era of massive surveys that monitor the dynamic and variable sky. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time will survey the sky over a decade and collect light flickering data for billions of objects, starting in late 2023.

“Mining the LSST data set to search for flickering patterns that are consistent with accreting IMBHs has the potential to discover and fully understand this long-sought mysterious population of black holes,” said co-author Xin Liu, an astronomy professor at the U. of I.

This study is a collaboration with astronomy and physics professor Charles Gammie and astronomy postdoctoral researcher Qian Yang, the Illinois Center for Advanced Study of the Universe, and researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the University of St. Andrews, U.K.; the Flatiron Institute; the University of Southampton, U.K.; the United States Naval Academy; and the University of Durham, U.K.

Burke, Shen and Liu also are affiliated with the Center for Astrophysical Surveys at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois.

More information:
A characteristic optical variability timescale in astrophysical accretion disks, Science (2021). science.sciencemag.org/lookup/ … 1126/science.abg9933

Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern (2021, August 12)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Black hole 'family portrait' is most detailed to date thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Black hole ‘family portrait’ is most detailed to date

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A collection of masses for a wide range of compact objects. The graphic shows black holes (blue), neutron stars (orange) and compact objects of uncertain nature (gray) detected through gravitational waves. Each compact binary merger corresponds to three compact objects: the two coalescing objects and the final merger remnant. Credit: Aaron M. Geller, Northwestern University and Frank Elavsky, LIGO-Virgo

An international research collaboration including Northwestern University astronomers has produced the most detailed family portrait of black holes to date, offering new clues as to how black holes form. An intense analysis of the most recent gravitational-wave data available led to the rich portrait as well as multiple tests of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. (The theory passed each test.)

The team of scientists who make up the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and the Virgo Collaboration is now sharing the full details of its discoveries. This includes new gravitational-wave detection candidates which held up to scrutiny—a whopping total of 39, representing a variety of and —and new discoveries as a result of combining all the observations. The 39 events averaged more than one per week of observing.

The observations could be a key piece in solving the many mysteries of exactly how interact. A better understanding of how binary stars evolve has consequences across astronomy, from exoplanets to galaxy formation.

Details are reported in a trio of related papers which will be available in pre-print on Oct. 28 at arxiv.org. The studies also are being submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

The gravitational-wave signals on which the studies are based were detected during the first half of the third observing run, called O3a, of the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometry Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), a pair of identical, 4-kilometer-long interferometers in the United States, and Virgo, a 3-kilometer-long detector in Italy. The instruments can detect gravitational-wave signals from many sources, including colliding black holes and colliding neutron stars.

“Gravitational-wave astronomy is revolutionary—revealing to us the hidden lives of black holes and neutron stars,” said Christopher Berry, an LSC member and author of the papers. “In just five years we have gone from not knowing that binary black holes exist to having a catalog of over 40. The third observing run has yielded more discoveries than ever before. Combining them with earlier discoveries paints a beautiful picture of the universe’s rich variety of binaries.”

This illustration shows the merger of two black holes and the gravitational waves that ripple outward as the black holes spiral toward each other. Credit: LIGO/T. Pyle

Berry is the CIERA Board of Visitors Research Professor in Northwestern’s CIERA (Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics) and a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. Other Northwestern authors include CIERA members Maya Fishbach and Chase Kimball. CIERA is home to a broad group of researchers in theory, simulation and observation who study black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs and more.

As a member of the collaboration, Northwestern researchers analyzed data from the gravitational-wave detectors to infer the properties of detected black hole and neutron star binaries and to provide an astrophysical interpretation of these discoveries.

The papers are summarized as follows:

  • The “catalog paper” details the detections of black holes and neutron stars from the first half of O3a, bringing the total number of detection candidates for that period to 39. This number vastly exceeds detections from the first two observing runs. (The first run had three gravitational-wave detections, and the second had eight.) Previously announced detections from O3a include a mystery object in the mass gap (GW190814) and the first-of-its-kind intermediate mass black hole (GW190521).
  • In the “populations paper,” the researchers reconstructed the distribution of masses and spins of the black hole population and estimated the merger rate for binary neutron stars. The results will help scientists understand the detailed astrophysical processes which shape how these systems form. This improved understanding of the mass distribution of black holes and knowing that black hole spins can be misaligned suggests there could be multiple ways for binary black holes to form.
  • Using the set of detections reported in the catalog paper, the researchers conducted detailed analysis by combining everything together. In what they call the “testing general relativity paper,” the authors placed constraints on Einstein’s . The theory passed with flying colors, and they updated their best measurements on potential modifications.

“So far, LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run has yielded many surprises,” said Fishbach, a NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow and LSC member. “After the second observing run, I thought we’d seen the whole spectrum of binary black holes, but the landscape of black holes is much richer and more varied than I imagined. I’m excited to see what future observations will teach us.”

Fishbach coordinated writing of the populations paper which outlines what the collaboration has learned about the properties of the family of merging black holes and neutron stars.

This illustration generated by a computer model shows multiple black holes found within the heart of a dense globular star cluster. Credit: Aaron M. Geller, Northwestern University/CIERA

Berry helped coordinate analysis as part of a global team to infer the properties of the detections, and he served as an LSC Editorial Board reviewer for the catalog and testing general relativity papers.

Graduate student Chase Kimball, an LSC member, contributed calculations of the rates of mergers to the populations paper. Kimball is co-advised by Berry and Vicky Kalogera, the principal investigator of Northwestern’s LSC group, director of CIERA and the Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

The LIGO and Virgo detectors finished their latest observing run this past March. The data analyzed in these three papers were collected from April 1, 2019, to Oct. 1, 2019. Researchers are in the process of analyzing data from the second half of the observing run, O3b.

The detectors are scheduled to resume observing next year after work is done to increase their detection range.

“Merging black hole and neutron star binaries are a unique laboratory,” Berry said. “We can use them to study both gravity—so far Einstein’s general relativity has passed every test —and the astrophysics of how massive live their lives. LIGO and Virgo have transformed our ability to observe these binaries, and, as our detectors improve, the rate of discovery is only going to accelerate.”

More information:
The “populations” paper is titled “Population properties of compact objects from the second LIGO-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog.”

The “catalog” paper is titled “GWTC-2: Compact Binary Coalescences Observed by LIGO and Virgo During the First Half of the Third Observing Run.”

The “testing general relativity” paper is titled “Tests of General Relativity with Binary Black Holes from the second LIGO-Virgo.”

Black hole ‘family portrait’ is most detailed to date (2020, October 29)
retrieved 29 October 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-black-hole-family-portrait-date.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.