Police shootings of unarmed black Americans have escalated a national debate about racial injustice and the use of force. A new study says they could also be harming the health of infants not directly involved in the incidents.
Research published Wednesday in Science Advances finds that black mothers who were exposed to police shootings of unarmed black Americans during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to infants who were born prematurely or with low birth weight. Living within 1 kilometer of such incidents tended to have a greater effect on these indicators of infant health. The effect was also more pronounced among infants born to mothers who had previously had children without exposure to such events.