Those figures do not include NYC or Detroit, who either refused to provide the information or did not provide the information until after publication of this investigation.
So the gist is, The New York Times just published their investigation of their national research on how many times a medical examiner put "sick-cell disease" as the cause of death, or contributing cause of death, of people of color in custody for the past 25 years.
The reason they did so was because George Floyd's defense team lamely tried to use sickle-cell disease as a cause of death during his trial.
The results found - excluding NYC and Detroit (for the above-cited reasons) - 47 of those deaths listed "sickle-cell crisis" as the actual cause of death, or contributing cause of death - and 15 of those deaths have occurred since 2015.
For those unaware, sickle-cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that only affects people of African, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Spanish/Portuguese colonial descent. In America, this translates almost exclusively to people of color.
It is a genetic condition in which a mutation of hemoglobin, hemoglobin S, causes red blood cells to become sickle-shaped rather than the usual circular discs, the consequences of which are making it more difficult to transfer oxygen to the body.
Why people of this heritage?
The theory is that sickle-cell developed an evolutionary adaptation developed by people in warmer climates that foster malaria - because sickle-cell is natural protection against malaria.
Now, what you need to know is that the full-blown sickle-cell disease is estimated to be between in 1 in 300 to 500 African Americans.
Though the statistics in Hispanic-Americans varies greatly, at its least, is 1 in 1,000, though the CDC estimates 1 in 16,000.
Back to SCD, you also need to know that by all reputable statistics, 1 in 13 (they all match on this statistic) can carry the SCD gene trait without having any expression - meaning you can pass the trait to your children without having any expression of the disease yourself; but if your partner also carries the gene, you increase the likelihood of full-blown expression of sickle-cell anemia in your child.
Lastly, you may have heard of the gene therapy, "Bluebird," which claims to be able to actually cure sickle-cell disease through gene editing - but considering it's $1.4 million dollars for treatment, not only are American insurance companies excluding the treatment, but paying out of pocket for the treatment is out of the question, especially for a population that is socioeconomically poorer in America and underserved in healthcare.
(In fact, the only reason we know it works is trial recipients received free treatment.)
Now - what does this investigation prove?
Well, nothing, yet - and 47 people in 25 years does not prove an epidemic problem.
HOWEVER - remember that official NYC and Detroit results were not included or not fully included - and those 2 cities are two of the largest in America, and contain large populations of people of color, the results of which could influence those figures greatly.If nothing else, it does pose some interesting questions that need further investigation - for starters, like why the increase in citing SCD as cause of death since 2015?
Now - is it possible that all 47 deaths, over 25 years, were directly caused from sickle-cell crisis alone?
Yes - it is possible that over 25 years, 47 people died in police custody by sickle-cell crisis, in a population of people in which 1:300 carry the full-blown disorder, by lowest estimated count (the CDC).
HOWEVER - the statistical likelihood decreases, when you factor into the equation actually going into sickle-cell crisis is usually caused by a trigger, either injury or illness ... like ... perhaps a fractured skull? (See the full report).
Is it possible that sickle-cell crisis came into play after severe injury?
Yes - and as I stated above, the more likely scenario, considering sickle-cell crisis often requires a trigger such as injury or illness - read the report through the link that details the other severe injuries.
Is it possible that at least some of these deaths had nothing to do with sickle-cell disease at all and sickle-cell was yet another racist way to cover for policy brutality?
Yes, that's also a strong possibility, but not definitively proven by this press investigation.
Or not - because there's no racism in America, dammit! ;)
Essentially, we can draw no conclusions yet from this press investigation - but it does pose some interesting questions for further investigation and analysis.
So thanks for the heads up, George Floyd Defense Team!
Because of your lame defense trying to use sickle-cell disease as cause of death for George Floyd, we now know to look for that on medical examinations - especially since 2015! LOL :)
Otherwise, Mark and I will be going on a short hike today, as not only are we receiving our first big rain break on a weekend (though it's still cloudy) in weeks, but today is the first day I'm feeling up to it, after having a UTI that resisted two antibiotics and moved into a kidney infection - but the good news is, the third antibiotic appears to be doing the trick :)
I dunno, I hadn't had any since I was 20 years old, but I've had four this past year (thank you, menopause). The first three took the antibiotics and cleared, no problem, but this one was a bugger :/
Regardless, hopefully we're not too late for spring-flowers pictures, and if not, we'll post them later, after our return!