The American Journal of Public Health released a study titled “Aggressive Policing and the Mental Health of Young Urban Men” on Thursday that suggests that young men who have been subjected to the highly controversial stop and frisk tactics in New York City are more likely to experience “feelings of stress, anxiety and trauma” than those who have had fewer or no encounters of this nature at all—especially if they are black.
A statement released by author of the study and NYU professor Amanda Geller read, “Our findings suggest that proactive policing tactics have the potential to negatively impact the relationship between the community and police, as well as the mental health and well-being of community members.”
According to The Huffington Post, the study also found a higher occurrence of “post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among black respondents who’d had encounters with the police,” that didn’t necessarily involve arrests. These findings basically sum up the perspective of those who’ve advocated against the stop and frisk campaign since its inception, the #myNYPD hashtag on Twitter being one of the clearest examples.
While Geller did note that the anxiety could be related to poverty, among other factors, she did conclude that there is a link between aggressive police tactics and increased levels of tension that certainly warrants a closer examination of how law enforcement deals with communities.