A risk assessment response to #ShutDownSTEM

Using an aviation risk model to analyze the effects of racism

In a June 4, 2020 opinion piece in the Washington Post, which addressed several issues related to the death of Geoge Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis, MN police less than two weeks earlier, Dr. Michelle A. Williams, and epidemiologist and dean of the faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Jeffrey Sánchez, a former Massachusetts state representative and lecturer at Harvard Chan, noted that some commentators held that underlying health conditions may have contributed to the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.

Swiss cheese model of accident causation
  • Unwanted outcome — Death at the hands of law enforcement
  • Hazard — Use of a police procedure that may result in the death of someone in police control or custody
  • Likelihood — The probability that a particular person is exposed to the hazard
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Air pollution
  • Race-based discrimination
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Law enforcement encounters
  • Housing security
  • Fair job opportunities
  • Income
  • Inherited wealth
  • Quality schools
  • Healthy food choices
  • Access to green spaces
  1. What characteristics are associated with being exposed to one or more of the hazard conditions?
  2. What characteristics are associated with benefiting from one or more of the protective mechanisms?



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Todd Curtis (airsafe)

Todd Curtis (airsafe)

Former USAF and Boeing engineer and creator of aviation safety and security site AirSafe.com.