Gun Violence by Police
What is the problem?
Every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people, and Black people are victims at a disproportionate rate. Curbing this gun violence requires confronting America’s history of racism, reimagining the role of police, and implementing policies that reduce police gun violence.
Gun violence is a uniquely American epidemic, as is gun violence by police. In addition to the loss of life and the family members and survivors’ pain, police shootings have a uniquely corrosive impact on the nation: patterns of police violence dramatically reduce public confidence in police and lead some community members to see them as part of the problem. The fear sown by these shootings makes neighborhoods less safe since law enforcement cannot do its part in preventing violent crime without the assistance of the community.
Any policing strategy must include these fundamental principles:
- A strong legal standard barring unnecessary police use of force
- De-escalation, reducing officer bias, and a priority for positive law enforcement-community relationships through procedural justice
- Tools for officers at risk of misconduct
- A thorough and independent system for reviewing use of force incidents, and ensuring abusive officers can be disciplined and prosecuted
- Transparency about policies, procedures, and the use of force
Alternative Dispatch Programs
Creating alternative dispatch options that connect people in crisis with mental health services is key in preventing police gun violence.
A Deadly Year in Cities — And How Policymakers Can Respond
The surge in gun homicides is an upward trend that is being felt in communities across the nation.
A More Complete Picture: The Contours of Gun Injury in the United States
Nonfatal gunshot wounds account for an enormous portion of the gun violence epidemic in America.
Gun Violence and the Police
Every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people.
Gun Violence by Police
Invisible Wounds: Gun Violence and Community Trauma among Black Americans
Persistent gun violence is harming too many Black communities in the U.S., contributing to individual, family, and community-level trauma.Report
Methodological Note: A More Complete Picture
Read the Report A More Complete Picture: The Contours of Gun Injury in the United States Report…Methodological Note