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
Gun Violence and the Police
Every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people.
Gun Violence and COVID-19
The US has seen the collision of two major public health crises: COVID-19 and gun violence.