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The Florida chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements today in response to at least one Brevard County deputy shooting and killing Sincere Pierce, 18, and A.J. Crooms, 16.
“Our hearts are with Sincere and A.J.’s families, and we join with them in demanding a thorough, transparent investigation,” said Makiko Felice, a volunteer with Florida Moms Demand Action. “We’ll fight for deep, meaningful reforms in our institutions, so we can root out white supremacy and racism, and save lives.”
According to an ACLU report released recently, Florida is one of seven states with “substantially more fatal [police] shootings in the first six months of 2020 compared to past years.”
Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable. Use of force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police.
Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found adoption of use-of-force reform policies—exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, de-escalation, duty to intervene, restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles, and warning before shooting—was associated with fewer people killed by police.
Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans.
Did you know?
The U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
Grinshteyn, E. and Hemenway, D. “Violent Death Rates in the US Compared to Those of the Other High-income Countries, 2015.” Preventive Medicine. (2019). https://bit.ly/3kyfsSs