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Lawmakers Take Steps to End Violence by Police and its Disproportionate Impact on Black People in Delaware

This week, lawmakers in Delaware moved HB350, legislation to ban chokeholds, through committee — marking a positive step towards addressing violence by police. Additionally, Governor Carney released an executive order also banning chokeholds, in addition to increasing community outreach units, participating in the National Use of Force Data Collection and Police Officer Decertification Database efforts, and mandating that law enforcement officers participate in annual implicit bias, crisis intervention and de-escalation trainings.  The Delaware Legislative Black Caucus and Attorney General Kathy Jennings have each put out a suite of policy proposals that would move Delaware further in the right direction.

According to Mapping Police Violence, 18 people were shot and killed by police in Delaware between 2013 and 2019, more than a third of them Black people. Reporting by The Guardian has shown that most people killed by police are killed with guns. According to the Washington Post, Black Americans are shot and killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.

In Delaware, Black people are 13 times as likely as white people to die by gun homicide. As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black communities. Black people also represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white people to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence.

According to the News Journal’s database, “A Year of Gun Violence,” 185 people have been wounded in shootings, and 48 have been killed by gunfire in Delaware in 2020. Seventy percent of gun violence occurred in Wilmington and Dover, the state’s largest cities.

If you have any questions on gun violence in Delaware or would like to speak to a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, don’t hesitate to reach out.