SEATTLE — The Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s volunteer network, today released the following statement after reports that a 27-year-old man was shot and wounded on Sunday evening during a demonstration taking place on Capitol Hill following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Reports indicate that the gunman drove his car into a crowd of protesters, hit a barricade, and shot the 27-year-old while still in the car. The shooting is yet another example of the disproportionate impact that gun violence has on Black people and communities of color in America.
“As Americans, we should be able to demonstrate for what we believe in without the fear of getting shot,” said Shannon Mayo, a volunteer leader with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our thoughts are with the victim and his family as they endure a painful recovery. It’s unacceptable that systemic racism continues to contribute to the shootings of Black and brown Americans across this country. We must stand together to engage in active anti-racism work and demand that our Washington leaders work to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black and brown communities. Black Americans represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence. In Washington, Black people are six times as likely as white people to die by gun homicide.
Sunday’s shooting comes during a time when, across Washington and the United States, people are protesting the disproportionate impact of gun violence and police use of force on Black people in America. According to data from Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans are nearly three times more likely than their white peers to be shot and killed by police, and data from The Guardian shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. From 2013 to 2019, 25 Black Americans were killed by police in Washington. On average, 95 percent of police killings involve a gun.
Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings. By encouraging de-escalation, utilizing early intervention systems, and ensuring 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.
More information about gun violence in Washington is available here.