Police Brutality is a Public Health Issue

Before I dive in, I want to say I am disgusted, heartbroken and livid with what I have been seeing. Rest in Power George Floyd. 🙏🏽 Police brutality is a public health issue, and the American Public Health Association has acknowledged it as such.

But then why aren’t there more studies that have examined police violence? Why is it that this issue has been an issue for over 400 years, but we only documented our first study in 2004? Without data, we cannot present useful changes to the system that need to be made. We need to do better.

There is a obvious disparity in police brutality, which brings in RACISM as a public health issue. Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by the police than white people. They are also 1.3x more likely to be unarmed compared to white people. In 2019, black people were 24% of those killed by police brutality despite being 13% of the population. Year after year, we see in the news and social media of innocent black people being murdered by the police and we demand justice, but the cycle continues to be perpetuated.

The truth is police brutality has been an ongoing issue, since the founding of this country. And it has been consistent since then. The only difference now is that we have the technology to document the injustice, the technology to make videos go viral and create the necessary noise for change. But those are only the ones that get recorded, what about the thousands, hundred thousands lives that were lost but were not documented. Unjust causes of death continue to occur every day and WE, yes YOU and I, need to do better. Need to fight HARDER. Black people cannot be the only ones continuously and tirelessly asking to be seen as HUMAN BEINGS. WE ALL need to advocate, fight, SCREAM at the top of our lungs for the justice that our fellow human beings DESERVE. Enough is enough. This is not just “their” problem this is OUR problem.

There needs to be systematic changes. Police officers that murder black individuals must be charged for murder. Policies need to be changed to remove force policies. Officers must be trained in implicit biases while they are in the academy. Corrupt officers must be removed.

There needs to be a system-wide change to stop names from being added to the list of black individuals who have been murdered by law enforcement. 

I know, this is a lot, but it has to be a lot. It takes a village to create changes, in this case, we need a whole NATION. Huge advocacy efforts to create nationwide changes. What do you think? What advocacy efforts can we make? How to create changes to ensure our brothers and sisters do not continue to die at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us?

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