WASHINGTON — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, applauded the executive actions signed earlier by President Joe Biden on the two-year mark of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis Police. The actions will direct all federal agencies to revise their use-of-force policies, create a national registry of officers fired for misconduct, use grants to encourage state and local police to tighten restrictions on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and more.
“In America, no one is above the law, and that includes those tasked with enforcing it,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “With these executive actions, President Biden is bolstering efforts to ensure police accountability and transparency, both of which will go a long way toward improving public safety.”
“As we grieve for those taken in the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings, we know that there’s an urgent need to end gun violence in every single form, including police violence,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Too many people of color, especially Black Americans, are being killed, wounded, and traumatized by gun violence and police violence in our country. We will not accept this as normal and will continue to fight for the long overdue changes to the systems that prevent police accountability.”
“Two years ago today, George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer,” said Molly Leutz, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While we have stood together and fought hard for progress over the past two years, the reality is that our work will not end until we end police violence and gun violence that disproportionately kills Black people and people of color. Today we grieve for those taken in the Uvalde shooting, honor the memory of George Floyd, and remain committed to fighting for a better world for all of us.”
Tackling structural racism requires a multi-pronged approach, and a recalibration of the fabric of our country, but this is an important step forward. Last year, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which, if signed into law, would take critical steps to address police brutality — including by raising the standard for use of force and making it easier to hold bad actors in law enforcement accountable.
Gun violence is a uniquely American epidemic, and gun violence by police is, too. Firearms are the cause of death in 95% of all police killings, and every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people. The combination of systemic racism, white supremacy, America’s gun culture, and the militarization of police is toxic—and Black people in America in particular are paying with their lives. According to Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans account for only 13 percent of the population but are 3 times more likely to be killed by police than white people.