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Everytown, Tennessee Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Police Shooting Outside Nashville

January 28, 2022

The Tennessee chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after Tennessee police shot and killed Landon Eastep, a man walking on a highway outside of Nashville. Reports indicate that at least nine local and state law enforcement officers shot at the 37-year-old man as he stood in the middle of the freeway allegedly holding a boxcutter.

“Landon Eastep should be alive today. I can’t begin to imagine the pain his loved ones are going through right now, and our hearts are with them,” said Carol Frazier, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We join with the community in demanding a swift and transparent investigation, and meaningful police reform in our state.”

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. Last year, the Tennessee legislature passed an initial police reform bill which required deescalation training, established a duty to intervene when a fellow officer uses excessive force, and required law enforcement agencies to adopt a use of force reporting system. Agencies must implement these reforms immediately, and the legislature should take further action on police violence this session.

In an average year, 1,273 people die by guns in Tennessee, including 117 children and teens, and another 2,220 people are wounded. More on gun violence in Tennessee is available through EveryStat here

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