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Kentucky Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Everytown Respond to New Public Safety Steps in the Wake of the Officer-Involved Shooting of Breonna Taylor

May 19, 2020

The Kentucky chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to new public safety measures announced by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Metro Council in the wake of the shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was fatally shot in her home by police in March when police executed a no-knock search warrant:

“Officer-involved shootings take a disproportionate toll on Black and brown families across the country and it is good to see Louisville take this step to acknowledge and begin work on this issue,” said Rose Smith, a volunteer with Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The measures focus on transparency and accountability, two features of any meaningful plan to reduce police-involved shootings. As with any gun violence prevention strategy, implementation matters, and we expect Mayor Fischer and the Metro Council to continue doing everything they can to make sure these conversations and proposals result in lasting change.”

The measures include the following:

  • Establishing a working group to develop a process for a strong and independent civilian review of police disciplinary matters.
  • Increasing the level of scrutiny for no-knock search warrants.
  • Requiring that all sworn officers have body cameras available for serving warrants.

As both state and local prosecutors look into the Taylor case, Everytown for Gun Safety also joins with the community to call for a full and transparent criminal investigation.

Black Americans are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts. An analysis by the Washington Post found that “the rate at which Black Americans are killed by police is more than twice as high as the rate for white Americans.” In addition to their own toll, officer-involved shootings have reverberating effects through a community, decreasing public safety by damaging public trust in law enforcement and making community members less likely to believe the police will help in an emergency.

As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black and brown communities. Black Americans represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the US and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence.

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