The Louisiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement today in response to reports that Lafayette police opened fire, fatally shooting Trayford Pellerin at a gas station on Friday night. According to the Daily Advertiser, this is at least “the third time an on-duty Lafayette Police Department officer has shot a person in five weeks, and the fourth in 2020.”
“We’re extremely troubled by yet another report of police violence in our community,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer leader with Louisiana Moms Demand Action. “We demand a thorough and transparent investigation, and we hope the Police Training, Screening, and De-escalation Task Force will address reforms that can reduce police violence.”
A growing collection of research largely demonstrates that body-worn cameras are effective in strengthening community perceptions of the police and reducing use-of-force incidents and complaints–especially if there is clear policy stating when cameras must be turned on.
Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure 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.
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.
Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans.