The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement on Senate passage of SB 26, legislation which would impose arbitrary restrictions on police misconduct investigations, undermining transparency and police accountability, and includes measures to frustrate legitimate exercises of free speech and assembly. SB 26 passed along a party line vote, with every Democrat voting against it, and now heads to the House for consideration in the second chamber.
“Missourians have been demanding more accountability from our police, not less,” said Leslie Washington, volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action and a member of the Everytown Survivor Network. “This bill undermines good faith efforts to make long overdue changes to our systems to reduce police violence and create transparency. Police violence disproportionately hurts Black people in Missouri — our lawmakers should be fighting for policies that combat this injustice and creates safer communities for all Missourians.”
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, employing a use-of-force continuum, encouraging de-escalation, establishing a 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 nearly three times 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.