The D.C. chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement today after police shot and killed Deon Kay, an 18-year-old Black man in Southeast D.C. Initial reports indicate that Kay was running away when police fired.
“Our community is shaken – again – by yet another young, Black man, taken from us by police violence,” said Jennifer Massey, a volunteer with the D.C. chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our hearts are with Deon Kay’s family and friends, and we join with them in calling for a thorough, transparent investigation.”
Emergency legislation passed by the D.C. Council in June requires the Metropolitan Police Department to make body camera footage of fatal shootings by police and names of officers involved available to the public within five days.
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 that the adoption of use-of-force reform policies — exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, a 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. In D.C., Black people are killed by police at more than 11 times the rate of white people.