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Washington Moms Demand Action, Oregon Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Police Shooting of Kevin Peterson Jr. in Hazel Dell

October 30, 2020

The Washington and Oregon chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements after police shot and killed Kevin Peterson Jr., a Black man, Thursday evening in Hazel Dell, WA. The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. Thursday along NE Hwy 99, about 20 miles outside of Portland, OR.

“Our hearts go out to Kevin Peterson Jr.’s family and friends, who are in mourning today,” said Chris Fink, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Police shootings are part of our gun violence crisis, and we must do more to prevent them.” 

“Kevin Peterson Jr. should be alive today,” said Marci Garnes, a volunteer with the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action. “There needs to be a thorough, transparent investigation into what happened, and from our local communities up to Congress, we need policies that hold police accountable and prevent these shootings in the first place.” 

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—including restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles—was associated with fewer people killed by police. Other policies included in the study included exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, duty to intervene and warning before shooting. 

Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who break the law are held accountable. Use of force policies like these help advance safety.   

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.

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