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Washington Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on Fatal Police Shooting of Jenoah Donald in Hazel Dell

February 8, 2021

The Washington 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 the police shooting of Jenoah Donald, a 30-year-old Black man, who was shot in Hazel Dell, Washington on Saturday during a traffic stop. According to police reports, Donald is currently on life support in Vancouver.  Donald’s shooting occurred less than a mile from where Kevin Peterson Jr., a 21 year-old Black man, was shot at 34 times and killed in October. 

“Jenoah Donald should not be fighting for his life right now,” said Cause Haun, a volunteer leader with Washington Moms Demand Action. “As we hope for his recovery, we will do everything we can to fight for justice and support his family and community during this time.” 

“As details continue to unfold, one unacceptable thing is clear: another Black man was shot by police in Washington,” said Julia Cappio, a volunteer leader with Washington Students Demand Action. “While we are angry that this shooting happened, we are glad to see that this is being investigated by an independent team and urge a speedy and transparent process.”

It is essential that law enforcement agencies adopt meaningful use of force policies, which encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable.  

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 Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Between 2013-2020, 253 people were killed by police in Washington — and Black people were more than four times as likely to be killed by police as white people during that time.

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