Gun Violence Isn't Helped By Police Corruption And Distrust

Police in riot gear
William Anderson
February 6, 2020

There’s a new report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and it’s giving us a lot to think about. Trust between Black people and the police is severely damaged, which probably isn’t surprising to most of us ... but it’s causing harm in a way we may not think about.

Since there’s a lack of trust of police due to issues like racism, over-policing, and corruption, gun violence is worse in Black communities. And because we can’t depend on the police, we’re much more likely to take matters into our own hands, sometimes with guns. And that creates a cycle we know too well.

Black people “make up more than half of all homicide victims in America” and “more than half of homicides of [B]lack Americans don’t lead to an arrest,” according to data from the Giffords report. 

This problem is only made worse by the fact that policing has historically worked against us.

Victim-blaming that places the problem on “Black-on-Black crime” rather than acknowledging this complex problem doesn’t help. It neglects the fact that “only a small fraction - on average about 0.6 percent of a city's population - are responsible for homicides and non-fatal shootings.”

Black people shouldn’t have to worry about being killed by the police OR by violent crime. That’s the whole point. As long as police brutality exists, lack of trust for the police will too, and the cycles we want to end will only persist.

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