a look at policing and public health
All forms of violence have an impact on mental and physical health, and as protests continue for the rights and safety of Black lives, we're reminded that policing - and overpolicing - is a public health issue, particularly in communities of color.
The Harvard Public Health Review states that police crackdowns contribute to post-traumatic stress in communities of color, can deter Black men on probation or parole from using emergency rooms, and carries a higher risk of lethal force against Black people.
In our work, many survivors of color have also been harmed by law enforcement. The Women of Color Network notes that Black women often encounter institutional violence from police officers and the justice system, and are typically arrested at higher rates in domestic violence situations. In Latinx populations, survivors may distrust and avoid dealing with law enforcement officers due to immigration concerns.
Anti-racism work requires understanding of the complicated - and often dangerous - relationship between people of color and law enforcement. As organizational leaders, we must assess and evaluate our own collaborations with police to ensure that all communities are safe.