National Medical Association Statement On Police Use Of Force
Silver Spring, MD (July 18, 2016) – The National Medical Association (NMA), representing over 50,000 predominantly African American physicians nationally, are deeply concerned by the recent and past incidents of Police Use of Lethal Force in the execution of their duties. The NMA is cognitive of the tremendous contributions of law enforcement officers in preserving communities at great personal sacrifice as well as exposing themselves on a daily basis to potential danger and life threatening situations. In addition, the NMA decries the violence against police officers and calls for the end of criminal and amoral attacks on police, as exemplified by the recent shooting deaths of Baton Rogue and Dallas law enforcement officers. The NMA calls for measures that will deflect both of these forms of violence and end the cycle of violence between the police and the communities they are duty-bound to protect and serve. The NMA believes that violence, in particular the use of force by law enforcement, is a public health issue that disparately affects African Americans and communities of color as well as other vulnerable populations such as the homeless, the mentally ill, those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the poor and teenagers. In 2015 the NMA House of Delegates passed a resolution on Lethal and Sub-Lethal Injury Resulting from Law Enforcement Altercations. This resolution calls for the uniformity of training of law enforcement as well as the uniformity of tracking and reporting deaths in custody.