Reducing Fatal Encounters Between Police and Communities

One reason African Americans are disproportionately the victims of police brutality and excessive use of force is the sheer number of potentially hostile interactions that occur between police and low-income African Americans, according to Ilya Somin in The Washington Post.

Somin highlights data showing that low-income African Americans have a very high number of encounters with law enforcement officials, making it more likely that one of those encounters will turn fatal.

He argues that one way to reduce the number of encounters between police and civilians is to reduce overcriminalization. For example, Eric Garner, a notable victim of excessive use of police force, died while being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes.

Reducing revenue-raising traffic stops and only passing laws that justify the (potentially lethal) use of force to ensure public safety are important steps that could be taken to reduce the number of violent encounters.

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