What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• Alyasah Ali Sewell and Rashawn Ray, at Brookings, expose the devastating health effects on Black communities that stem directly and collaterally from police violence.
• What will it take to generate real change in our criminal justice system? How can we illuminate the spiraling health effects of police violence in marginalized communities? What can donors advocate for justice?
The traumatic life event of losing her father spurred Erica Garner into activism focused on reform policing. Her activism fell step and line with an expansive array of organizations dedicated to the defense and liberation of the lives of Black people. As a form of racial trauma, interactions with the police elicit fear, anxiety, and hypervigilance, especially among socially marginalized populations.
Erica’s death highlights the collateral consequences of carceral grief – or, mourning associated with the death of a loved one at the hands of the criminal legal system. Black and Brown people are more likely than Whites to grieve during their lifetimes. They are also over 3 times more likely to be killed by police use of force.
Police contact increases symptoms of trauma and anxiety and worsens self-assessed health. Being harassed by the police within the past year is also linked to psychological distress. Even vicarious police contact (interactions that occur to others) worsens health, especially when such contact is perceived to be a result of injustice.
In 2019, an Erica Garner was created every 8 hours as each of the lives of 1,098 people were taken by police. To curb police violence, policy solutions have ranged from abolishing police, defunding police departments, divesting financially from policing and mass incarceration, and restructuring civilian payouts for police misconduct. As police reforms materialize in some places, it is clear that solutions are not only needed to avoid the next Eric Garner and George Floyd, but also to avoid the next Erica Garner, whose body is transformed by police violence even if it is not actually put in a chokehold, kneed in the back of the neck, or hit by a bullet.
Read the full article about the butterfly effect of police violence by Alyasah Ali Sewell and Rashawn Ray at Brookings.