The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after police shot and killed Marcellis Stinnette, a Black teenager, and shot and wounded Tafara Williams, a Black woman, in Waukegan. According to NBC News, the officer fired into a car as it began to move in reverse, wounding Williams, who was driving, and killing Stinnette, who was sitting in the passenger seat.
“Yet another Black teenager has been taken by police gun violence and another young Black woman has been wounded and traumatized,” said Leah Kirschner, a volunteer with the Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our thoughts are with Tafara as she recovers and with Marcellis’ family and friends as they mourn his death, and we join with them in demanding a thorough, transparent investigation into this shooting.”
Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found adoption of use-of-force reform policies—including restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles—was associated with fewer people killed by police. Other policies included in the study included exhaustion of other means prior to shooting, bans on chokeholds and strangleholds, use-of-force continuum, duty to intervene and warning before shooting.
Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who break the law are held accountable. Use of force policies like these help advance safety and promote trust in the police.
Black people in the United States are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. On average, 31 unarmed individuals are shot and killed by Illinois police every year, according to analysis of Mapping Police Violence data. More than 55% of unarmed individuals shot by police since 2013 in Illinois were black, despite African-Americans only comprising 14.6% of Illinois’ population.