The Utah chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law House Bill 5007, legislation to ensure accountability for police violence by prohibiting training on chokeholds as well as banning any knee-on-neck restraints:
“Enacting this bill into law is a victory for justice and police accountability in Utah,” said Mary Ann Thompson, a volunteer leader with Utah Moms Demand Action.“Police violence creates fear and community distrust of law enforcement, making it harder to prevent or solve crime and leading to even more violence. When there’s abuse of power, there must be accountability, and we’re hopeful that this new law will make future acts of police violence less likely.”
Every year, police in the United States shoot and kill more than 1,000 people, averaging three deaths and six injuries a day. Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from The Guardian shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. According to Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans are killed by police at three times the rate of their white counterparts and from 2013 to 2019, police in Utah killed 82 people.
As a whole, gun violence takes a disproportionate toll on Black and brown communities. Black Americans represent the majority of homicide and nonfatal shooting victims in the U.S. and are far more likely than white Americans to be victimized by and exposed to assaultive gun violence.
Statistics about gun violence in Utah are available here, and information on how Utah’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.