AMA statment: Police brutality must stop

AMA policy recognizes that physical or verbal violence between law enforcement officers and the public, particularly among Black and Brown communities where these incidents are more prevalent and pervasive, is a critical determinant of health and supports research into the public health consequences of these violent interactions.

Recognizing that many who serve in law enforcement are committed to justice, the violence inflicted by police in news headlines today must be understood in relation to larger social and economic arrangements that put individuals and populations in harm’s way leading to premature illness and death. Police violence is a striking reflection of our American legacy of racism—a system that assigns value and structures opportunity while unfairly advantaging some and disadvantaging others based on their skin color and “saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources,” as described by leading health equity expert Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD. Importantly, racism is detrimental to health in all its forms.

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