The National Medical Association Calls for Comprehensive Reform in Response to Police Use of Excessive Force
On October 12, 2018 Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, was killed by a Fort Worth Police officer during a routine welfare check. The National Medical Association extends its deepest condolences to the Fort Worth community and the family and friends of Ms. Jefferson. The killing of Ms. Jefferson is another reminder of the lingering effects of institutional racism in many communities throughout these United States. The conduct of this individual police officer and police department is reprehensible and requires a full criminal and administrative investigation. The National Medical Association (NMA) is calling for a national response that includes (but is not limited to):
Comprehensive reforms mandating national uniform implicit bias and anti-racism training for all law enforcement agencies.
Immediate development of a federal office responsible for the review of all fatal police use of force cases occurring in local jurisdictions.
Uniform reporting of all deaths by law enforcement utilizing the U.S. Standard Death Certificate.
The National Medical Association (NMA) is the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. The NMA has long asserted that police use of excessive force is a public health issue and has published both a position statement on police use of excess force and a position paper on urban violence in minority communities. The NMA is committed to addressing issues of social determinants, structural violence, and systemic racism; all of which fosters an environment that leads to the disproportionate policing of communities of color.