Public health workers declare police violence a public health issue

An important development that I nearly missed – At their recent annual meeting in San Diego, voting representatives of the more than 25,000 members of the American Public Health Association (APHA) approved a policy that identifies violence associated with “law enforcement” as a major public health concern.  (You can read about it here –

APHA members – including public health educators, medical professionals and researchers – are keenly sensitive to the physically and psychologically traumatic effects of police violence on individuals, families, and communities.  The deleterious impacts are worst, of course, for low-income, working-class communities of color, where social oppression through police power – including the ongoing plague of unjustified shooting deaths – is all too commonly a substitute for addressing systemic issues of poverty, underemployment, non-existent social services, crime, and physical infrastructure decay.

It’s a policy position that social justice-minded social workers (reminder: this is supposed to be all of us) should find easy to agree with.




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