June 16, 2020—As we struggle to process our thoughts and emotions after viewing yet another video involving a deadly police encounter, we try to understand why this happened again. Without regard to perspectives, our skin color, or whether we are wearing a uniform or not, we must agree that none of us want to see another tragic and painful loss of life and acknowledge that our communities and our country can’t afford another.
We must come together and work together for change. While there are many changes that can and should be made, such a list requires more than a statement such as this can afford, however important the statement is. Instead, we urge all involved to consider what we view as essential for effective and sustainable change:
- Let us come together and move quickly – there can be no higher priority today than stopping these tragedies
- Let us embrace science (and innovation) – we must ensure that the changes we make are sustainable and effective
- Let us not overlook the issue of race as we address reform – organizational, policy, training and other changes are important, but overlooking or failing to understand and address the different impacts experienced by black Americans and other communities of color (certainly including racism in all forms) would be a mistake and one of the most significant losses of opportunity within our lifetime.
We cannot restore the lives lost, but it is our duty and obligation to ensure that nothing is left undone or unexamined in our pursuit to end these senseless tragedies.