The Making of a Statement

When Philadelphia police shot and killed Water Wallace, Jr.—a 27-year-old Black man—it was the latest in a string of police killings that has forced a national reckoning with racism in law enforcement, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
 
In response this year, dozens of localities have declared racism a public health crisis.

Early work on that perspective can be traced back to 2016, when a group of grad students drafted a policy document explicitly naming systemic racism as a foundation of toxic policing that plagues communities of color, the Los Angeles Timesreports.
 
And then in 2018, the policy statement was voted in by the American Public Health Association. It was a long road paved with technical critiques and hesitation. But overwhelming evidence, perseverance, and a shifting zeitgeist ultimately won out.
 
 “Quite frankly, it was clear that its time had come,” said APHA chief Georges Benjamin.

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