KQED CA Report asks: "Should Police Violence Be Viewed as a Public Health Issue?"


Framed by the story of Mario Woods' grieving mother, this California Report article includes perspectives from Palo Alto pediatrician Rhea Boyd and community leaders in San Francisco and Alameda counties, on how police violence contributes to traumatization. What is the public health solution? Read more about this fascinating conversation here

"On a local level, Boyd and other health advocates penned a letter to the San Francisco Police Commission to urge the city to create a coordinated effort to address all acts of violence, including police violence.

“I think there’s a lot of city agencies that would benefit from the conversation,” Boyd said. “Given the stature of the health department and the police department, they have the power to do more and to convene meetings to make a prioritized list of how we might go about this.”

This led to the Police Commission encouraging then-Mayor Ed Lee to facilitate a wraparound effort of the Police Department, Police Commission, Department of Children, Youth and Families, Department of Public Health and other city agencies to create a better public health response to violence.

“Without a meaningful public health response that intervenes in the cycle of violence, too many of our communities will continue to experience the predictable, poor outcomes that come from sustained exposure to chronic adversity and trauma,” the letter said."

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Donielle, It is time to broaden the public health lens from focusing on interventions for individuals to systems level health policies.  From the linked article:  

“There is a disconnect between more traditional public health and the growing field of health equity,”