This white paper provides an overview of the harms that flow from relying on law enforcement for civil traffic violations and crisis intervention. These two arenas account for a significant portion of police-civilian contacts and, in turn, a significant portion of civilian deaths at the hands of police. In 2021 alone, police killed at least 1,140 people. 117 of those people were killed after police stopped them for a traffic violation, and 104 were killed after police responded to reports of erratic behavior or mental health crisis. This white paper then discusses the best solution for preventing deaths like this—eliminating law enforcement responses to low-level, civil traffic violations and non-violent mental health emergencies.
Legislative Issue Area