The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recognizes that policing is effective in reducing crime and promoting safety when there is consistent communication, transparency, and accountability in all interactions between the police and the public they serve. However, discriminatory policing and the use of excessive force pose health and safety hazards to individuals and communities of targeted populations, particularly people of color and other minority groups.
The AAFP supports the recommendations outlined in President Barack Obama’s 2015 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The AAFP particularly agrees with the statement that law enforcement agencies should adopt and enforce policies prohibiting profiling and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, housing status, occupation, and language fluency. The AAFP supports the universal adoption of evidence-based de-escalation techniques and the use of the lowest level of force when force becomes necessary to maintain safety. (BC August 2016) (2016 COD)