AACAP Responds to Police Shooting of Mr. Jacob Blake, Kenosha, Wisconsin
August 26, 2020
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), along with the rest of the world, are once again witnesses to an unconscionable shooting of a Black man by police.
The shooting of Mr. Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, appears to represent a failure to adhere to the credo of “protect and serve” while another Black family is destroyed and the lives of children unnecessarily endangered and forever traumatized due to actions of individuals sworn to protect them.
While most police officers serve with honor and professionalism, the actions of a few officers betray this trust and once again, traumatized a family and a nation still grieving a growing list of Black lives unjustly lost at the hands of law enforcement personnel.
This tragedy, like so many others that have taken the lives of Black men and women, should have never happened. Effective screening and training of police officers with mandated anti-racist and implicit bias training and other actions are urgently needed.
Racism and trauma significantly impact children's physical and emotional health and development. AACAP stands by our mission to promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. As a result, we cannot stand by silently while events like that in Kenosha traumatize Black children and families, while adversely affecting the moral fiber of our community.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the Blake family, offer support for the children, and reiterate our resolute support for the principle that Black Lives Matter.