New Article: “US law enforcement crowd control tactics at anti-racism protests: a public health threat”

We had a correspondence piece in The Lancet citing tactics used by US law enforcement agencies as a public health threat on Friday. In brief:

-Rubber bullets and related projectiles (bean bag rounds, foam batons, sponge rounds) can maim and kill. We highlight 12 severe injuries, as reported in the media, from these projectiles in the last few days of May. We call for a ban on these projectiles.

-We note dangers of chemical irritant use (tear gas, pepper spray), which cause coughing and sneezing and mask removal and may exacerbate viral spread. We join the American Thoracic Society in calling for a moratorium on tear gas.

-Jails are coronavirus incubators. Mass arrests will worsen the COVID-19 pandemic and must be avoided.

-We call for a reallocation of some of the >$100 billion spent annually on policing on educational, social, and health programs.