Prince William Police Use Force More Often on Black Community Members

Manassas, Virginia—Prince William County Police Chief Peter Newsham announced that that police in Prince William County disproportionately use force against Black members of the community, according to new data. Forty-Nine% of the people arrested with force in the county were Black, but Black people only make up 22% of the population. 

“We all deserve to feel safe in our communities and be able to walk down the street without fear of violence. But for Black people in Virginia, that’s not possible because of police violence,” said LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director at Progress Virginia. “It’s unconscionable for police to use more force on Black people than on others. While the police chief says he wants to get to the root of the problem, we know that the problem is racism. If police want to be trusted to do their jobs, they must be held accountable for their actions. One way we can do that is by banning qualified immunity and ensuring that victims of police violence get their day in court.” 

Prince William police chief: Use of force has ‘disproportionate impact’ on Black residents [The Washington Post, Justin Wm. Moyer]

“Prince William County Police Chief Peter Newsham said Monday that Black residents are disproportionately affected by police use of force.”

“The report said, about 49 percent of those arrested with force were Black, while 24 percent were White and 23 percent were Hispanic. Prince William County is 22 percent Black, according to census data, and about 41 percent of those arrested in total were Black.”

“‘We don’t want to have a disproportionate impact on any race in our community,’ [Newsham] said. ‘Emotionally, I think it erodes at the trust we have with our African American community.’”