The recent shooting of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson by a police officer hit me hard because that could have been me in her shoes. This incident was one more reminder that black men and women in America live under constant state-sanctioned violence. When we are not even safe in our own homes, we need to have a real conversation about how excessive use of guns by police is gun violence.

Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, I grew up in the Austin neighbourhood with some of the highest levels of poverty in the city. When I was seven, I saw a child shot and murdered in front of my home. I knew the victim, I knew the shooter, and the experience changed my life. I

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