All posts by Policing Equity Team

Body Cameras Do Not Increase Community Trust in Baltimore, New CPE Research Finds


NEW YORK, NY – Body-worn cameras do not increase trust between police and community according to a June study published in the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work. The study, which interviewed a sample of 68 Black residents in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, found that Black residents are unimpressed by body-worn camera initiatives; can be traumatized by the constant violent reminders that the footage often brings; and feel like they are in a “special kind of hell” when faced with the perceived inaction following even the most damning of camera footage evidence. In the wake of the recent use of force on DaShawn McGrier, the resignation of the involved officer, and frequent reports of concerns within the Baltimore Police Department, the results of this study should inform race relations, police reform and training, police policy, and the future of law enforcement technology.

“Body-worn cameras have been touted as a much-needed remedy to address police misconduct and improve accountability to hopefully bring police and community together. Our research, however, suggests that using body-worn cameras to promote these efforts may be misguided, and, worse, harmful to communities,” said  Dr. Erin M. Kerrison, lead author of the study and Vice President of Research for the Center for Policing Equity.  

Respondents were interviewed in June 2015. They were recruited from community events, grassroots rallies, and public meetings to provide a sample of participants deeply engaged in policing reform and concerned about the greater Baltimore community. Respondents were asked open-ended questions to describe their reaction to Freddie Gray’s death, the uprising that followed, and their overall interaction with Baltimore City police officers.

The breakdown of the respondents was as follows:

• 100% identified as Black or African American
• 59% were women
• 40% were employed full-time at the time of the interview
• 51% reported making less than $10,000 per year
• The median age was 48.5 years old

“We launched this study wanting to hear directly from Baltimore residents in the wake of Freddie Gray, and their concerns are loud and clear. They are tired of seeing camera footage. They often relive the initial trauma or hurt they experienced after seeing footage the first time. And, they don’t think camera footage is going to help improve policing,” said Kerrison. “Looking at our national script in response to viral police videos, this makes sense,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, President and Co-Founder of the Center for Policing Equity. “Communities are hungry for actual accountability; it’s time for solutions and leadership to reform, rebuild, and re-establish trust. Body worn cameras have a role in policing, but it is important that we don’t inflate that role, overshadowing other reforms we know can make public safety better for everyone.”


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CPE Statement on the Fourth Anniversary of the Shooting Death of Michael Brown, Jr.

Media Contact:  Lauren E. Williams, lauren@policingequity.org

(NEW YORK, NY) – Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, President and Co-Founder of the Center for Policing Equity, released the following statement in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri:

“Michael Brown Jr.‘s shooting death shook our nation. Not that we didn’t know that Black and Brown people were being shot by bad police officers and mistreated in the criminal justice system, but with every hour that his lifeless body lay in the Ferguson, Missouri sun, we felt a growing sense of dread that our disgust would turn to rage.

“While the response from political leaders eventually showed promise and funding began to flow toward reform, the progress seems to have stalled. Slowly but surely national attention has moved away from policing even as broader criminal justice reform continues. And, as we observe this fourth anniversary it is imperative that we shift that attention back to policing—and into full gear.

“The fire that was ignited four years ago for change still burns strong in communities too long ignored, and so must our focus on police reform. That means we must fund police reform, promote police reform, and make sure that police reform is never divorced from the larger efforts to align our criminal legal systems with our values—on this anniversary of tragedy and resistance, and on every other day.”

More than 300 Criminal Justice Experts, Practitioners, and Advocates Attend Two Day Convening

WASHINGTON, D.C – This month, more than 300 of the nation’s leading, reform-minded thought leaders met in Washington at the Center for Policing Equity’s 2018 Biennial Convening, Mapping the Science of Justice. With support from Google.org, the convening brought attendees together to discuss issues in their respective communities, highlight effective strategies and policies, and discover a new path forward toward justice.

The two-day event was held May 2nd – 3rd at Georgetown’s Fairmont Hotel. The convening provided opportunities for attendees to meet with those engaged in work in their area of criminal justice reform (community engagement, policing, courts, incarceration, and re-entry) as well as those operating in separate but overlapping areas, and discuss some of our country’s most pressing criminal justice issues together.

“For many it was the first time police chiefs, community activists, researchers, and policymakers sat and learned together. We wanted to make people uncomfortable—just a little,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and cofounder of CPE. “Because there is no way we are solving the generational problems in front of us from the comfort of the silos we’ve worked in for the past several decades.”

New software created by Google engineers and CPE was also unveiled last week. The software, COMPSTAT for Justice, automatically cleans, audits, and standardizes police data—including stops and use of force—for departments across the country participating in CPE’s National Justice Database. The work builds upon Google’s three-year initiative to support criminal and racial justice through its platforms, technical expertise, and a $30M grant portfolio.

“Google is honored to be able to contribute to efforts to achieve equal justice through data science and technology,” said Maab Ibrahim, a program manager at Google.org, which is Google’s philanthropy. “We believe that the COMPSTAT for Justice will strengthen relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, and we are proud our engineers could dedicate their time to this effort.”

“By collecting a representative sample of police data, CPE and our partners will be able to provide the first national snapshot of how much (and if) police departments contribute to racially disparate outcomes.,” Dr. Goff continued. “From this benchmark, it will be possible to begin crafting national benchmarks—and collective goals—for reducing racial disparities at the front end of the criminal legal systems.”

The first state to pledge its full support of the database with CPE is Connecticut. The new partnership was announced during the convening.

“This partnership will allow for a systemic and data driven approach to address the tension between law enforcement and the citizens they serve,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “It goes well beyond data collection to include analytics and customized solutions, giving police chiefs a significant tool toward being able to evaluate use of force and bias within their ranks. A robust and transparent analysis of data will continue to help our law enforcement agencies to become the more just and professional departments we always strive to be. Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies have continued to use data-informed strategies to reduce crime. That is one of the reasons our state has reduced the rate of violent crime more than any state in the nation over the last four years.”

To learn more about CPE’s Biennial Convening, COMPSTAT for Justice, or the National Justice Database, please follow #MSOJ2018 on Twitter or visit policingequity.org.

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CPE Statement on Sterling Brown Video

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 24, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren E. Williams, comms@policingequity.org

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity, released the following statement on the Sterling Brown video release:

“‘Contempt of cop’ is neither illegal nor a reason for police use of force. However, in this situation, Milwaukee officers treated it as both.

“I urge our nation’s law enforcement leaders to step up and denounce these officers’ actions. Speaking in a shared language of justice amplifies our nation’s communal values and will help move us to a system that is much more just, honest, and equitable.

“The behavior displayed in this video is concerning – and should never happen. But it is not a true representation of law enforcement across the country.

“Now, more than ever, more law enforcement officials must say so.”

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Connecticut Gov. Steps Up to Take Down Excessive Use of Force by Police

MEDIA ADVISORY
May 1, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:
Lauren E. Williams
lauren@policingequity.org

Connecticut Gov. Steps Up to Take Down Excessive Use of Force by Police
Connecticut Makes Major announcement at D.C. National Convening of Criminal Justice Experts

WASHINGTON, D.C – Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy joins the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) on Wednesday, May 2nd to announce Connecticut as the first full state in the nation to make a state-wide commitment to reducing use of force and bias in law enforcement. Governor Malloy will encourage all police departments throughout Connecticut will provide data to CPE’s National Justice Database, the largest compilation of police data in the nation.

Governor Malloy and Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and cofounder of CPE will be on hand to discuss the partnership and the first-of-its kind database.

 

WHO:

  • Governor Dannel Malloy, Connecticut
  • Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, President and Cofounder, Center for Policing Equity
  • Police Chief John Gavallas Watertown, CT

*Three police chiefs from Connecticut will be in attendance

WHEN:  

Wednesday, May 2, 2018; 12:30 pm -1:00pm

WHERE:

The Grand Ballroom, The Fairmont Hotel, 2401 M Street, NW,  Washington, DC 20037

WHY:

Criminal justice and policing reform is often implemented on a municipal scale as a city response to negative police-community interactions. Broader action, however, is needed. Connecticut will be the first state to officially recognize the need for a systemic and data-driven approach to the tension between law enforcement and the citizens they serve by participating in the National Justice Database.  Powered by Google, the NJD goes well beyond data collection to include analytics and customized solutions. The project brings police chiefs a significant step forward in being able to evaluate use of force and bias within their ranks and can help communities hold law enforcement accountable.

HOW:

Your coverage is invited, but one-on-one interviews must be scheduled in advance. Instructions on parking and logistics will be sent with a media confirmation. Please contact Lauren E. Williams or Safiya Simmons at comms@policingequity.org with any immediate questions.

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About the Center for Policing Equity

The Center for Policing Equity is the nation’s leading think and action tank on racial justice and policing. In an era of political divisiveness and social unrest, CPE believes collaboration with law enforcement and communities is imperative. CPE has worked for 10 years to hold police and their communities accountable and build trust in cities and states across the country. By providing evidence-based analytic tools and up-to-date research, CPE’s work amplifies the need for a broader bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform.

CPE Statement Regarding Alton Sterling Video Footage Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 30, 2018

Media Contact
Lauren E. Williams
lauren@policingequity.org

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and cofounder of the Center for Policing Equity, released the following statement regarding the video footage released today of Alton Sterling’s 2016 shooting death:

“Anyone who cares about the loss of innocent life suffered two blows this week. One was dealt when the Louisiana State Attorney ruled not to prosecute the officers involved in the Alton Sterling case and the other when more video showing his tragic shooting death was released.

“People are angry all over again, and even more confused. By releasing these videos after deciding no officer will face legal consequences, the Baton Rouge community, and others, are being asked to relive the trauma of watching an innocent Black man’s life taken from him in a nation that too often has no remedy for that violence. What communities and police need most is a path forward, toward a more just future where these shootings and videos are shockingly rare—not traumatically familiar.

“There is no consolation—and no justice—to offer the family of Alton Sterling and the millions of families across the country who feel his loss personally. Still, we encourage the mayor, police chief, and community of Baton Rouge to continue working together.

“While these actions will not bring back the dead or prevent the past, there are evidence-informed practices to curve the momentum of our tragic history. And at moments like this, it is towards that long arc of history we must look for hope. Because watching footage like this and mourning the death of unarmed Black men and women never gets easier, but the way that we learn from them can.”

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The Players Coalition Teams Up with The Center for Policing Equity to Engage Youth and Build Trust in the Criminal Justice System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Media Contact for The Center for Policing Equity
Lauren E. Williams
lauren@policingequity.org

Media Contact for the Players Coalition
Angela LaChica
angela@players-coalition.org

NEW YORK, NY – The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is teaming up with the Players Coalition, an independent organization comprised of professional athletes across leagues focused on improving social justice and racial equality in our country, to launch a new initiative aimed at engaging America’s youth, the Young Justice Nerds. The Young Justice Nerds awards (YJN) are a ‘first of their kind’ competition to celebrate high school and college students across the country doing the work of promoting improvements in criminal justice.

“The energy and aspirations of our nation’s youth have always been the North Star for social reform. Over the past four years they have marched, organized, volunteered, stood up, and taken a knee for the sake of a better future—a future we owe them,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, CPE President and Co-Founder. “As CPE continues to lead the nation on data-driven approaches to police reform, we could not be happier to partner with the Players Coalition to recognize this generation of committed leaders and to lift up the work they are already doing to perfect our democracy.”

Professional athletes from around the country will tape short videos aimed at increasing participation across the country. The videos will be shared on social media and sent to school districts nationwide.

NFL Super Bowl Champion and Players Coalition Co-Founder, Anquan Boldin is featured in the first released video. “There is nothing more important than making sure that our youth are protected and celebrated—especially when they are taking the initiative to shape their futures,” Boldin said. “I am so proud of what these students are doing and so excited that they are using their intelligence and passions to make their communities safer and fair.”

The goal of the YJN Competition is to lift up the passions, genius, and inspiration young people have for justice. Winners will receive prizes, a trip to Washington, D.C., and a chance to meet all the NFL players from the videos. Awards will be presented during the Science of Justice Awards Dinner – the closing event to CPE’s 2018 biennial convening – on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018.

The deadline to apply for the YJN competition is April 9th. Visit http://policingequity.org/yjn/ for more info.
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ABOUT THE PLAYERS COALITION
Players Coalition is an independent 501c3 organization, working with professional athletes across leagues on improving social justice and racial equality in our country. Our work is focused on three key areas: Police & Community Relations, Criminal Justice Reform and Education & Economic Advancement.

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR POLICING EQUITY

The Center for Policing Equity is the nation’s leading think and action tank on racial justice and policing. In an era of political divisiveness and social unrest, CPE believes collaboration with law enforcement and communities is imperative. CPE has worked for 10 years to hold police and their communities accountable and build trust in cities and states across the country. By providing evidence-based analytic tools and up-to-date research, CPE’s work amplifies the need for a broader bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform.

Center for Policing Equity Statement on the Fatal Shooting of Stephan Clark

CONTACT:
Lauren E. Williams
Lauren@policingequity.org

Center for Policing Equity Statement on the Fatal Shooting of Stephan Clark

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity, released the following statement about the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Stephan Clark:

“Yet another young Black man with a bright future lost his life on Sunday at the hands of a police officer.

“Details are still being released, but one thing is clear – the community demands and should have answers. As the good people of the Sacramento Police Department already know, relationships in the criminal justice system are built by trust in it, not fear of it.

“I send my condolences to the family of Stephan Clark and pray for healing and more dialogue. These ugly incidents did not go away just because the nation stopped paying attention to them. And they will not go away in the dark.

“As many in the nation stand up to end gun violence and sexual harassment, so too must we do the hard work of democracy in the area of policing. Leaders in policing and communities must keep the lights shining on the work we have left to do in order to ensure that public safety serves the public safely.”

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The Center for Policing Equity Partners with the Schott Foundation to Help End the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017

Contact:
Lauren E. Williams, lauren@policingequity.org
DeQuendre Neeley-Bertrand, db@schottfoundation.org

The Center for Policing Equity Partners with the Schott Foundation to Help End the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Florida

(New York, NY) – This month, the Schott Foundation for Public Education awarded the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) $795,000 to support its Policing and Discipline Equity Project (PDEP). The initiative collects and analyzes data to address school discipline practices in Florida’s Broward County Public Schools.

“Fairness in policing begins on day one. That’s what makes our work with Broward County so important,” said CPE’s President and Co-Founder Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff. “If we can help establish trust between school resource officers and our children, we decrease the likelihood of issues with law enforcement later in life. We can also use these data to call out injustice and reform school discipline policies. CPE’s goal is to promote equity throughout the lifespan. I thank the Schott Foundation for awarding us this grant, allowing us to further this urgent research.”

CPE began working on the PDEP with Broward County in 2016 in partnership with the Advancement Project. The PDEP aims to reduce racial disparities in suspensions, expulsions, and other disciplinary practices for students and to identify contributing factors to persistent discipline disparities and school arrests.

“Many advocates have taken to the media to call out the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ and its devastating effects on communities, but few have asked why the pipeline is there in the first place and why some school leaders take the actions they do,” said Dr. R. Nicole Johnson-Ahorlu, director of CPE’s Juvenile Justice and Education initiative. “CPE has stepped in to answer these questions and provide the much-needed research to help school officials nationwide make better decisions for all our children.”

The PDEP involves surveys of students, teachers, and principals. Parents participate in focus groups, and researchers analyze multiple sets of data. CPE will use the findings of the study to:

1) inform the development of an implicit bias training for educators and school resource officers;
2) support the restructuring of hiring and training practices;
3) adjust the servicing of student and employee needs in schools; and
4) modify written policies to improve school discipline and school policing practices in Florida.

CPE’s grant aligns with the Schott Foundation’s mission to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality PreK-12 public education. Schott supports multiple national campaigns that are fighting for systemic change in the disparities that poor children and children of color face in our nation’s schools.

“You can’t teach children who aren’t in school. Excessive suspensions reduce students’ instructional time and widens the opportunity gap,” said Schott’s President and CEO John H. Jackson. “We are encouraged by the leadership of CPE and other community partners in bringing discipline data to life and elevating the voices of those most affected by these policies.”

Click here to learn more about the Center for Policing Equity and the Policing and Discipline Equity Project.

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The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing some of the nation’s biggest social challenges through data and accountability. CPE works with police departments, communities, and political stakeholders to look for ways to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The Schott Foundation for Public Education aims to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality PreK-12 public education. Schott’s core belief is that well-resourced grassroots campaigns can lead to systemic change in the disparities poor children and children of color face in our nation’s schools. In helping to build these campaigns into a movement, Schott recognizes its pivotal role as both funder and advocate to ensure that all children have an opportunity to learn.

Center for Policing Equity Director of Law Enforcement Engagement Statement on President Trump’s Ending of DACA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2017

CONTACT:
Lauren E. Williams
Lauren@policingequity.org

Center for Policing Equity Director of Law Enforcement Engagement Statement on President Trump’s Ending of DACA

NEW YORK, NY – Yesterday, Chief Chris Burbank, director of law enforcement engagement of the Center for Policing Equity and former chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department, released the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“As a nation we are at our best when humanity drives our decision making. Unfortunately, rhetoric, xenophobia and fear overruled reason today in the determination to end DACA.

“In my experience, derisive and exclusionary behavior has only served to increase crime and disorder. The open participation of all individuals in a community creates trust and ultimately safety.

“Today we stepped backwards, losing the trust and cooperation of 800,000 members of our community.”

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