FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2017
Safiya Jafari Simmons
Center for Policing Equity Co-Founder Issues Statement in Response to
President Trump’s Policing Remarks
NEW YORK, NY — Today, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s remarks delivered today in New York:
“Today’s statement by President Trump encourages communities to be less trusting of police by supporting police injustice. By suggesting that police punish ‘bad guys’ before they have even been tried in court, the President’s address implied a disrespect for the rule of law. The police chiefs and officers I’ve spoken to are disgusted, by the President’s statements — and the applause.
“Unchecked police force is not tough. It is not ‘manly’ and it does not reduce crime. What it does accomplish is to make crime victims less likely to call 911 for help because they fear how police will treat them. And when someone fears calling the police, it is not just a threat to their own safety, it is a threat to the safety of those they might otherwise have tried to help. If I am attacked on the street, I surely hope those who see it will feel safe calling the police to protect me. Today’s statements by the President are dangerous because they make that less likely.“Punitive force by any member of law enforcement is potentially a precursor to violence against the next officer encountering that individual. Excessive force dehumanizes all involved, both police and public.
‘The bottom line is this: We are all less safe when any of us does not trust the police. Police know this. We work hard with dedicated women and men in blue who commit their lives to earning the trust of neighborhoods long skeptical of police power. And with so many communities and law enforcement agencies trying so hard to improve trust and stem the tide of negative officer-involved incidents, the last thing anyone needs is their efforts being undermined by the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.”
On Sunday morning, two Seattle police officers shot and killed Charleena Lyles in her apartment. She was pregnant, and three of her four children were home. She called the police to report a burglary. Read more
Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Drug Charges Memo: “…Here’s why this matters in terms of Sessions’ order today: In an environment where you are likely to suffer brutal consequences for charging someone too lightly—and there’s really no way to suffer negative political consequences for charging someone too tough—having a federal environment that says you should be going harder rather than softer on crime might further incentivize folks to be afraid to charge too light. And that’s exactly the wrong signal to be making.” Read more here.