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.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2017
Safiya Jafari Simmons
Center for Policing Equity Releases Statement on the Resignation of Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau
NEW YORK, NY — Today, the Center for Policing Equity released the following statement on the resignation of Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau:
“Having partnered with the Minneapolis Police Department for several years, we are hopeful that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ request for the resignation of Police Chief Janee Harteau is accompanied by a deepening commitment to the reforms already begun in the department.
“This course correction should include an acceleration of some of the changes that were already in place: improvement in data collection; training on implicit bias; and analytics that target solutions for racial disparities in policing.
“We hope this development does not become a setback for the values of equality, justice, and science-based reform that Minneapolis has moved to embrace.”
Why the reaction is different this time –
David Love, a Philadelphia journalist who’s written about race issues for CNN and others, has a theory why.
We haven’t reckoned with our history so it shouldn’t surprise us to see a different reaction – Phillip Atiba Goff Read more
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
Chris Burbank, a former police chief and director of law enforcement engagement at the Center for Policing Equity, told Rewire he fears the [Back the Blue Act] would do the exact opposite of what proponents claim: protect police, deter crime, and build police-community relations… Read more here.
There is historical precedent for immigration policies’ affecting reporting among undocumented immigrants. Salt Lake City encountered similar issues when the state legislature debated a bill that would require local law enforcement to detain unauthorized immigrants, recalled Chris Burbank, the [director or law enforcement engagement at the Center for Policing Equity and] police chief at the time. “What we found was, not surprisingly, undocumented individuals would be less likely to report crimes,” he said in an interview. “We had children go missing … but their parents wouldn’t call the police. We heard about them from neighbors.” Read more here.
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.
CPE Cofounder and President Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff joins MSNBC’s AM Joy Host Joy Reid. View the interview here.
This is a guest post by Phil Goff, the inaugural Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the co-founder and president of the Center for Policing Equity, and an expert in contemporary forms of racial bias and discrimination, as well as the intersections of race and gender. Read More
Feeling community pressure to take action in the wake of a glaring traffic stop study, the Grand Rapids City Commission has identified three immediate actions to improve community-police relations. Read more here.