Commentary: Our brains are conditioned to blame Black people and block change — but we can change that

July 27, 2020

"When I talk to officers about a police shooting, they usually ask some version of the same question: “So, what did they do?” The second half of the question — to deserve it — is assumed.

Running the Center for Policing Equity means I work with departments that want to reduce bias and violence. Yet the assumption that victims, particularly Black victims, must have deserved their fate is deeply ingrained. Even reform-minded officers start by fitting each shooting into a story they think they’ve seen before: resistant suspect shot by threatened officer. If I begin telling a different story, about the violence of poverty or the fear of police brutality, officers search for the “real” reason — and change becomes an afterthought..."

Continue reading Phillip Atiba Goff's op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune.