Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff on the Deadly Shooting of Adam Toledo

April 17 2021

Today, Center for Policing Equity CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff released the following statement on the deadly shooting of Adam Toledo:

There is no acceptable reality in which a child should die by force; the unhappy reality is it occurs all too frequently in neighborhoods around this country.

During the early morning hours of March 29 in Chicago’s Little Village, a police officer fatally shot Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy. Two armed officers responded to reports of gunfire, unaware that they were responding to calls about a child. 

The officer who shot Adam Toledo did so as Adam, a seventh grader, followed commands to stop running and stood, weaponless. In no case — for anyone at any age, but especially for a child — should the response have been to shoot. 

Time and again, we observe the deadly manifestations of inappropriate responses and use of force. Armed police should not be the automatic response. As the country continues to process the trauma of seemingly endless killings and loss of life, we must all continue to also rethink our systems of public safety to ensure they are actually keeping communities safe, not causing more danger.  

Our thoughts are with Adam’s family, the Little Village community, and all those hurting in the wake of these destructive and incessant killings.


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in public safety. Using data-driven approaches to social justice, we use science to create levers for social, cultural, and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.