Statement in Response to President Trump's Policing Remarks  

July 28 2017


CONTACT: Safiya Jafari Simmons,

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."