Killings by police brought reforms. Fear of crime is unraveling them.

March 10 2024

Center for Policing Equity Co-founder and CEO Dr. Phillip Atiba Solomon was interviewed by MSN about the rise in legislation aimed at rolling back reforms that were initiated over the past four years. Proponents of this type of legislation cite an uptick in crime as the reason for the need to repeal laws like the community-supported Tyre Nichols Driving Equality Act, which does not allow police officers to stop drivers for minor traffic infractions like a broken brake light. The following is an excerpt from the article:

Phillip Atiba Solomon, chair of African American Studies and professor of psychology at Yale University and a co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity, said the national discourse around crime is plagued by the general belief that the most effective reaction to crime is to increase the ability of law enforcement to fight it.

A better approach, Solomon said, addresses poverty as a root cause of criminal activity.

“We’ve had a failure to launch a more humane approach to communities that are going to produce more violence because they’ve been burdened with the violence of poverty for generations,” Solomon said. “Instead, we end up with some regulations on policing and none of the much more expensive investments in community.”

In the aftermath of unjustified police killings, the first measures often address the law enforcement tactics that led to the deaths. Those changes are vulnerable when communities raise concerns over crime, Solomon said.

Read the article on MSN’s website.