Statement About the Police-Involved Episode in McKinney, Texas

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Today, Center for Policing Equity President and Co-founder Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff released the following statement about the police-involved episode in McKinney, Texas:

"In the wake of the recent police-involved episode in McKinney, Texas, the nation is not reacting simply to another incident of what appears to be excessive and disproportionate use of force on an African American child. We're also responding to the deeply painful historical legacy of segregation in public facilities. The caustic history of excluding black children from this American rite of passage - the summer pool party - is an oft-neglected part of what many of our parents and grandparents grew up enduring. It is why so many have enrolled their children in swim classes, not as a sign of social elitism but as a sign of racial progress. And it is why the images of McKinney are exceptionally painful to so many segments of black America as we seek to improve police fairness and accountability.

We cannot lose sight of the need to reclaim those historical injuries and heal from them collectively as a nation. This is why we've seen so many upset by the collateral damage that happens to our young people like Kalief Browder, and why the strides we're making in accountability - that we hope will continue beyond Officer Michael Slager in South Carolina - are not sufficient to heal the injuries we're all still navigating. These are the painful and complex realities of our society. And these realities are why the Center for Policing Equity is taking so seriously the racial reconciliation component of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice that we lead with Yale University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Department of Justice. We are steadfast in our commitment to striving, together, to make incidents like these part of our history, and far less a part of our present."