Defund The Police? The Data Scientist Behind Police Reform

Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff
Photo courtesy of Center for Policing Equity / Image by Victor Lim
Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff
Photo courtesy of Center for Policing Equity / Image by Victor Lim

Defund The Police? The Data Scientist Behind Police Reform

For decades, the country has witnessed police shootings of Black people and grappled with a question: Are police racist? Are police departments racist?

Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff and his team are finding answers using cold, hard data, and using it to reform the idea of what a police department is.

Goff is a psychologist, a data scientist and the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity. As a professor at Yale University, he’s also the rare academic who loves his job — and sees it having a dramatic impact on the world.

On Art of Power, Goff tells host Aarti Shahani what defunding the police means to him, about his pioneering work in the field of implicit bias — including his regrets — and how he upended an entire police department in a city in New York. Also, he shares how an initially-offensive encounter with a Denver police officer led to a dynamic partnership.