The Fire This Time?

Does Tyre Nichols’ death prove “the reckoning” failed?


Episode Notes

Five former Memphis police officers are charged with second degree murder in the death of Tyre Nichols. Footage of them reportedly beating Nichols after a traffic stop is set to be released to the public on Friday evening. Nichols’ death came just days after English teacher Keenan Anderson was tazed repeatedly by LAPD officers, who were responding to a traffic incident. Anderson died hours later.

These deaths, and an increase in police killing civilians in 2022, are fueling concerns that the movement to combat police violence has stalled. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Phillip Atiba Goff. He’s the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity. He’s also the director of Yale’s African American Studies program, and a professor of psychology. They discuss the different factors that may have diminished the movement’s momentum and public support, and whether there’s a way forward in fighting police violence.

Guest: Phillip Atiba Goff, co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity.

Podcast production by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola


About the Show

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having … the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock to empty promises to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race—ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word … with Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists, and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race and offer ideas on the way forward.

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