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Essay On Police Biases

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It’s crucial that police officers gather all the facts before making any rash decisions. Whether it’s a routine traffic stop or a full blow investigation the facts is what should determine the decision an officer makes. Often times implicit biases or stereotypes influence judgments through processes of misattribution and disambiguation. This can cause their decisions to lean more toward believing one side over another.

As difficult as their job may be, and as big a toll as it may take on them emotionally, it is important to bear in mind that police officers are normal human beings with normal brains and mental processes. Consequently, they are prone to make the same stereotype-biased judgments the rest of us are. Because they are often operating under conditions of uncertainty, high discretion, and stress and threat, the pervasive stereotypes linking Blacks and Latinos with violence, crime, and even specifically weapons are likely to cause them to make misattributions in seeking to disambiguate the intentions and behaviors of citizens. This can lead to racially disparate rates of stops, searches, arrests, and use of force. Several interventions that aim to reduce bias or discriminatory behavior at the individual level warrant further investigation in the policing context. Nonnegative intergroup contact is especially promising given its strong evidence base and that it could be achieved through
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These adjustments are more likely to be successful if they incorporate the understanding that biased policing occurs in the absence of explicitly “racist” thoughts because of well-documented, pernicious stereotypes that operate largely outside of conscious awareness and control. It’s very important for officers to make decisions on the facts presented and not stereotypes so they don’t treat people unfair and violent their
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