*No doubt the last few years will go down in history as some of the worst when it comes to the behavior of police officers towards black people.
Although African Americans have always been aware of cops’ racist actions; its doubtful we could have even imagined a time in this 21st century that they would so blatantly harass, manhandle and even kill black men at the rate they have in these past months.
Now, with ‘one of their own’ speaking out against prejudiced and racist actions, maybe we can all begin to see light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
Identified only as sf7, the Reddit user is listed as a verified law enforcement officer, and has asked people to stop calling in “suspicious behavior” every time they see black people doing completely normal things:
Calls such as these only instigate and compound situations that never were ‘suspicious’ in the first place. The killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice serves as the perfect example of this.
Rice was playing with snowballs in a Cleveland park. He had a toy gun in his possession. Someone called the police about this kid’s ‘suspicious activity’ and even said the gun he was holding was ‘probably fake.’
Well apparently the responding officers missed that last part, because seconds after they arrived, Rice was shot dead.
As hard as some might try to blame every move people who don’t look like them make on outright racism, that may not necessarily be the case. And it may not be that cut and dry with many of these call in’s.
According to social psychologists, it could be what’s called “implicit bias,” which is subconscious bias that can lead people to think, for example, that black people are associated with crime.
One useful piece of advice for police trying to control their implicit bias — relayed by L. Song Richardson, a professor at University of California, Irvine, School of Law — is to ask, “Would I find this behavior suspicious if the person were a young white man instead of a young black man?”
This advice can apply to civilians making these calls.