Bias is defined as a preconceived notion of how people behave based on factors such as sex, race, sexual orientation, and more. Implicit bias can affect everyone, every day. However, when you are in the line of service, these implicit biases can do incredible harm. This video discusses the connections between the police force and implicit bias and discusses the bias training for police officers.
Implicit means ‘unaware’. Because of this, in many day-to-day situations, people are discriminated against.
Implicit bias can affect who teachers give detention to, who is selected for a team, and so much more. Training is not designed to eliminate bias, but rather to make you hyper-aware of how these underlying issues can subconsciously affect the decisions you’re making.
A 2012 study showcased the reality of officer bias. When faced with multiple simulated targets of varying races, cops shot black and Latino bodies much quicker than they shot white and Asian bodies. When asked to look at photos of folks to identify who looked ‘criminal’, they consistently chose black faces over white faces. Although experts say there is no concrete evidence that implicit bias training works, it is incredibly important to continue to increase bias training, especially among officers.