In push to reform police work, officers examine their own biases

By | January 7, 2016

Baltimore police officer Edward Gillespie flashed a picture of a sneering man wearing a turban and asked a classroom of fellow officers, “Who is he?”

“A terrorist,” “Muslim,” “Taliban,” various members of the class responded.

“Could he be special forces?” Gillespie asked.

“ISIS special forces,” someone joked.

As some in the class chuckled, Gillespie pressed his point. In an experiment in which college students were told to shoot a gunman — and not shoot the unarmed — participants were more likely to pull the trigger on those wearing hijabs or turbans. Later, he gave a real-life example: In a shooting in Las Vegas, he said, a man trying to intervene overlooked a woman who was involved in killing two police officers, only to have the woman turn the gun on him. (Washington Post)

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