Decades of research have demonstrated that a mere subliminal flash of a black man’s face can make us fear the worst — to evaluate ambiguous behavior as aggressive, to miscategorize harmless objects as weapons, to shoot quickly and to inappropriately dispatch a perceived threat.
In video game experiments requiring split-second judgments, subjects — no matter their race, age or attitudes — are quicker to fire at an armed black man than at a white man carrying a gun, and more likely to shoot unarmed blacks than unarmed whites.
That raises criminal justice issues that won’t be resolved by body cameras. It’s a problem centuries in the making, and belongs to all of us.
–Sandy Banks, “Police Expectations Damage Black Men’s Realities“