Something Needs to be Done: Fatal Police Shootings

be held responsible and take steps to fix this ongoing problem. Implicit bias training helps police officers to avoid acting on involuntary prejudices. Implicit bias cannot be erased from the mind but knowing of the prejudices can be the start to fixing the automatic responses associated with the bias.

Police officers are not the only ones who hold implicit biases. A study done by Yale found an implicit racial bias among preschool teachers. The teachers were told to watch a video and point out misbehaviors. The majority of teachers said they watched the African American boys the closest and anticipated the misbehavior coming from them.

Implicit bias needs to be worked on continuously in order to see results. Although implicit bias training helps improve actions, further training and experience is needed to stop this discrimination.

In 2016 a West Virginia police officer chose not to shoot an African American suspect involved in a domestic dispute despite the suspect having a gun and “urging Mader to shoot him.” Following this interaction Mader was terminated and claims that it was due to the fact that he had chosen not to use lethal force during the incident. Mader is a war veteran who has gone through more training than a police officer has and tried to resolve the dispute before taking drastic measures by firing his weapon. If police are punishing their officers for trying to resolve disputes without the use of guns, then what are they teaching in their training?

To learn more about Mader’s account of the initial dispute and the subsequent events watch his interview here.

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