We have seen it again and again: A Black or brown person is sitting in a Starbucks, barbequing in a public park, touring a college they hope to attend, or sitting down in the college they already attend. And then someone calls the cops on them for looking like they “don’t belong” or are “out of place.”
Police departments have choices about how to react to such biased 911 calls. All too often, however, they let themselves be used to weaponize the biases of those who call them. That’s why police need to adopt better policies and training to address these calls when they come in.