For years, there have been news reports about and protests against racially charged police violence against citizens. Racial bias – conscious and unconscious – also seems to play a role in police on police shootings. According to a recent study, 26 police officers over the past 30 years were mistaken for criminals and killed by their colleagues; the officers killed were almost always Black or Latino and male.
Indeed, it is difficult for an officer, full of adrenaline, to distinguish who the criminals are at a crime scene. To be fair, many of the officers killed were either off duty or working in plain clothes. They would happen upon a crime and offer their assistance. The officers called to the scene, unsure of who was a good guy and who was a bad guy would go on to mistakenly shoot one of their own. In 24 of the 26 cases, the officer killed was holding his weapon.