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New paper: Experimental Research on Shooter Bias: Ready (or Relevant) for Application in the Courtroom?

posted Dec 11, 2016, 5:35 AM by William Cox   [ updated Feb 19, 2019, 7:49 AM by Xizhou Xie ]

Cox & Devine (2016), Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

Police officers are charged with protecting the public, and they must make difficult life-or-death decisions in tense circumstances. High-profile instances of officers shooting innocent Black people led to a flurry of shooter bias research, which examines how race influences split-second shooting decisions. We give an overview of the evidence in this literature to date, to evaluate the robustness of the evidence related to shooter bias and police officers. The extant experimental evidence from police officer samples is mixed, and does not allow us to make any strong inferences about the role of race in officers’ shooting decisions. We then discuss whether the questions asked by shooter bias research are even relevant to the decisions jurors must make during cases of officer-involved shootings.