Former police officer Matthew Horace illuminates how racial bias affects all cops: "It’s not a black thing or a white thing"
Former police officer and law enforcement expert Matthew Horace is shedding light on racial stereotypes and how they play out in police departments across America. Horace stopped by “Salon Talks” to discuss his 28-year career working in law enforcement at all levels and why he’s attempting to bring new understanding between communities and police and change the media conversation around police brutality. Horace’s new book “The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America's Law Enforcement,” is available now.
“It is human to have biases. It’s not a black thing or a white thing, we all have them, they don’t make us bad people, they just make us people,” Horace told SalonTV’s D. Watkins. Horace goes on to explain how stereotypes can drive fear and can overpower how some officers approach a case. In “The Black and the Blue,” Horace talks about how he was on the receiving end of bias when a white officer turned a gun on him. On “Salon Talks,” Horace recalled an incident with his own bias when he responded to a domestic violence call and assumed that the man at the home had assaulted the woman, when in fact the opposite was true. “Quite frankly, a lot of people aren’t willing to acknowledge what those biases are or deal with them once they identify them,” Horace said.
And, Horace added, “it’s not all on police.” Reform needs to come from outside of the department, too. “I found even being a police officer, being an African-American police officer, or even a federal agent, there’s a wall up, because you’re authority figure. A lot of times, people don’t communicate with you just based on that wall. Everybody has to come together to try to make the situation a little better,” he said.Watch the interview above to learn more about Horace’s approach to creating positive change in the police system and his response to D’s question about why African-American communities often mistrust police and how to fix it. Tune in for all of SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope.