Implicit bias can negatively influence relationships between law enforcement and communities with a high minority presence, and studies show that this may be one factor that leads police to shoot more unarmed black suspects than white, and a reason why minority members are stopped more often by police.

Bias-based profiling is a form of police brutality and is an illegal and actionable offense to be remedied in the interests of negatively affected persons.  Profiling occurs when misguided police officers overstep their authoritative boundaries by seeking out individuals based solely on preconceived prejudicial judgments due to race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status and violate their civil rights. Police acting on their implicit bias are those law enforcement individuals who automatically associate stereotypes to certain groups allowing that to influence their behavior and respond in biased ways that may be exhibited in the use of extensive force.  Police departments are undergoing changes to address police behavior through de-escalation training and implicit bias training in Maryland toward the reduction of excessive force injury and death.

De-escalation training mandatory in Maryland.

The State of Maryland requires de-escalation training for their police officers and individual departments are accountable to the Police Training Commission for verification that this training is available.  The Department of Justice defines “de-escalation” as “the strategic slowing down of an incident in a manner that allows officers more time, distance, space and tactical flexibility during dynamic situations on the street.”  This is a valuable tool for both officers and alleged law breakers to keep an encounter from becoming violent and out of control.  Knowledge of the following actions is helpful to citizens and law enforcement alike. De-escalation training is one mechanism to decrease the instances of excessive force used in the field.

Action to de-escalate.

1) Listen respectfully. Don’t argue or interrupt. People calm down when they feel they are being listened to and taken seriously.

2) Crowd control. Don’t allow an audience to gather. If two people are having an argument, isolate them from friends or family members to reduce aggressive behavior.

3) Courteous example. Use courteous, professional language to uphold the idea that talk must be calm and respectful.

4) Body language. Be aware not to use intimidating body movements.

5) Control encounter. Reduce offensive speech, cursing, and yelling by explaining that acceptable language would more likely get the point across.

6) Don’t publicly humiliate anyone—especially when others are watching. Be respectful of embarrassing questions and pat downs.

7) Don’t waste time and energy trying to convince a citizen that he’s wrong and you’re right. Do what you need to do without becoming defensive.

8) Remember that “broken record” is a useful way to achieve two goals—conveying the message that you’re in charge while keeping the lid on a potential conflict. “Broken record” means repeating a message as many times as needed.

Know the laws that support civil rights.

There are federal and state laws that insure remedy to individuals who have suffered the negative effects of police brutality.  If you feel you have been a victim of bias-based profiling and/or excessive force by a Police Officer in Glen Burnie Maryland, you should seek  counsel at the Law Offices of Murnane & O’Neill to review the case for damages. Damages may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality through excessive force.

Murnane & O’Neill

7425 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

(t) 410.761.6800
(f) 410.761.0198



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