I think the question of bias among police often begins with an incorrect assumption:
Police arenít biased
Police shouldnít be biased
Some are biased and some arenít
The correct assumption is that every police officer is biased. Like all of us, they judge based on bits and pieces of information. These pieces include but arenít limited to: gender, size, age, attire, grooming, body art, accents, language, tone/ sound of voice, prior interactions with that person or people that look like that person, , ethnicity and race. To deny that bias impacts quick decision-making - the type that often occurs in police work ó is to deny reality. I understand that when a man holds a knee to a personís neck as he struggles to breathe that we arenít talking about impulse anymore. However, the ingredients that led to many of these incidents can manifest in sustained fury when one is feeling both anger and justification (and never mind the added ingredient of a ďbad dayĒ or lack of sleep or other stress).
If training doesnít begin with an assumption of racial bias rather than the assumption of ďcolor-blindednessĒ they are making a big mistake. Acknowledge it and train police for awareness of their biases, and of the impact biases have in the world of quick/ impulse-based decision-making. Further, the element of seething or underlying rage is likely a factor that probably plays a role in some of these cases but may not be sufficiently addressed. Some police get an emotional outlet via their work that is probably sometimes (in some circumstances) viewed as a benefit whereas it is generally a cost.
After bias awareness and impact training, police should be trained with the idea that well-regulated mind, mood and body lead to better decisions both in immediate situations and in on-going events. At the core of every person who is effective at de-escalation is someone who is well-regulated cognitively and emotionally themselves. Well-regulated doesnít mean passive or docile but rather to be able to use an alert brain for thinking and wise decision-making even in times of highest stress.