Police in Sacramento, CA shot down a black man who appeared to be carrying a weapon.  It was a cell phone.  The officers on the scene mistook the black slab of a cell for the barrel of a gun.  It was a case of biased perception.  Patrolmen are taught to respond quickly to danger.  They are put through courses where in an instant they need to identify weapons or not and shoot or not.  In this case, it was night and the officers probably couldn’t see that well.  Someone was seen breaking into cars before the shooting and he was about to be arrested when the officer thought he saw a gun.  Would this have happened to a white man?  It is hard to say under the circumstances.  But, one thing is certain.  Perception can kill.

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