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Baltimore Is Burning: Can I-O Psychologists Help Extinguish the Flames?

  • Enrica N. Ruggs (a1), Michelle R. Hebl (a2), Verónica Caridad Rabelo (a3), Kayla B. Weaver (a4), Joy Kovacs (a5) and Andeneshea S. Kemp (a6)...

Abstract

Recent media coverage has called attention to what some see as an unreasonable use of force by law enforcement officers against unarmed Black citizens. Many of these incidents have stirred widespread concern, as there has been a large public outcry indicating that the incidents appear to have racial undertones, which is particularly pronounced given the fatal consequences that are too frequent. This article focuses on how psychological research on racial bias can explain some of the cognitive and affective processes that could be influencing law enforcement officer behavior in at least some of these incidents. Further, we discuss how industrial–organizational (I-O) psychologists can use this research and leverage current practices within the field to develop solutions and effectively deal with individual racial biases among officers within the law enforcement community. We also discuss avenues of future research within I-O psychology and hope to spark a conversation within the I-O community about additional ways the field can address tensions that have arisen between law enforcement and different communities regarding perceptions of excessive use of force by officers.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Enrica N. Ruggs, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223. E-mail: eruggs@uncc.edu

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Keywords

Baltimore Is Burning: Can I-O Psychologists Help Extinguish the Flames?

  • Enrica N. Ruggs (a1), Michelle R. Hebl (a2), Verónica Caridad Rabelo (a3), Kayla B. Weaver (a4), Joy Kovacs (a5) and Andeneshea S. Kemp (a6)...

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