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The significance of police decision making

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | Criminal Justice System

Quick thinking is a necessary skill for police officers. However, police are only human and do not always make appropriate decisions. Hasty decisions can have consequences.

All too often, a police officer’s decisions reveal implicit biases. If you are facing criminal charges, you should understand how these biases can affect police decisions.

Bias in police decision making

People make decisions using two systems of thought. System one is intuition, a fast, automatic process. Intuition can be life-saving when there is little time to make a decision, but it often reflects implicit bias.

System two is slower, more logical and more deliberate. However, it does not completely guard against bias. While police officers in Chattanooga receive implicit bias education as part of their training, bias is insidious because most people do not realize they have it.

Why police decision making matters

Police make decisions every day that affect the public. They decide which cars to pull over, what questions to ask and whether to conduct searches.

When implicit bias influences these decisions, they can have unfair consequences for you. For example, implicit bias may cause an officer to search you or your property without probable cause, or it may influence the officer to take a witness’ word over yours.

If you are facing criminal charges, it may seem as though the evidence against you is airtight. However, if the police obtained the evidence without following appropriate procedures, it might be inadmissible in court. If you believe that bias affected the officer’s decision-making, you may be able to fight the charges.

Police officers make decisions using the same processes and biases as civilians. It is important to understand how these processes impact decision-making and the effect they can have on your case.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association

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