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Mike Pence denies ‘implicit bias’ and ‘institutional racism’ in policing at VP debate

By Katherine Krueger,

Gov. Mike Pence claimed during Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate that police officers do not have implicit biases that impact their judgement while on duty.

Pence called for Hillary Clinton and others not to “paint law enforcement in this country with the broad brush of racial bias,” saying conversations about police brutality seize upon “moments of tragedy” to make a point.

“When [Clinton] was asked in the debate a week ago if there was implicit bias in law enforcement, her only answer was that there’s implicit bias in everyone in the United States. I just think what we ought to do is we ought to stop seizing on these moments of tragedy,” the Indiana governor said.

“Senator, please,” Pence also said, speaking directly to his rival, Clinton’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, “enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation that implicit bias every time tragedy occurs.”

It’s not the first time Pence has called for people to knock off the racism talk. In the wake of police fatally shooting black men in Charlotte, NC, and Tulsa, OK, Pence said there’s “too much of this talk of institutional bias or racism in law enforcement” and that it’s time to “set aside” these conversations.

A wealth of research shows that black men are disproportionately shot and killed by police and that officers may be biased in how they perceive threats on the job.

After the debate, Clinton responded to Pence’s remarks, tweeting that “implicit bias is real” and it “hurts Americans.”


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