A white Detroit police officer is on the unemployment line over a racist social media post, at a time when police departments across the nation are supposedly training officers to keep their racial bias in check.
The Detroit Police Department confirmed on Monday that they fired rookie Officer Sean Bostwick and opened an investigation into his racially offensive social media post, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Bostwick, 27, posted a photo to Snapchat on Sunday of himself in uniform with the caption “Another night to Rangel (sic) up these zoo animals.” Later that day, Detroit police officials said they were notified about the post and suspended the officer shortly after.
“He will no longer be a Detroit police officer,” Police Chief James Craig said in a press conference on Monday, adding that the ex-officer “expressed remorse” and claimed that his comments were misinterpreted.
Bostwick completed police academy training in July, according to Detroit Metro Times.
Training at Michigan’s police academies address anti-bias in several modules, including one named Cultural Competence and Sexual Harassment, Danny Rosa, a training specialist at the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, told NewsOne.
“We’ve recently developed and pilot tested some additional curriculum addressing implicit bias,” he added. “This curriculum addresses more than just racial and gender bias, it addresses some of the brain science behind implicit bias and how it can influence our decisions on many issues. This curriculum is still a work in progress.”
Police department nationwide have experimented with implicit bias training, especially since widespread protests ignited over the spate of police killings of unarmed Black men, according to the New York Times.
However, critics have said racial sensitivity training simply doesn’t work, experts told the Times. Teaching White cops about the history of racial discrimination and African-American culture rarely helps when officers make split-second decisions. They tend to default to their lifelong biases about Black people.
Police implicit bias training may have been a waste of time in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the police are reportedly twice as likely to stop Black motorists, according to MLive.com.
Officers were generally apprehensive but receptive to the training. A small group of cops openly rebelled against the training concepts because they felt that it offered no practical benefits and was a politically correct fad.