It’s not just a few bad apples; racism is baked into the DNA of the police department.
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Police in Nashville are still using a three-decades-old training book that warns prospective officers about the dangers of minority communities and even of children who spend too much time in daycare.
Nashville Public Radio reports that the Nashville Police Academy still assigns a 1986 textbook called Tactical Edge that discusses “ethnic minority groups” that are “disproportionately associated with criminal violence.” Additionally, the book warns darkly of “pre-schoolers left in daycare centers,” who purportedly grow up to be “15 times more aggressive than other youngsters.”
For good measure, that book also warns about the dangers of public schools churning out students who have “different values” and “profound problems” compared to earlier generations.
Capt. Keith Stephens, who runs the Nashville Police Academy, tells Nashville Public Radio that the sections of the book on minority communities and aggressive pre-schoolers aren’t taught to current students. He also adds that the textbook is just one of many different sources used for police training.
But Michael Lyman, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Missouri, says that the book is badly outdated and shouldn’t have any part in any police officer’s training.
“A book like this should not be issued to recruits, period,” Lyman tells Nashville Public Radio. “Issuing them a book that is 30 years old gets them started off on the wrong foot.”