Police Assume Young Black Boys Are Older, Less Innocent Than Whites

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Black boys as young as 10 years old may not be viewed in the same light as their white peers.

Instead, they are more likely to be mistaken as older, be perceived as guilty, and face police violence if accused of a crime, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

“Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection. Our research found that Black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent,” said author Phillip Atiba Goff, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles.

The study was published online in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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