Skip Gates' Teachable Moment

The arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. has been cited as many as an example of how backwards looking American police forces are with regards to racial profiling. But Robert Zimmerman at Anderson Cooper 360 takes a moment to note how much progress police forces have made on the issue in recent years: “This issue is being confronted through changes in law that make racial profiling illegal and give the Federal government enforcement powers to combat it. In the selection process for new recruits, police are required and trained to look for signs of bias and prejudice. Additionally, new policies and procedures are continually being developed to strengthen supervision, documentation and the investigation of citizen complaints of racial profiling. Many police cars also now have video equipment to monitor police and their interactions with citizens.” His conclusion? “The police profession has been addressing the issues of race and bias more openly than American society as a whole.”