Inside Story

US police killings: What role does prejudice play?

Eleven police officers were shot in Dallas by at least two snipers, and five of them were confirmed dead.

This week’s fatal shootings by police in the US have restarted national outrage about the treatment of African Americans.

And highlighted once more the racial disparities in America’s criminal justice system.

Alton Sterling was pinned to the ground and shot at close range by police in Louisiana on Tuesday.

A day later in Minnesota, Philando Castile was shot by police in his car, with his girlfriend and her daughter in the backseat.

That was followed by targeted shootings of police officers at a rally against police brutality in Dallas on Thursday night.

One of the suspects said he was upset about the recent police shootings and wanted to kill white police officers.

Inside Story looks at how we make sense of bias against minorities. And asks, is it a bias we all carry?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Rashawn Ray – Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland.

Simon Woolley – Director of Operation Black Vote – an organisation that strives for racial justice and equality in the UK.

Howard Ross – Founding partner of consulting firm Cook Ross Incorporated, which works on diversity, inclusion and cultural competency.