Can Lie Detectors Filter Racist Cops?

Candidates in one town must give a "yes" or "no" to a question about hate- or race-based crimes.

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Coopertown, Tenn., police Chief Shane Sullivan is trying to clean up his town’s image. The goal: no more race-related law-enforcement misconduct. Step 1: Give each officer applicant a polygraph test to screen out potentially problematic members of the force.

But the key inquiry isn’t “Are you racist?” or “Have you ever made a racist remark?” As a spokesman for the American Polygraph Association told the Associated Press, it’s much more effective to ask about factual matters versus subjective questions about bias. So candidates are required to give a “yes” or “no” to a question about whether they have ever committed a hate crime or a race-based crime.

Sullivan hopes just the idea of the test might help accomplish his goals, explaining that when it comes to people with a sketchy history on the matters at issue, “I think the polygraph will definitely keep these people from applying.”

Read more at the Associated Press.

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