Actors are filming a new computer video game in New Jersey that is designed to help state troopers understand and counteract any tendency toward racial profiling, reports the North Jersey News. The game is part of a state police effort to find innovative ways to get officers to identify their own biases and prevent them from violating the law.
The computer user will watch a scene unfold, then make choices about what to do next. In one version, a young man on the street could show his ID without a fight or wind up with a face full of pepper spray and in the hospital. In another version, the police officer could decide to arrest the young men or first interview the person who made the call. The roughly 2½-hour video game is being paid for by a $650,000 grant from the Community Oriented Policing Services Office of the U.S. Justice Department. It will be finished this spring. Racial profiling became a pressing issue in the state in 1998, when four young minority men driving down the New Jersey Turnpike were shot at by two state troopers during a traffic stop.