some social science researchers, these characterizations would not come as a surprise. Rice is black. And research published last year by the American Psychological Association found “evidence that black boys are seen as older and less innocent and that they prompt a less essential conception of childhood than do their white same-age peers.” In other words, people tend to think of black boys as bigger and older than they actually are.
In one experiment, a group of 60 police officers from a large urban police force were asked to assess the age of white, black and Latino children based on photographs. The officers were randomly assigned to be told that the children in the photographs were accused of either a misdemeanor or felony charge. The officers overestimate the age of black felony-suspected children by close to five years, but they actually underestimated the age of white felony-suspected children by nearly a year.