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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2018

Anthony Gennaro Vito, Elizabeth L. Grossi and George E. Higgins

The purpose of this paper is to examine the issue of racial profiling when the traffic stop outcome is a search using focal concerns theory as a theoretical explanation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the issue of racial profiling when the traffic stop outcome is a search using focal concerns theory as a theoretical explanation for police officer decision making and propensity score matching (PSM) as a better analysis to understand the race of the driver.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for this study come from traffic stops conducted by the Louisville Police Department between January 1 and December 31, 2002.

Findings

The results show that the elements of focal concerns theory matter most when it comes to if a traffic stop that resulted in a search even though racial profiling was evident. The use of PSM provides evidence that it is a better statistical technique when studying racial profiling. The gender of the driver was significant for male drivers but not for female drivers.

Research limitations/implications

The data for this study are cross-sectional and are self-report data from the police officer.

Practical implications

This paper serves as a theoretical explanation that other researchers could use when studying racial profiling along with a better type of statistical analysis being PSM.

Social implications

The findings based on focal concerns theory could provide an explanation for police officer decision making that police departments could use to help citizens understand why a traffic stop search took place.

Originality/value

This is the first study of its kind to the researcher’s knowledge to apply focal concerns theory with PSM to understand traffic stop searches.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Ihekwoaba Onwudiwe

This article examines definitions of terrorism, racial profiling and the demonisation of Arabs and Muslims in the United States (US). Additionally, it explores the impact…

Abstract

This article examines definitions of terrorism, racial profiling and the demonisation of Arabs and Muslims in the United States (US). Additionally, it explores the impact of the US Patriot Act 2001 in the war against terrorism.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2015

Bertin M. Louis and Wornie L. Reed

Many African Americans cheered the election of President Obama in 2008 with the hope he would cause an easing of the pain of economic and political barriers to collective…

Abstract

Purpose

Many African Americans cheered the election of President Obama in 2008 with the hope he would cause an easing of the pain of economic and political barriers to collective black progress in America. This chapter assesses the role of President Obama in addressing these issues.

Approach

The Presidential Bully Pulpit is presented as a framework for addressing racial inequities. Properly used it can bring keen attention to issues a president deems important for consideration by the American public. Socio-historical texts and secondary data are used.

Findings

Data are presented to show how racial discrimination continues to affect African Americans during the age of Obama. These include housing discrimination, employment discrimination, and racial profiling. This chapter shows Mr. Obama has not used the office of the presidency as a bully pulpit for addressing these racial inequities. Rather he has tended to use the bully pulpit to chastise blacks, especially black males.

Also discussed are some promising developments challenging racism that have emerged from his administration, primarily from the Department of Justice, and how President Obama could use the bully pulpit more productively.

Originality

This chapter presents a contradiction in the actions of President Obama. While he seldom uses the bully pulpit to push his own legislative agendas or to push toward solutions to relieve racial inequities in society, he does use the bully pulpit to criticize black males.

Details

Race in the Age of Obama: Part 2
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-982-9

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Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Anthony G. Vito, Vanessa Woodward Griffin, Gennaro F. Vito and George E. Higgins

The purpose of this paper is to draw a better understanding of the potential impact of daylight in officer decision making. In order to this, the authors test the veil of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw a better understanding of the potential impact of daylight in officer decision making. In order to this, the authors test the veil of darkness hypothesis, which theorizes that racial bias in traffic stops can be tested by controlling for the impact of daylight, while operating under the assumption that driver patterns remain constant across race.

Design/methodology/approach

Publicly available traffic-stop records from the Louisville Metro Police Department for January 2010–2019. The analysis includes both propensity score matching to examine the impact of daylight in similarly situated stops and coefficients testing to analyze how VOD may vary in citation-specific models.

Findings

The results show that using PSM following the VOD hypothesis does show evidence of racial bias, with Black drivers more likely to be stopped. Moreover, the effects of daylight significantly varied across citation-specific models.

Research limitations/implications

The data are self-reported from the officer and do not contain information on the vehicle make or model.

Practical implications

This paper shows that utilizing PSM and coefficients testing provides for a better analysis following the VOD hypothesis and does a better job of understanding the impact of daylight and the officer decision-making on traffic stops.

Social implications

Based on the quality of the data, the findings show that the use of VOD allows for the performance of more rigorous analyses of traffic stop data – giving police departments a better way to examine if racial profiling is evident.

Originality/value

This is the first study (to the researchers' knowledge) that applies the statistical analyses of PSM to the confines of the veil of darkness hypothesis.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Richard G. Greenleaf

Abstract

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2018

Michael Oshiro and Pamela Valera

This article examines how contact with the police led to the death of Michael Brown (an unarmed 18-year-old Black teenager from Ferguson, Missouri, who was shot and killed…

Abstract

This article examines how contact with the police led to the death of Michael Brown (an unarmed 18-year-old Black teenager from Ferguson, Missouri, who was shot and killed during an altercation with a police officer). And, how Darren Wilson (the White police officer from the Ferguson Police Department who shot and killed Michael Brown) was portrayed in mainstream newspaper articles covering the story of Brown’s death.

Using both frame analysis and Hall’s framework of discursive domains for organizing and making sense of events in social life, we analyzed news coverage of Brown in three of the top circulating daily newspapers in the US: The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. The Lexis Nexis database was used to retrieve a set of newspapers using the search term “Michael Brown.” Articles from the three leading newspapers were collected from the day the event occurred, August 9, 2014, through the end of the year, December 31, 2014.

The news articles used in this study were mostly written with an episodic frame. The articles presenting the socioeconomic background of Brown and Wilson were described as profiles on each individual and the neighborhood they came from, rather than a discussion about where they fell on the economic structure of this country and the larger, upstream forces that might influence those positions. The feelings and attitudes of the reader are also likely to be influenced by details included in the articles and how they were presented.

The findings contribute to the broader literature looking at the relationships between police and Black communities. Public health can play a role in advocating and facilitating programs that build better linkages between police and community. The public health field can take a leadership role in holding the news media accountable when they are engaging in frenetic inaction. Only by having difficult and challenging conversations that examines the upstream causes of violence and deaths like Brown’s, can we make progress in preventing them.

Details

Inequality, Crime, and Health Among African American Males
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-051-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Stephen K. Rice and Alex R. Piquero

There has been limited analysis on the intersections of race, gender, inequality (e.g. education, income), and procedural/distributive justice and the perceived prevalence…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been limited analysis on the intersections of race, gender, inequality (e.g. education, income), and procedural/distributive justice and the perceived prevalence of racially biased policing. Using data from a sample of New York City residents who were asked to judge the New York City Police Department on measures related to racially biased policing and to procedural/distributive justice, this paper builds a perception of discrimination composite tied to perceived personal experience with officer bias and to beliefs regarding the perceived prevalence and justification for such behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the bivariate relation between race and the perception of discrimination composite is examined. Then, logistic regression is employed to explain the composite with the complement of demographic and attitudinal variables. Finally, split sample analyses are conducted to examine demographic and attitudinal variables separately for blacks and non‐blacks.

Findings

Blacks were three times more likely than non‐blacks to perceive that racially biased policing was widespread, unjustified, and personally experienced, and this finding held after controlling for demographic and attitudinal variables. It suggests that the “black effect” operates independently of income and education, raising questions about the claim that race has made way for class in key aspects of social life.

Originality/value

By focusing on issues of power and control, the police define their interactions with members of the public in very specific ways, and such power orientations may lead to increased conflict. The present study suggests that a disproportionate subset of NYC residents perceive general and specific discriminatory action related to racially biased policing and procedural injustice.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Imran Awan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current UK Prevent Agenda 2011 and the possible threat to local communities from such policies which may actually fuel further…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the current UK Prevent Agenda 2011 and the possible threat to local communities from such policies which may actually fuel further resentment and make communities less safe and more susceptible to radicalisation and extremism.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a short qualitative study that involved members of the Alum Rock community in Birmingham (UK) that had experience of Prevent strategies. The study involved semi‐structured interviews which were conducted with Muslim community members who were involved either directly or indirectly with Prevent programmes in the area of Alum Rock.

Findings

The study found that overall Muslim communities within Alum Rock were suspicious of the role of law enforcement agencies and counter‐terrorism policies such as Prevent.

Research limitations/implications

In a short qualitative study and with a small sample size there is clearly a need to do further research and deal with a larger sample size that would demonstrate a more representative view of the community.

Practical implications

This study can help inform and improve the counter‐terrorism policy framework which includes Prevent. For example, more emphasis is needed on getting views from Muslim communities through focus groups and interviews which could in turn help build trust between Muslim communities and law enforcement agencies.

Originality/value

There is currently little research on the Prevent Agenda 2011 and the present paper provides an important contribution in understanding the views of Muslim communities in an area which has been the subject of a number of high profile counter‐terrorism operations (for example, Operation Gamble involved a number of police raids aimed at foiling a plot to behead a Muslim soldier), Project Champion (where West Midlands police used overt and covert surveillance (CCTV) cameras in predominantly Muslim areas). The data collected could be used as a template for gaining a better understanding of how Muslims feel about Prevent and as such can improve relations between Muslim communities and the police.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2018

Lisa M. Graziano

The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature examining the role of news media consumption and awareness in shaping public attitudes about police.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature examining the role of news media consumption and awareness in shaping public attitudes about police.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive, systematic search of multiple academic databases (e.g. EBSCO Host) was undertaken, supplemented by the use of Google Scholar to search among journals indicated as having cited the articles found in the databases.

Findings

A total of 42 studies were identified that met the selection criteria for this meta-review and examined exposure to high-profile incidents involving police, awareness of negative news coverage of police, and/or consumption of specific news mediums (e.g. newspapers). Overall, research supports a relationship between negative perceptions of police and both exposure to high-profile incidents and awareness of negative coverage. Some support for the influence of consuming television news on attitudes exists, but more research is needed on the role of different news sources in shaping perceptions. Future research should also include determining causal pathways and how news about police is selected.

Originality/value

This is the first meta-review of the research examining how news media and attitudes about police are related. This study will provide a useful resource for those researchers wishing to continue to examine different aspects of news media consumption as a predictor of perceptions.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Joongyeup Lee and Jennifer C. Gibbs

Given the consistent finding in the literature that members of minority groups hold less favorable views of the police than white citizens, social distance may be an…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the consistent finding in the literature that members of minority groups hold less favorable views of the police than white citizens, social distance may be an important, yet untested, mediator. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mediating effect of social distance net of other established correlates.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of students attending a university in the northeastern USA completed an online survey in 2013. The survey was about their contact with the police, attitudes toward the police, and lifestyles, among others.

Findings

Race, along with other predictors, significantly influenced confidence in police. However, race is the only factor that turns nonsignificant when social distance is included in the model. Mediation tests confirmed that social distance mediates the relationship between race and confidence in the police.

Research limitations/implications

To maximize confidence in the police, administrators should focus on closing the social distance between the public and the police through initiatives like community policing.

Originality/value

While there is extensive research on public attitudes toward the police, social distance has been neglected as a determinant, despite movements like community policing that promote citizens’ relational closeness to the police – that is, to decrease the social distance between police and the public. The current study would be an exploratory study and reference for future studies.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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