African American Police Misconduct Essay

Decent Essays

African Americans, Whites, and Hispanics often perceive American social institutions, including the criminal justice system in starkly different terms. Research has shown that race is one of the most salient predictors of attitudes toward the police and other criminal justice institutions: African Americans are more likely than whites to express dissatisfaction with various aspects of policing. Whites tend to hold a favorable opinion of the police, favor aggressive law enforcement, and are skeptical of criticisms of the police. African Americans and Hispanics, however, are more included to viewing the police as contributing to their subordination through both legal and extralegal practices, as frequently involved in mistreatment of minority citizens. Their position increases the chance that they will see police misconduct as both a general problem and one that particularly afflicts Hispanics and African Americans. The reality is that most African Americans and Hispanics, like many Whites, want law enforcement amplified, though they want it achieved in a fashion that reduces abuses. (Weitzer & Tuch, Race and Perceptions of Police Misconduct, 2004)

Personal Experience
Citizen contacts with police officers have been found to influence general satisfaction with the police. Negative contacts …show more content…

Neighborhood socioeconomic conditions and racial composition, for instance, have been found to influence residents’ attitudes and interactions with the police— people residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods tend to report more negative personal experiences, observations, and opinions of the police than do residents of middle-class neighborhoods. People who live in high-crime communities and who are frequently exposed to media reports on police abuse may be particularly prone to believe that police misconduct is rife (Weitzer, Incidents of Police Misconduct and Public Opinion,

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