The Effect Of Legal Factors On Police Behavior

1425 WordsApr 16, 20176 Pages
influence how they performed their job, however, if an officer or citizen responded negatively during their interaction, the outcome may prove to be problematic (Dunham et al., 2005). Previous studies have shown that the greatest influence in decision-making by the police during police-citizens encounters are based on legal factors. However, smaller studies continue to suggest that additional factors may play a role in police decision making during police-citizen encounters. The results of this study confirm prior studies which suggested citizen demeanor [disrespect] toward police greatly increases the probability of arrest. According to Regoeczi and Kent (2014), research “examines the influence of extra-legal factors” (p. 191);…show more content…
Moderate hostility was shown to a have little or no effect on the likelihood of arrest, while high hostility, police-citizen encounters confirm previous research that this behavior does affect an officer’s decision to arrest. FACTORS INFLUENCING CITIZEN PERCEPTION OF THE POLICE Race and Adult Perception of the Police Empirical research points to possible disparities involving race during traffic stops. Racial targeting [racial profiling] originated because of the “War on Drugs”, which was declared in major cities across the United States to severely reduce the amount of narcotics brought into the country. Several reports of the suspects arrested for drug trafficking were minorities. The practice of conducting traffic stops to search for illegal trafficking, based solely on race, was adopted by law enforcement as a valuable tool to investigate potential drug smugglers. However, legal challenges were filed in several cities because many believed the practice of racial profiling violated individual’s [minorities] civil rights. In response, several law enforcement agencies developed new policies and training to address these concerns (Engel, Tillyer, Klahm, & Frank, 2012). Recent research on racial profiling has begun to examine if race is used by police officers to discriminate against minorities and if this practice was based on preconceived notions (Dunham et al., 2005). Racial profiling is a very complex and controversial area of
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