The Relationship Between Police Stops, Perceptions Of Bias

1181 Words5 Pages
suggest

more likely to experience multiple police stops and searches. However, perceptions of bias may also contribute to how black people interpret their future encounters with the police. Thus, while white people usually view the police stops they experience as legitimate

blacks may question the motives of the police and treat such encounters with great suspicion. Furthermore, black distrust of the police could impact their demeanour during police encounters. A negative demeanour towards the police could lead to less respectful treatment by the police. Such poor treatment, in turn, could further reinforce black perceptions of police bias (see Engel et al
. 2010). In other words, the
…show more content…
Unfortunately, due to Canada

s ban on race-crime statistics, survey results have not yet been supplemented with official data.
What are the major implications of these findings? First of all, logic dictates that there is a direct relationship between how closely people are monitored by the police and how likely they are to get caught for breaking the law. In other words, if black people are systematically stopped and searched more frequently than others, they are also more likely to be to be detected and arrested for illegal activity than people from other racial backgrounds who engage in exactly the same behaviour
. Thus, consistent with the major principles of conflict criminology, racial differences in police stop and search activities directly contribute to the over-representation of black people in the
Canadian criminal justice system (Wortley and Owusu-Bempah 2011).
Police stop and search experiences can also undermine the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Indeed, a number of studies have now confirmed that people who are frequently stopped and searched by the police have less trust in the justice system and are more likely to view criminal justice institutions as biased (see review in Wortley and Owusu-Bempah 2009, Bowling this volume). Importantly, additional research suggests that people with a poor
Get Access