Public Opinion of Police by Different Ethnic Groups

1149 words 5 pages
Public Opinion of Police by Different Ethnic Groups
CJA 344
March 24, 2014
Benjamin Harm
Public Opinion of Police by Different Ethnic Groups
Cooperation from members of the public is important in order for police officers to effectively fight crime within the community. In order to obtain cooperation from members of the public, police officers must gain their trust and confidence. It has been known that African Americans and Hispanics have lower levels of trust and confidence in police because of racial disparities and racial profiling. This paper will discuss the public opinion of police by different ethnic groups and how racial minorities hold lower levels of trust and confidence in police.
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Having a diverse law enforcement agency can help better develop relationships within the community as well as build trust and confidence, and assist in effective policing by encouraging support and cooperation from citizens of the community. Understanding how officer race can influence the perceptions of police by minorities is very important in today’s society because police organizations have increasingly received complaints for targeting minority drivers during traffic stops (Cochran, Warren, 2012). It has been known that racial profiling is mostly associated with White officers.
Data taken from the 2005 Police Public Contact Survey indicated that Black males and females negatively evaluated police behavior when stopped by a White officer, even if the officer provided a good reason to stop them (Cochran, Warren, 2012). If the officer is a minority, the response received was completely opposite (Cochran, Warren, 2012). With that being said, minority citizens who are stopped by a minority officer rate officer legitimately more objectively than if stopped by a White officer (Cochran, Warren, 2012). Research also showed that African Americans have a higher propensity for viewing police behavior as well as the justice systems illegitimate (Cochran, Warren, 2012). Findings in regards to skepticism of police by Hispanic males and females came up invalid. Therefore suggesting that the rift between police


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