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Race and the Police Use of Force Encounter in the United States

NCJ Number
253356
Date Published
January 2018
Length
21 pages
Author(s)
Eugene A. Paoline III; Jacinta M. Gau; William Terrill
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Research (Applied/Empirical), Report (Study/Research), Report (Grant Sponsored), Program/Project Description
Grant Number(s)
2005-IJ-CX-0055
Annotation
Drawing from prior research and deference exchange theory, this study examined the effects of officer and suspect race in predicting police use of force and suspect resistance.
Abstract
Perennial conflict between police and Black citizens has led to calls for greater representation of Black officers; yet the presumption that Black officers deliver better treatment to, and garner positive reactions from, Black citizens has not received sufficient empirical testing. Drawing from prior research and deference exchange theory, the current study examined the effects of officer and suspect race in predicting police use of force and suspect resistance. The findings revealed that White officers were more coercive toward Black suspects, but Black officers' force usage was unaffected by suspect race. Conversely, officer race did not predict resistance among White or Black suspects. Results are discussed in light of implications for theory, police-Black relations, and police practices. (publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 20, 2021