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Race and Police Use of Force: A Regression Analysis of Varying Situational Approval from 1972 to 2012

Description: Recent events of police using force against citizens under arguably suspect circumstances have reinvigorated concern over racial disparities in the use of (excessive) force by police. The study presented here was designed to explore differences in African American and White citizens' acceptance of police use of force in varying situations. Data from the cumulative file of the General Social Survey (1972-2012) were used to determine if race could predict acceptance of police striking an adult male citizen: in some conceivable situation, using vulgar language, being questioned as a murder suspect, attempting to escape, and attacking the officer with his fists. Logistic regressions showed African Americans were less likely than Whites to accept police striking a citizen across time and in all situations except questioning murder suspects. Race was non-significant for acceptance of striking a murder suspect except during the 1990s when African Americans were slightly more accepting than Whites.

Suggested Citation:
Trahan A., Russell, J. (2017). Race and Police Use of Force: A Regression Analysis of Varying Situational Approval from 1972 to 2012 [Electronic Version]. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 13(2), 142 - 154.

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Date: Dec 12, 2017 | File Size: 318.72 Kb | Downloads: 331

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