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The lasting salience of racial discrimination and inequality in the U.S. has produced a cumulative disadvantage for the members of many racial/ethnic minority groups, disadvantages which Whites generally do not suffer. Negative racial relations foster not only unequal treatment of Blacks and Whites by the police, historically and at the present time, but also differing sentiments and evaluations of the police by Blacks and Whites. Researchers have contended that minorities’ attitudes toward the police were chiefly influenced by their sense of being out-group members in a White-dominated society and feelings of being treated unjustly by the police. Attitudinal differences between Whites and minorities are thus attributed primarily to their varying life experiences. Official and un-official data on police arrests, use of deadly force, and traffic stops have all shown that minorities, particularly Blacks, have been subject to a heightened and disproportionate level of police interventions vis-à-vis Whites. Although there is no concrete evidence supporting systematic discrimination, and some evidence suggests that the risk gap between Blacks and Whites has narrowed, the enduring racial disparity indicates that some forms of unequal treatment including that involves discrimination or bias likely remain in American policing.
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- Race/Ethnicity as the Defining Characteristic of Policing in the U.S.
Ivan Y. Sun
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Chapter 2