Ethnicityand the Police
Ethnicityand the Police
Introduction:It is necessary to consider that many of the policies affect theAfrican-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans in variousways (Walker,Spohn & DeLone, 2012).It is quite misleading to classify the opinions the blacks, born inAmerica with those individuals living in other areas such as Jamaica(Yanow,2015).The views about the police are significantly affected by the indirectcontact with the police officers. For instance, the practice ofstopping the drivers or pedestrians creates a negative attitudetowards the law enforcers. The prejudices may come from as far as thecountries of origin and the information revolving around theresidents. One of the significant factors influencing the overallperceptions about the police is the rate at which the localcommunities are involved in the social and political bodies of thesociety (Walker,Spohn & DeLone, 2012).
Thesis:The communities have a greater impact in the way individuals view thepolice.
Body:According to a study by Smith& Holmes (2014), theAfrican-Americans exhibited a radically negative attitude towards thepolice. To a significant degree, their perceptions were influenced bytheir norms and beliefs especially those revolving around theirsocieties. It is quite common to find the black communitiesexpressing a deep hatred of the law enforcement because they viewthem as oppression to individual rights. The historical factors ofslavery have a profound effect on the general opinion of the blackpeople (Yanow,2015).Many of the residents in these societies perceive themselves as aminority oppressed group. They, therefore, have a negative viewtowards any form of law enforcement as they see it as a recount ofthe practices of slavery. The American black society exhibit lowstandards of living and often associate the inequality experiencedwith the unjust systems. Most of the immigrants showed low levels ofunderstanding the operations of the police and were less likely toinvolve the cops in their legal issues. According to Williams(2015), onNovember 5, 1992, six white policemen and one black supervisor fromthe Detroit Police Department severely beat and bludgeoned MaliceGreen, an African-American residing in Detroit, who later succumbedto death because of the injuries. There was an intense and focusedcoverage of the case by the media giving the police an antagonisticimage to the African Americans.
TheLatin-Americans residing in the U.S. exhibited a similar trend ofnegative perception towards the police force (Williams,2015).The Latin-Americans reported higher rates of victimizations by thepolice than the other communities. Those individuals who hadinvoluntary encounters with the police developed negative perceptionsabout the law enforcers, than those who had voluntary experiences dueto unreasonable searches and forced arrests (Yanow,2015).Some of other factors that influenced the Latinos’ attitudes aboutthe police included the birthplace of the respondents and thesocioeconomic status. The recent cases of youth victimizations led todeepened negative perceptions about the police.
Thewhite American communities had favorable opinions about theeffectiveness of the police in resolving the legal issues in thesocieties, which contrasts the other communities (Smith& Holmes, 2014).However, the residents from the minority groups held a positiveopinion about the effectiveness of the police, which indicates thepotential of a community in influencing the general opinion of theresidents.
Conclusion:It is, therefore, important to consider the issue of communityinfluence in the views of the residents as a distinct factoraffecting the general views of the individuals (Yanow,2015).In general, it can be perceived that groups influence the opinionsabout the police.
Smith,B. W., & Holmes, M. D. (2014). Police use of excessive force inminority communities: A test of the minority threat, place, andcommunity accountability hypotheses. Social Problems, 61(1),83-104.
Williams,K. (2015). Ourenemies in blue: Police and power in America.AK Press.
Walker,S., Spohn, C., & DeLone, M. (2012). Thecolor of justice: Race, ethnicity, and crime in America.Cengage Learning.
Yanow,D. (2015). Constructing"race" and" ethnicity" in America: Category-making inPublic Policy and Administration.Routledge.