Race, social identity, and perceptions of police bias
Research consistently finds that people from ethnic or racial minority backgrounds tend to view police more negatively than those from nonminority backgrounds. Some studies, however, have questioned such findings by showing that race-based effects disappear once other factors are considered. For example, Weitzer showed that racial minorities from middle-class neighborhoods tend to view police just as favorably as nonminorities. Using survey data collected from 1,204 Australian citizens, the present study examines how social identity processes impact people's views of police. We find that social identity is a more important predictor of attitudes toward police than race/ethnicity. These findings have implications for policing research and for police practice.
Race and Justice