Title

Race and Worrying About Police Brutality: The Hidden Injuries of Minority Status in America

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-26-2020

Publication Title

Victims and Offenders

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/15564886.2020.1767252

ISSN

1556-4991

Abstract

Given the historically contentious relationship – including most notably the use of excessive and lethal force – between the police and African Americans, the current project examines the extent to which Blacks in the United States fear police brutality. The study is based on a national-level survey (N = 1,000), and measures fear by how much respondents “worry” about experiencing police force. The data support the racial divide hypothesis, showing that Blacks’ worry about such violence is over five times that of Whites. Guided by the racial/ethnic gradient hypothesis, the analyses also assess Hispanic respondents’ level of worry. Rather than forming a gradient by falling midway between Blacks and Whites, Hispanics’ worry about police brutality more closely reflects those of Blacks at more than four times that of Whites, suggesting a racial/ethnic divide. These findings thus assert that worrying about police brutality is an emotional injury that minorities disproportionately experience and whose pervasiveness remains largely hidden from view.

Comments

*Featured in Taylor & Francis Group’s (2020) “Scholarship Supporting the Fight Against Racism and Inequality” curation at https://taylorandfrancis.com/socialjustice/#

*#2 overall most viewed manuscript in Victims & Offenders (12,700+ views)

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