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Ethnicity, Trust, and Acceptance of Authority Among Police Officers

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 37 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2009 Pages: 273-279
Joseph De Angelis; Aaron Kupchik
Date Published
June 2009
7 pages
This article examined whether police officers' perceptions of police authority were shaped by race or ethnicity and by their sense of trust in police authority.
The study provided some support for the idea that ethnicity affects the attitudes of police officers. Latino officers were less likely to report a willingness to comply with authorities' decisions about citizen complaints, though this relationship was mediated by trust in internal affairs. One of the most important findings of this research was morale and procedural justice were far stronger predictors of compliance than race by itself. Drawing data from a project which examined how the implementation of a new model of citizen oversight in a large western city affected the attitudes of citizen and police officers, this study explored whether and how race and ethnicity shaped police officers' stated levels of compliance with police authority. The study hypothesized that Latino/a officers would be less likely than White officers to be willing to comply with command staff decisions with which they disagree. Tables, figure, notes, and references