African American Law Enforcers’ Perceptions About Crime in Minority Communities

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Publication Date

Fall 10-23-2020

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There is a problem with law enforcement and the African American community in the United States, and African American law enforcement employees perpetuate more tension in these communities. The aim of this qualitative study was to learn how African American law enforcement personnel perceived high-crime or poor urban communities and the bond shared among law enforcement agencies, as seen through African American supervisors’ viewpoints. Twelve African American law enforcement supervisors from a Philadelphia County law enforcement agency completed questionnaires. Bureaucratic representation and the racial threat or minority threat framework grounded the study. Participants were evaluated based on supervisory level or quasi-military rank. African American supervisors were essential to this research because they understand organizational experiences and had faced racial threat experiences in their communities. The findings indicated that the most important reasons that African American law enforcers’ presence perpetuated tension in urban neighborhoods was due to community members’ past negative encounters with law enforcement and the belief that African American law enforcers work with the enemy. Another important reason on the impact of the organizational bond shared by employees has had on racial misconceptions of African Americans is due to a lack of trust with personnel. The findings of this study may be used to promote social by police administrators to better serve their communities.

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