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Annotated Bibliography: How Minority Groups in America Perceive Law Enforcement

Pryce, Daniel K., et al. “A neglected problem: Understanding the effects of personal and vicarious trauma on African Americans’ attitudes toward the police.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 48.10 (2021): 1366-1389.

The authors investigated the perception and attitude of African Americans towards the police. They interviewed several African Americans in Durham, New York, regarding their relationship with the police, which seemed to be declining at that moment. The authors found out that the African Americans’ attitude and perceptions of the law enforcement officers are thought-provoking and complicated by individual opinions, vicarious experiences of family members and friends, as well as information, gleaned from the televisions and social media about police behavior and treatment, such as abusive behaviors and ruthlessness by police officers. The authors used the transfer of trauma to refer to the conveyance of direct and vicarious experiences. Moreover, the authors found that even though there were some African Americans who had positive attitudes and perceptions of how they interacted and contacted the police, their opinions of the police appeared to be clouded by broader worries about unequal treatment by law enforcement.

Wilson, Ida, Tamar MJ Antin, and Geoffrey Hunt. “‘Some are good, some are bad’: Perceptions of the police from Black and Latina women living in the San Francisco Bay Area.” Women & Criminal Justice 31.5 (2021): 360-375.

The authors explore the perception of police by black and Latin women who live in Francisco Bay. They used an in-depth interview with the participants in the area to know the overall attitude and perception of women of color. The study’s key findings were the prevalence of racial discrimination in the area, the sentencing of black women, and policing, among other things. The authors’ narrative data suggested that women have a negative perception of the police and that interpersonal and vicariously encounters with the police via family members, friends as well as the media served as key elements in shaping their attitudes toward law enforcement. Following the outcomes of this study, the authors also recommend that rumor circulates outside of actual confrontations between police and black people, such as media articles and social discourses that take place outside of those encounters.

Taylor, Terrill O., Melanie M. Wilcox, and Christopher P. Monceaux. “Race and sexual orientation: An intersectional analysis and confirmatory factor analysis of the Perceptions of Police Scale.” Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity 7.3 (2020): 253.

The authors based their study on both marginalized groups, including the African Americans and mover privileged groups, and their interactions with the police. They further compared the perception of police to sexual orientation in both heterosexual and sexual minority groups group. The findings from both groups were then compared to find out the perception of each group. The authors also conducted a multigroup confirmatory analysis in order to establish the measure of attitude and perception in regard to police demonstrated evidence across the sexual and racial groups. The authors assert that as a result of discrimination and bias in law enforcement, individuals from marginalized groups, including the blacks and pure Americans as well as sexual minorities did not have a positive perception of the police. This was in contrast to the more privileged groups who reported a more favorable attitude and perception with the police, including the white heterosexual participants. The authors made an implication that there is a need for examination of the psychological impacts of the negative perceptions of police by the less privileged groups.


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