Race, Expectations, and Evaluations of the Police: An Empirical Assessment

Meghan S. Chandek, Michigan State University

The purpose of the current study is two-fold. First, using data obtained from a sample of crime victims (n=122), this study endeavors to empirically assess the effect that police officer race has on evaluations of the police. Second, this study attempts to provide a greater specification of the effect that expectations regarding police performance have on evaluations of the police. ANOVA and Ordered Probit analyses indicate that police officer race does not influence victim evaluations of police performance. Expectations do significantly influence evaluations of the police and furthermore, expectations of police performance differ across racial lines. Explanations for these findings and directions for future research are offered.

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Updated 05/20/2006