Encounters of African-American and Hispanic Juveniles With Law Enforcement

Camille Gibson, Prairie View A&M University

In the aftermath of negative police-juvenile encounters it is often the perceptions of the officers involved that are published. In particular, Hispanics have largely been ignored in the latest studies on police-minority relations. Thus, the present study is an effort to fill in this "black box" of information. It addresses the following questions: What were the juveniles thinking at the time of their encounters? How did they behave as a result of such thoughts? What messages might they have communicated to the officers intentionally or not - to their advantage or to their disadvantage? The study is a qualitative project wherein 120 Hispanic youths and 120 African-American youths ages 18-25 were interviewed about their encounters and perceptions of law enforcement. It presents documentation on the nature of those encounters and an assessment of how perceptions of law enforcement are cultivated.

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Updated 05/20/2006