Policing Identifications: Black or Blue?

Jackie Campbell, Northeastern Illinois University

This paper concerns the identification of African American police officers with either being black or with being "blue" (officers). It follows Lee Ross's coinage: "black or blue, which are you?" It will describe some of the contradictions faced by African American police officers in doing their jobs. Such things as racial profiling, for example, becomes problematic in the eyes of those who identify one way rather than another. The kind of community being policed also becomes problematic in identifications. Accordingly, this paper will explore the various dimensions of identifications faced by African American police.

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Updated 05/20/2006