Perceptions of Police Legitimacy, Emotions, and the Collective

Stephen K. Rice, University of Florida

Agents of social control require a perceived level of legitimacy (trust in the law) on the part of a citizenry in order to effectively carry out their mission. Utilizing data on over 8,000 respondents who reported at least one interaction with police via motor vehicle stop, this study examines how group bonds may intensify reactions/emotions to perceived procedural injustice during stops -- reactions which are measured ads both qualitative evaluations of police fairness and legitimacy as well as formal action to include complaint or lawsuit. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006