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Intergroup dynamics of extra-legal police aggression: An integrated theory of race and place

The police are empowered to use various forms of coercion to accomplish legitimate duties, but they also may employ them gratuitously in violation of law or departmental policy. These extra-legal behaviors range in severity from verbal abuse, such as racial slurs and profanity, to unjustified physical force resulting in severe injury or death. Racial and ethnic minorities, especially those residing in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods, may be disproportionately targeted for such practices. Scholars have offered several explanations for the differential employment of extra-legal police aggression, but an integrated theory of minority disadvantage has yet to be developed. In this article, we synthesize the existing literature into a model of extra-legal police aggression that considers intergroup dynamics of race and place. We argue that ordinary social-psychological processes triggered by the characteristics of neighborhoods explain extra-legal police aggression against minority citizens. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aggression and Violent Behavior Elsevier
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