POLICE SUSPICION AND DISCRETIONARY DECISION MAKING DURING CITIZEN STOPS *

POLICE SUSPICION AND DISCRETIONARY DECISION MAKING DURING CITIZEN STOPS * This study examines the influence of racial, demographic and situational variables on types of police suspicion and the ancillary decision to stop and question suspects. Data were drawn from an observational study of police decision making in Savannah, Georgia. Based on the literature, we hypothesized that minority suspects will be more likely to be viewed suspiciously by the police for nonbehavioral reasons. We also hypothesize that minority status will play a significant role in the decision to stop and question suspicious persons. The findings from this study provide partial support for these hypotheses. The results indicate that minority status does influence an officer's decision to form nonbehavioral as opposed to behavioral suspicion, but that minority status does not influence the decision to stop and question suspects. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding race and its role in police decision making. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Criminology Wiley

POLICE SUSPICION AND DISCRETIONARY DECISION MAKING DURING CITIZEN STOPS *

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0011-1384
eISSN
1745-9125
DOI
10.1111/j.0011-1348.2005.00012.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examines the influence of racial, demographic and situational variables on types of police suspicion and the ancillary decision to stop and question suspects. Data were drawn from an observational study of police decision making in Savannah, Georgia. Based on the literature, we hypothesized that minority suspects will be more likely to be viewed suspiciously by the police for nonbehavioral reasons. We also hypothesize that minority status will play a significant role in the decision to stop and question suspicious persons. The findings from this study provide partial support for these hypotheses. The results indicate that minority status does influence an officer's decision to form nonbehavioral as opposed to behavioral suspicion, but that minority status does not influence the decision to stop and question suspects. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding race and its role in police decision making.

Journal

CriminologyWiley

Published: May 1, 2005

References

  • More on demeanor and arrest in Dade County
    Klinger, Klinger
  • Negotiating order in patrol work: An ecological theory of police response to deviance
    Klinger, Klinger
  • Driving while black: Effects of race, ethnicity, and gender on citizen self‐reports of traffic stops and police actions
    Lundman, Lundman; Robert, Robert
  • The helping hand of the law: Police control of citizens on request
    Mastrofski, Mastrofski; Jeffrey, Jeffrey; Roger, Roger; Christopher, Christopher
  • A multilevel test of racial threat theory
    Stolzenberg, Stolzenberg; Stewart, Stewart; David, David
  • Perceptions of racial profiling: Race, class, and personal experience
    Weitzer, Weitzer; Steven, Steven
  • Demeanor, crime, and police behavior: a reexamination of the police services study data
    Worden, Worden; Robin, Robin

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