Renewed interest has occurred in the United States around racially biased policing. Unfortunately, little is known about the effects of neighborhood social context on black adolescents' experiences with racially biased policing. In the current study, we examined whether perceptions of racially biased policing against black adolescents are a function of neighborhood racial composition, net of other neighborhood- and individual-level factors. Using two waves of data from 763 black adolescents, we found that black adolescents most frequently are discriminated against by the police in predominantly white neighborhoods. This effect especially is pronounced in white neighborhoods that experienced recent growth in the size of the black population. Our results lend support to the “defended” white neighborhood thesis.
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Document Type: Research Article
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
Department of Sociology, University of Georgia
Publication date: 01 August 2009