Monday, 7 January 2019

White Police Officers, Black Police Officers, and Their Interpretations of Events

"Six-in-ten white and Hispanic officers characterize police relations with blacks as excellent or good, a view shared by only 32% of their black colleagues. (...) only about a quarter of all white officers (27%) but seven-in-ten of their black colleagues (69%) say the protests that followed fatal encounters between police and black citizens have been motivated at least to some extent by a genuine desire to hold police accountable. (...) virtually all white officers (92%) but only 29% of their black colleagues say that the country has made the changes needed to assure equal rights for blacks."
Pew Research Center

The Pew Research Center national survey - one of the largest ones so far in the U.S. - was conducted by the National Police Research Platform. Attitudes and experiences of almost 8.000 police officers were collected and analysed. Here are some more findings:

"Black officers are much more likely than white or Hispanic officers to say they worry more that officers will not spend enough time diagnosing a situation before acting (61% for blacks vs. 37% for whites and 44% of Hispanics). Overall, blacks and department administrators (59%) are the only two major groups in which a majority is more concerned that officers will act too quickly than worry that they will wait too long before responding to a situation. (...)
Two-thirds of police officers (67%) say the highly publicized fatal encounters between police and blacks are isolated incidents, while 31% describe them as signs of a broader problem. Yet underlying this result are striking differences between the views of black and white officers – differences that mirror the broader fault lines in society at large on racial issues.
A majority of black officers (57%) say these encounters are evidence of a broader problem between police and blacks, a view held by only about a quarter of all white (27%) and Hispanic (26%) officers.
Black female officers in particular are more likely to say these incidents signal a more far-reaching concern. Among all sworn officers, 63% of black women say this, compared with 54% of black men."
Pew Research Center

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photograph by Vivian Maier via


  1. Again, thanks for the share!

    1. I found these results very interesting.
      Many thanks for leaving a comment, Kenneth!