Police Suspicion and Discretionary Decision Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The data compiled pointed to some interesting conclusions, and they were not what many people would imagine causes police stops. This is not what most readers would expect, and it seems that while racial profiling may take place initially, it is not always the final aspect of behavior that causes an office to actually pull over a car or confront a citizen. The authors concede there are many variables in their research, and that they do not "address the question of police fairness" (Alpert, Macdonald and Dunham 427). Their data was presented completely and in detail, and was still easy enough to understand that most laymen would understand the issue and the results.

The value of this paper was twofold. The data the authors finally compiled was quite useful in really understanding just what causes an officer to find something unusual - unusual enough to make a stop or confront a citizen. The actual variables of the study were discussed, and the weaknesses of some of the variables were noted to be subjective or independent. Many studies have shown that officers tend to pull over a larger percentage of racial suspects, and this study confirmed that, however, it helped show why the officers tend to find those suspects more suspicious and so pull them over. It seems that a majority of the offices in the study found racial suspects driving cars more suspicious than white suspects, and that the longer the officers had been serving on the police force, the more likely they were to base their decision-making process on racial suspicions rather than other types of behaviors that aroused suspicion, but that it actually does not impact the final actions by most officers. Their study backs up what other studies have confirmed, but it was interesting to note that their findings also indicated that specific neighborhoods had little or no impact on decision-making, and that the final actions of officers were not based on race.

References

Alpert, Geoffrey P., Macdonald, John M. And Dunham, Roger G. "Police Suspicion and Discretionary Decision Making During Citizen Stops." Criminology, Vol.…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Alpert, Geoffrey P., Macdonald, John M. And Dunham, Roger G. "Police Suspicion and Discretionary Decision Making During Citizen Stops." Criminology, Vol. 42, Number 2, May 2005. 407-page numbers

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