RoPRA

2021
Journal of Political Institutions & Political Economy
Journal of Political Institutions & Political Economy

The Role of Officer Race and Gender in Police-Civilian Interactions in Chicago

Dean Knox
Dean Knox
Jonathan Mummolo
Jonathan Mummolo

Diversification is a widely proposed policing reform, but its impact is difficult to assess. We used records of millions of daily patrol assignments, determined through fixed rules and preassigned rotations that mitigate self-selection, to compare the average behavior of officers of different demographic profiles working in comparable conditions. Relative to white officers, Black and Hispanic officers make far fewer stops and arrests, and they use force less often, especially against Black civilians. These effects are largest in majority-Black areas of Chicago and stem from reduced focus on enforcing low-level offenses, with greatest impact on Black civilians. Female officers also use less force than males, a result that holds within all racial groups. These results suggest that diversity reforms can improve police treatment of minority communities.

Click here to read the full paper.

Researchers often lack the necessary data to credibly estimate racial discrimination in policing. In particular, police administrative records lack information on civilians police observe but do not investigate
SHARE THIS:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin