SOC322H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Colt Police Positive, Social Psychology, Police Misconduct
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Race and policing - (greater) Toronto style
• Annotated bib feedback
• Use academic sources
• Describe how the materials will be used in your term paper
• Length: Eight (8) pages
• Topic: Inequality and Crime – building upon annotated bibliography.
• The central aim is to synthesize and integrate your research into a coherent and empirically
• Structure is up to you. Typically…
• Present main argument and outline of paper
• Body paragraphs (sections)
• Provide evidence to support your argument
• Point 1 (your paper may have two or three main supporting points)
• Point 2 (these are where you flesh out your argument)
• Point 3 (supported by the material you have found)
• Summarize main points and present suggestions for future research
• You may use headings and subheadings to help organizer your paper. For example
• This is done in a similar manner to the way headings are used in text books and articles.
• Make sure to check spelling and grammar. This really helps when marking because the TA’s can
focus on the paper itself, rather than on minor errors.
Peer discussions about the readings
• Groups of 6
• Discuss the main point of each article
• Main concepts/conclusions
• Discussion questions arising from the readings
• Group position thesis: powerful people use police to secure their position in society
• They are in competition for resources
• Police officer will be more deferential/polite to people of higher status
• Motive incorporation argument: how group experiences police is determined by how they
are incorporated in society
• How they came to exist in a society influences their experiences with the police
• Social psychological explanations
• Implicit / explicit biases
• Implicit: ideas exist in our subconscious
• Owusu Bempah
• Situation - man sues police b/c police pulled gun out on him for no reason (Net toon four)
• The guys were exercising their rights when police asked for their ID, and police didn't like that
Race and policing in the GTA
• Desmond Cole: activist who brought issue of race and policing to the floor in the last few years by
documenting his experiences with police
• Hard for groups to prove they are victim of discrimination b/c there is no data to back it up
• Wasn't until Jim Ranken filed freedom of information request that got him access to show AA's
were overrepresented in stop and searches
• Police have become more estranged now than before
• Most serious crimes are solved by public providing them information about what has happened. As
public and police grow further apart, police…
• Resort to stopping people and asking people about who they are/where they are going, and
put it in a database
Race and policing in peel
• Jennifer Peel supports carding - has received criticsm for this
• Jermain Carby - was killed by police
Race and policing - the empirical puzzle
• Black citizens/communities have a historically tenuous relationship with police.
• Extensive American literature documents perceptions and experiences of citizens.
• Why does situation appear to be similar in parts of multicultural Canada?
The policing of black people in Toronto
• Main research question.
• How are distrust of the police and notions of Black criminality mutually sustained and
reproduced through police encounters with Black citizens?
• Blacks and police have mutual disdain for one another, been built up over history and reproduced
• Delegitimation: police not viewed as as legitimate anymore?
Procedural justice theory and the police
• Emerges largely from the work of Tom R. Tyler (1988, 1990, 2004, 2011)
1. Procedurally just treatment (being respectful, providing explanations) increases perceptions of
2. Legitimacy defined as: “citizens’ perceptions as to whether law enforcement officials rightly have
authority over them” (Bottoms and Tankebe, 2012).
a. If police act in unjust manner, they represent the state so people view that the police should
not have power over them
3. Perceptions of police legitimacy reflect citizens’ views of the state.
4. Procedural justice is related to perceptions of racial injustice (Gau and Brunson, 2015; Tyler and
Race, racialization and policing
• Ongoing debates about “Disproportionate Minority Contact” (DMC).
• Offending: these groups are overrepresented as offenders so are more likely to come into
contact with police
• Discrimination: on part of CJS that leads to overrepresentation, police target people based
on stereotypes instead of behavior
• Mixed model: product of offending and discrimination
• Racialization: “the processes by which ideas about race are constructed, come to be regarded as
meaningful, and are acted upon.” (Solomos, 2005).
• The sociology of racialization, crime and punishment.
• How do criminal justice agencies produce and reproduce race?
Mixed methods study approach
• Included views of adults from general population in Toronto, asked about perceptions of police.
Get idea of how 'average Torontonian' experiences/views police