Title

Perceptions of a Police-Community Divide in Central Alabama

Proposal Focus

Research

Abstract

Strained relations between law enforcement and the American Black community has long been an issue of grave concern. A greater public light on the deaths of unarmed Blacks has heightened tensions, and increased fear among Black families that they are susceptible to experiencing separation and loss of relatives as a result of police violence. The present study explores existing fear among Black Americans as a socially learned behavior. A qualitative phenomenological approach with a sample of 20 parents representing Black families in Central Alabama was used to examine fear of police violence and separation, as well as perceptions regarding the potential for improved relations. Three overarching themes emerged to explain participant experiences including: Familial Solicitude, Police-Community Collaboration, and Religious Guidance and Adjudication. This research has important implications for policy and practice, and is a strong effort to support Black families and law enforcement agencies in bridging the people-police divide.

Keywords

Black Americans, Families, Police-community relations

Location

Cornerstone Ballroom

Start Date

12-4-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

12-4-2019 4:00 PM

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:00 PM

Perceptions of a Police-Community Divide in Central Alabama

Cornerstone Ballroom

Strained relations between law enforcement and the American Black community has long been an issue of grave concern. A greater public light on the deaths of unarmed Blacks has heightened tensions, and increased fear among Black families that they are susceptible to experiencing separation and loss of relatives as a result of police violence. The present study explores existing fear among Black Americans as a socially learned behavior. A qualitative phenomenological approach with a sample of 20 parents representing Black families in Central Alabama was used to examine fear of police violence and separation, as well as perceptions regarding the potential for improved relations. Three overarching themes emerged to explain participant experiences including: Familial Solicitude, Police-Community Collaboration, and Religious Guidance and Adjudication. This research has important implications for policy and practice, and is a strong effort to support Black families and law enforcement agencies in bridging the people-police divide.