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NCJ Number: NCJ 240879     Find in a Library
Title: Decision to Search: Is Race or Ethnicity Important?
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Seth W. Fallik ; Kenneth J. Novak
  Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:28  Issue:2  Dated:May 2012  Pages:146 to 165
Date Published: 05/2012
Page Count: 20
  Annotation: This article examines police decisionmaking during vehicle stops.
Abstract: This manuscript examines police officer decisionmaking during automobile stops to determine whether Black and Hispanic drivers are searched at parity with nonminorities, with particular focus on officers’ legal authority to search and controlling for other explanatory factors. Using data collected by a large Midwestern police department, the authors observed Blacks were overrepresented among searches overall and among searches involving greater officer discretion to search. However, neither race nor ethnic effects were observed after introducing other explanatory variables into multivariate models, suggesting factors other than minority status provide greater understanding of officers’ decisionmaking. Results indicate minorities are differentially involved in searches because police engage minorities under characteristics consistent with searches. This suggests that it is the social context of the stop, rather than the race or ethnicity of the driver, that primarily influences searches. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
Main Term(s): Profiling
Index Term(s): Police decisionmaking ; Vehicle searches ; Vehicle stops
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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