Policing and Race by: Ashaye and Ada
Policing and Race by: Ashaye and Ada
A greater proportion of
African American protest events were met
with police presence than were white events.
In 1967, 70 percent of African
American events had police present at them,
while only 42 percent of white events did
1967 was characterized by
urban riots and was near the height of the
black power movement.
Concerns about African American
protest growing or getting ‘‘out of hand’’; in
this context, police likely felt the need to
observe and monitor as many African American
protest events as possible.
In 1977, when nearly
75 percent of African American events drew
police presence, while only a quarter of white
events did so.
In 1977, there were large riots in
Chicago, as well as riots associated with the
blackout in New York City;
Once police arrive
at an event with African Americans present,
they are more likely to make arrests, to use
force/violence, and to use force/violence in
conjunction with arrests than they are to do
Protester use of violence and property damage
are likely to bring police to an event. Police
are also likely to appear at events where protesters
use multiple tactics and events where
protesters target the government.
Police presence increases counter-demonstrators are present. When protesters use confrontational or
extremely confrontational tactics, the odds of
police presence increase.
Protest size has no significant effect on police
From 1983 to 1989, police were significantly
more likely to do nothing at protest
events where African Americans were present.
to 1981, African American and white protesters
were equally likely to be arrested at protest
events that police attended.
1960 to 1962,
events with African American protesters
were significantly more likely (than events
without African Americans) to be met with
arrests (when police showed up).
Driven by the early
part of our period, prior to important civil
rights legislative victories and police reform
in the late 1960s.
From 1960 to
1971, events with African Americans present
were more likely to be subject to arrests and
more likely to be used in events with African
Americans present from 1960 to 1962. White protesters were
more likely to be arrested in the 1982 to
The Dynamics of Collective Action 1960 to 1990 Data and Methods
Protest Event = any type of activity that involves more than one person and is carried out with the explicit purpose of articulating a grievance against a target
focus was on events that might draw police presence or lead to police action once they arrived
included rallies, demonstrations, marches, vigils, picketing, civil disobedience etc.
Collection of data
Daily issues of NYT (was coded)(3 criteria had to be met to be classified )
participants at an event must articulate claim, whether its grievance against or an expression of support for a target
events must have happened in the public sphere or have been open to the public
must be more than one participant at the event, because our interest is in collective action
newspaper data - most widely used source. Included both description bias and selection bias
the fact that not all protest events will be covered by a given newspaper and the possibility that what is covered is likely not a random sample of all events that took place (e.g more intense events, violence, larger, more violent)
how well a newspaper reporter describe the events that has happened
disruptive tactics, violence, event size, and proximity to news source
size of protest, counter demonstrations presence, arguably threatening things (e.g extreme confrontational tactics, less confrontational tactics, damaged property , etc)
interested in accounting for the probability of several different kinds of protest policing 1960-1990 period
using physical force
making arrest and using force/violence
Police use of force and violence
They are more likely to use force/violence, either alone or
in conjunction with arrests, than they are
to do nothing at larger events.
There is a possibility that at large
events, police exercise restraint, unless an
event gets out of control, at which point,
police act with all means necessary to control
When counter-demonstrators are present,
police are less likely to make arrests or to
use force/violence in conjunction with arrests
than they are to do nothing, but they are
slightly more likely to use force
Counter-demonstrator presence signals to police that a forceful response may be necessary, but that arrests (either alone or
used in conjunction with force/violence) are not appropriate.
One reason for this may be that at such events, police cannot
reliably determine who should be arrested, thus they are more likely to resort to force/ violence or to do nothing.
Extremely confrontational tactics, use of violence, and use of multiple tactics are triggers for various kinds of police response.
Protesting while black
Protesting While Black phenomenon,
but it is historically bounded and it
depends on what kind of policing we are interested in. It varies over time.
At a more general level,
the literature on systemic racism suggests
that the race of protesters engaged in claimsmaking
against the state likely poses a threat
to state authorities, who may, in turn, order
police to behave more aggressively toward
African Americans in order to control the
potential threat to the status quo.
Findings imply that in many years, white
protesters enjoyed a greater privilege of protest,
and thus greater access to democratic
institutions, than did African American citizen/
African american threat to police response
Racial threat and ethnic competition literature are used extensively to examine how the relative size of the African American population affects various facets of criminal justice system
systematic racism theory argues that the criminal justice system which is controlled by white, has frequently been used to control claims-making efforts by African Americans
threat model has advanced our understanding of protest policing especially by paying explicit attention to how the police and other government agents consider protesters behavior as they contemplate how to response