Americas: Those with Darker Skin Report Slower Police Response / Mollie J. Cohen, Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, and Mitchell A. Seligson

From riots in Ferguson, Missouri to street protests in New York to the Twitter hashtag, #blacklivesmatter, and more, race relations and policing have captured national attention in the United States. Many voices are discussing the fact that African Americans trust the police less and give poorer evaluations of various aspects of police performance, compared to white North Americans (e.g., Brown and Coulter 1983, Van Ryzin et al. 2004, Newport 2014). What about the rest of the Americas? As Edward Telles and colleagues have convincingly demonstrated in the new book Pigmentocracies (2014), skin tone is associated with unequal opportunity and discrimination across the Americas. In this Topical Brief,1 we report on perceptions of police responsiveness in the Latin America and Caribbean region, with a pparticular focus on its relationship to skin tone. SEE MORE…

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