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Victim race salience and phenotypicality in a police officer use-of-force incident: A mock grand jury study

Skinner, Isla P
The present research examined the interactive effects of race salience and victim racial phenotype on grand jury decision-making regarding an interracial police lethal use-of-force incident. The current experiment ( N = 378) employed a 2 (Race salience: low vs. high) × 2 (Victim phenotypicality: low vs. high) between-subjects design. Participants listened to a mock grand jury proceeding, rendered indictment and charging decisions, and completed several case-related and individual difference measures. Analyses show the significant influence of participants’ attitudes toward the police on their perception of the case, such that more empathy for an officer decreases punitive responses. Additionally, results show a backfiring effect of race salience such officers in the incidents involving a phenotypically high victim were perceived as more provoked when race was made salient compared to when race was not as salient, indirectly decreasing officer indictments.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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jury decision making,racial discrimination,Police Officers,salience effect
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