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A Content Analysis on Police Killings of Unarmed Black Males: An Assessment on Experts' Quotes in National News Sources

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Date Issued:
2016
Summary:
There is increasing concern in news media sources regarding police killings of unarmed Black males. However, there is limited research on the portrayal of such incidents in the news and the implications for police-community relations in African- American communities. In order to address this gap, this study analyzed 120 experts’ quotes provided by two of the largest and most respected newspapers in the United States -- the New York Times and USA Today. This research comprised a content analysis of quotes related to the deaths of Eric Garner (Staten Island, New York), Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri), and Freddie Gray (Baltimore City, Maryland). A number of factors are discussed: The news organization’s predominate category and specialty of experts selected; whether the experts’ quotes attributed to pro-police or community bias; if the experts’ quotes discussed social or racial inequalities in the cities selected; whether the experts addressed evidence-based strategies necessary to improve police-community relations in the Black community, and whether experts’ quotes discussed solutions to improve police and community relations in the Black community. The findings suggest that the selected national news sources, in the one year following the deaths of each of the unarmed victims, highlighted quotes from state manager, particularly politicians, at a much higher rate than intellectuals. Although revealing a substantial level of procommunity bias, the quotes presented very little regarding evidence-based strategies for improving police-community relations in the Black community and reducing the number of unarmed deaths caused by police. The implications for research on media and crime as well as policing strategies are discussed.
Title: A Content Analysis on Police Killings of Unarmed Black Males: An Assessment on Experts' Quotes in National News Sources.
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Name(s): Fulcher, Christopher, author
Crichlow, Vaughn, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
College for Design and Social Inquiry
School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2016
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 126 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: There is increasing concern in news media sources regarding police killings of unarmed Black males. However, there is limited research on the portrayal of such incidents in the news and the implications for police-community relations in African- American communities. In order to address this gap, this study analyzed 120 experts’ quotes provided by two of the largest and most respected newspapers in the United States -- the New York Times and USA Today. This research comprised a content analysis of quotes related to the deaths of Eric Garner (Staten Island, New York), Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri), and Freddie Gray (Baltimore City, Maryland). A number of factors are discussed: The news organization’s predominate category and specialty of experts selected; whether the experts’ quotes attributed to pro-police or community bias; if the experts’ quotes discussed social or racial inequalities in the cities selected; whether the experts addressed evidence-based strategies necessary to improve police-community relations in the Black community, and whether experts’ quotes discussed solutions to improve police and community relations in the Black community. The findings suggest that the selected national news sources, in the one year following the deaths of each of the unarmed victims, highlighted quotes from state manager, particularly politicians, at a much higher rate than intellectuals. Although revealing a substantial level of procommunity bias, the quotes presented very little regarding evidence-based strategies for improving police-community relations in the Black community and reducing the number of unarmed deaths caused by police. The implications for research on media and crime as well as policing strategies are discussed.
Identifier: FA00004594 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.S.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2016.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Police misconduct.
Police brutality.
Police--Complaints against.
Police-community relations.
Police corruption.
Post-racialism.
Racial profiling in law enforcement.
Discrimination in law enforcement.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004594
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004594
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.