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Dead Canaries In The Coal Mines: The Symbolic Assailant Revisited, Jeannine Bell Jan 2018

Dead Canaries In The Coal Mines: The Symbolic Assailant Revisited, Jeannine Bell

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The well-publicized deaths of several African-Americans—Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, and Alton Sterling among others—at the hands of police stem from tragic interactions predicated upon well-understood practices analyzed by police scholars since the 1950s. The symbolic assailant, a construct created by police scholar Jerome Skolnick in the mid-1960s to identify persons whose behavior and characteristics the police view as threatening, is especially relevant to contemporary policing. This Article explores the societal roots of the creation of a Black symbolic assailant in contemporary American policing.

The construction of African-American men as symbolic assailants is one of the most important factors ...


Aggressive Policing And The Educational Performance Of Minority Youth, Joscha Legewie, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2018

Aggressive Policing And The Educational Performance Of Minority Youth, Joscha Legewie, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

An increasing number of minority youth are confronted with the criminal justice system. But how does the expansion of police presence in poor urban communities affect educational outcomes? Previous research points at multiple mechanisms with opposing effects. This article presents the first causal evidence of the impact of aggressive policing on the educational performance of minority youth. Under Operation Impact, the New York Police Department (NYPD) saturated high crime areas with additional police officers with the mission to engage in aggressive, order maintenance policing. To estimate the effect, we use administrative data from about 250,000 adolescents aged 9 to ...


Fiscal Pressures And Discriminatory Policing: Evidence From Traffic Stops In Missouri, Allison P. Harris, Elliott Ash, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2018

Fiscal Pressures And Discriminatory Policing: Evidence From Traffic Stops In Missouri, Allison P. Harris, Elliott Ash, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

This paper provides evidence of racial variation in local governments' traffic enforcement responses to budget stress using data from policing agencies in the state of Missouri for the years 2001 through 2012. Like previous studies, we find that local budget stress is associated with higher citation rates. In addition, we find that there is an increase in traffic-stop arrests. However, we find that these effects are concentrated among white (rather than black or Hispanic) drivers. The results are robust to the inclusion of a range of covariates for traffic stops and to the inclusion of local population features interacted with ...