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Race, Ethnicity, and PolicingNew and Essential Readings$
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Stephen K. Rice and Michael D. White

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814776155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814776155.001.0001

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Legitimacy and Cooperation

Legitimacy and Cooperation

Why Do People Help the Police Fight Crime in Their Communities?

(p.84) Chapter 4 Legitimacy and Cooperation
Race, Ethnicity, and Policing

Tom R. Tyler

Jeffrey Fagan

NYU Press

This chapter counters long-standing social perspectives of police behavior by arguing that their inputs are inadequate in capturing the street-level mechanisms by which individuals choose to comply with the law, cooperate with the police, and support the empowerment of police to use discretion. It then points to the influence of perceived procedural justice in conditioning police legitimacy, and argues that according to the procedural justice model of policing the police can build general legitimacy among the public by treating people justly during personal encounters. This is based upon two arguments. The first is that people evaluate personal experiences with the police by considering the fairness of police procedures. Second, this means that by using fair procedures the police can increase their legitimacy. To test this, the chapter analyzes responses to a panel study on New York City residents that tap both the constructs and the characteristics of police legitimacy and cooperation.

Keywords:   police behavior, police empowerment, procedural justice, police legitimacy, New York City, policing, police procedures

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