Panel Paper: Where Police Kill: The Neighborhood Characteristics of Police Violence

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Building 3, Room 209 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Dean Obermark, Urban Institute

Police violence is an enduring characteristic of American policing. Recent and egregious police killings have turned public attention towards the prevalence of police violence in America, and, through the diligence of citizens, journalists, and researchers alike, more complete and detailed data on police violence is now available (e.g., Center for Policing Equity’s Justice Database, Fatal Encounters, Guardian, and Washington Post databases). Using this data, scholars across disciplines are re-engaging the topic of police violence (Ross 2015, Goff et al. 2016, Nix and Campbell 2017, Fryer Forthcoming). Theses analyses have shed new light on the stark racial and ethnic disparities among citizens who experience police violence. The role of place in police violence—neighborhood effects in particular—is less studied. Leveraging nationally representative data on police killings, we investigate the neighborhoods where police kill to better understand the interplay of place, race, socioeconomic status, and police violence. We explore how police killings—especially where many—traumatize and potentially destabilize neighborhoods, in turn undermining cities’ resiliency.