Black ExperienceNational

Higher-Income Black Women More Likely Subjected to Police Force: Study

When it comes to contact with police, Black women with incomes exceeding $50,000 are more likely to experience the use of force, a new study found.

The study, “Police Use of Force by Ethnicity, Sex, and Socioeconomic Class,” was conducted by Robert Motley Jr., who’s studying for a doctorate degree from the Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis, and social development professor Sean Joe.

The study took into account the use of force by police officers when factors such as race, gender and income come into play.

The pair examined 2011 data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics on Black and White people who had involuntary contact with police officers during a street stop. While their results showed that the likelihood for Black men to be subjected to police force rose as their incomes lowered, the opposite was true for Black women.

“Middle-class Black people were significantly more likely than disadvantaged Black people to view the practice of racial profiling as widespread and to report that they have experienced it personally,” the researchers noted. “Similarly, research examining experiences with racialized, biased policing among Black residents revealed that perceived discriminatory police actions are greatest for Black people residing in predominantly White affluent neighborhoods.”

According to the study, more educated and affluent Black women — particularly those in predominantly White neighborhoods — may be more likely to challenge what they perceive to be racially discriminatory policing, and therefore are more likely to be met with force in return.

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