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Title

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Police Attitudes: Relationship to Political Orientation and Media Usage

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

The recent events of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have sparked much controversy across the United States concerning issues regarding police brutality and discrimination. Nationwide, the rate at which Black people are killed by law enforcement is 3 times higher than that of White people (Wihbey, 2015). Media coverage can have a strong influence on its viewers regardless of the accuracy of what is being reported. In this study, we examined college students’ attitudes about the police and these cases and compared that to demographic variables and their use of media. Approximately 100 college students from the University of Northern Iowa will complete a survey assessing their views about police officers, the Michael Brown case, and the Eric Garner case, media usage, perceptions of racism, and demographic variables such as political orientation. We expect that views of police officers more generally will be related to attitudes about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, that participants who are more conservative will be more likely to support the decisions not to indict the officers, and that those who know and have heard more about the cases will have more extreme opinions.

Start Date

25-4-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

25-4-2015 9:45 AM

Faculty Advisor

Helen Harton

Comments

Location: Great Reading Room, Seerley Hall

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Apr 25th, 8:30 AM Apr 25th, 9:45 AM

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Police Attitudes: Relationship to Political Orientation and Media Usage

The recent events of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have sparked much controversy across the United States concerning issues regarding police brutality and discrimination. Nationwide, the rate at which Black people are killed by law enforcement is 3 times higher than that of White people (Wihbey, 2015). Media coverage can have a strong influence on its viewers regardless of the accuracy of what is being reported. In this study, we examined college students’ attitudes about the police and these cases and compared that to demographic variables and their use of media. Approximately 100 college students from the University of Northern Iowa will complete a survey assessing their views about police officers, the Michael Brown case, and the Eric Garner case, media usage, perceptions of racism, and demographic variables such as political orientation. We expect that views of police officers more generally will be related to attitudes about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, that participants who are more conservative will be more likely to support the decisions not to indict the officers, and that those who know and have heard more about the cases will have more extreme opinions.