Factors That Influence Perceptions of Racial Profiling During Police/Motorist Interactions
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Most racial profiling studies are quantitative and rely on benchmarking and outcome tests. Several studies have focused on citizens' beliefs about the prevalence of racial profiling and their opinions regarding racial profiling. At this time, no research identifies the factors within a particular police/motorist encounter that lead an individual to define that encounter as racial profiling. To remedy this gap, I conducted a case study of racial profiling using focus groups to identify and discuss factors that may matter during a police/motorist interaction. The findings indicate that there are five factors that influence perceptions of racial profiling: context of the stop, the reason cited for the stop, whether a search is justified, the questions asked, and an officer's behavior and demeanor.