Protest and Police Abuse: Racial Limits on Perceived Accountability

  • Christian Davenport
  • Rose McDermott
  • David Armstrong


This chapter assesses the role of race in public perception of the need for accountability in cases of police abuse during protests in the United States. It finds that when protesters are black and police are white, African Americans are less likely to blame protesters, and when protesters are black and police are white, whites are less likely to blame police. The study utilizes a unique experimental dataset involving 423 respondents, which Davenport, McDermott, and Armstrong use to reveal how racial similarity or dissimilarity between protesters, police, observers, and respondents influences perceptions of who is to blame (police or protesters) for a particular conflict.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Davenport
    • 1
  • Rose McDermott
    • 2
  • David Armstrong
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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