Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Weffer, Simone E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology




Some of the most important contemporary issues society faces are legal intervention deaths (LID), a.k.a. officer-involved shootings (OIS), how media portrays incidents of OIS (e.g. fake news), the lack of evidence in public opinion about OIS, the lack of robust understandings of this phenomenon, and the lack of viable public policy on incidents of OIS and combatting fake news. The present study explores an aspect of incidents of OIS that is relevant but that research and media do not cover thoroughly---Officer Race. Content analyses of media articles on incidents of OIS and race coding are utilized to create a database including Officer Race. Crosstabulation results fall in line with much of the literature on OIS; that is, Police utilize fatal force more often on Black and Hispanic civilians than on White civilians. My results also show when Police is trichotomized by Officer Race, this pattern of racial asymmetry continues. Notably, Black and Hispanic Police also kill Black and Hispanic civilians more often than White civilians. These results speak largely to the theory of social dominance. Dominant groups in society protect their statuses by prejudicing subordinate groups. Inequality is maintained through institutions such as police, which creates dominance-oriented policing, and is utilized to maintain a hierarchical society. Black (and Hispanic) Police show high levels of social dominance orientation and such individuals show favorable bias towards dominant groups, meaning police of color show more negative bias towards civilians of their own race than do White Police.


Advisors: Simone E. Weffer.||Committee members: Fred Markowitz; Carol Walther.||Includes bibliographical references.


82 pages




Northern Illinois University

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