Police narratives of compliance

Date

2021-12

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Abstract

Black Americans are disproportionately victims of police brutality, an issue Black Lives Matter (BLM) is continuously combating. In the midst of these incidents, the conversation tends to center on what, who, and why, thereby creating a narrative. While research has been conducted in the area of police brutality, studies have yet to focus on the analysis of narratives, specifically, conflicting narratives between the police and the public with an added emphasis on compliance. With police brutality, three different narratives tend to take place. There is an official police narrative through the release of statements and reports, official news narratives from reporting and broadcasting the incident, and a public narrative generated by individuals through social media. Through a qualitative textual analysis, this study draws on the analysis of Twitter posts (tweets) as well as police reports and academy training manuals in order to examine whether social media creates a space of resistance against official police narratives. That is, the public creating a personal narrative that competes with the official police narrative, especially in regard to compliance. This research further consists of a theoretical framework by drawing on critical race theory, social problems theory, and theory of the public sphere. These theoretical contributions provide additional insight into the existence of police brutality, conflicting narratives and compliance as social problems, and social media as a space for public discourse on police brutality and the engagement in narratives.

Description

Keywords

Black Lives Matter (BLM), Compliance, Police Brutality, Social Media, Narratives

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