Study Finds Black Cops Disciplined Disproportionately For Misconduct

A study from Indiana University at Bloomington has highlighted the disproportionate rate at which Black officers are disciplined for misconduct. In their recent report, Bloomington researchers examined the racial disparities when disciplining officers within three of the country's largest cities.

Throughout their work, researchers from Indiana University reached out to the Citizens Police Data Project. The nonprofit collected information from the Chicago Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department ranging from 1999 to 2015. They also examined data collected by the Analysis Group for the City of Los Angeles in 2003 and 2004.

"We found a consistent pattern of racial differences in the formal recording of disciplinary actions in three different major metropolitan cities: Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles," the group of six Indiana University professors wrote.

"Our results showed that Black officers were more likely to have recorded cases of misconduct, despite there being no difference between Black and white officers in the number of allegations made against them."

In cities such as Chicago, researchers found that Black officers were disciplined at a 105% rate higher than their white colleagues. In Philadelphia, researchers also found that Black officers were disciplined at a 48% higher rate higher than their white counterparts. When controlling for the number of allegations of misconduct, Black officers were disciplined at a 132% rate higher than white officers.

"Just as organizational leaders have implemented policies and procedures to mitigate adverse impact in hiring, they may need to implement checks to ensure that there is no adverse impact in the detection and enforcing of organizational misconduct," Indiana University Kelley School of Business professors wrote.

"Just as bias by police against citizens has been very slow to change, it is likely that any bias within police departments has also been slow to change."

Photo: Getty Images

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