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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Communicative Dynamics of Police-Civilian Encounters: American and African Interethnic Data


Research in the American West, China, and Taiwan has shown that officers’ communication accommodative practices (and attributed trust in them) can be more potent predictors of satisfaction with the police than are the socio-demographic characteristics of those judging. With Black and White respondents, this study continues this line of work in Louisiana and South Africa and tests a new model about the relationships among perceived officer accommodation, trust in the police, and reported voluntary compliance from civilians. In addition to an array of differences that emerged between nations and ethnicities, officer accommodativeness indirectly predicted civilian compliance through trust. The hypothesized model was partially supported and culturally-sensitive.

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