Making News of Police Violence: A Comparative Study of Toronto and New York City

Making News of Police Violence: A Comparative Study of Toronto and New York City

Making News of Police Violence: A Comparative Study of Toronto and New York City

Making News of Police Violence: A Comparative Study of Toronto and New York City

Synopsis

Although many people consider excessive police violence disconcerting, if, when, and how they voice their opinion or respond by taking some sort of action has generally remained empirically unknown. In the hope of understanding this process, Ross has developed a four-stage model, based on a review of the literature and on interviews with the relevant actors. He then uses this tool to analyze police violence that occurred in Toronto, Canada and New York City, over a fifteen-year period. To better focus the study, he uses in-depth case studies of three well-publicized cases of police violence from each city, matched on important criteria.

Excerpt

Making News of Police Violence is useful to scholars, media personnel, police administrators, and perhaps most important, criminal justice instructors and students alike. Building on Jeffrey Ian Ross’ dissertation and a series of journal articles and chapters in books, such as his piece ‘‘The Role of the Media in the Creation of Public Police Violence,’’ for my co-edited (with Frankie Bailey) Popular Culture, Crime and Justice (1998), this book is important because few empirical studies have been conducted on citizens,’ governmental, and law enforcement reactions to police use of force. It also places the study of police violence in the context of social problems, communication, public administration, policy, political participation, and social movement research.

Making News of Police Violence is helpful to reporters, broadcasters, and editors who make the daily decisions on which our news of police use of excessive force is based. They may gain a better contextual understanding of the work they do, to see it in a larger framework beyond the daily grind of deadlines, column inches, and seconds that fit. The dissemination of this research may be accomplished by Dr. Ross directly contacting the news personnel, or by his presenting findings from the study at communication/journalism conferences. Cross-professional contacts between academics and practitioners, in this case researchers who study police news reporting and those who practice that reporting, may result in a more thorough understanding of this important news activity.

Findings from this study are advantageous to police administrators and the departments that they lead because they can better understand the dynamic that takes place between news makers and sources. They can also use the media to advertise occasions for citizens to learn what

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