Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Sociology and Anthropology
Corey J. Colyer.
This study examines how police see and don't see hate crimes. Prior research has drawn mainly on the ambiguity of hate crime laws and definitions, as well as the struggles endured by law enforcement when investigating these cases. This thesis delves deeper into the issue by analyzing the forces that shape officers' perception of hate crimes and how they influence the way they identify, investigate and report bias-motivated incidents. This research focuses on a police force of a small municipality, of less than 75,000 people, located in a Mid-Atlantic state. An analysis of the department's police records and a focus group interview largely drive the findings of this research. Concepts including organizational norms, landmark narratives and classification of social problems are explored as factors that influence police handling of hate crimes. Findings illustrate that distinct properties must exist before police are likely to consider classifying a case a hate crime.
Stump, R. Jake, "Bias blindness: How police see and don't see hate crimes" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 809.