In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks nearly 14 years ago, Arab Americans came under heightened suspicion and greater counter-terrorism surveillance. Has this changing relationship with law enforcement affected Arab Americans’ levels of confidence in the police? In new study which looks at attitudes of Arab Americans in Detroit, Ivan Sun & Yuning Wu find that their attitudes towards police have been mostly unchanged, with more than 40 percent expressing a ‘great deal’ or ‘a lot’ of confidence in the police. They argue that local police departments’ efforts to establish solid rapport with Arab communities may have contributed to maintaining these high levels, and illustrate the importance of building these types of links in order to establish and maintain public confidence in policing.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have transformed the landscape of American policing. The aftermath, including the war on terror, the heightened public suspicion of Arab Americans as terrorists, the political and economic backlash and hate crimes against Arab Americans, and the enhanced governmental counter-terrorism powers, has resulted in a special relationship between Arab Americans and law enforcement agencies. This relationship is highlighted by the concern of police carrying out appropriate and effective counter-terrorism activity without infringing upon individuals’, especially Arab Americans’, civil liberties.
Despite their new visible status under the intensive counter-terrorism surveillance and investigation, Arab Americans have given quite positive evaluations of local police forces in recent surveys. Our analysis of data from the 2003 Detroit Arab American Study (DAAS) found that 40.1 percent and 45.4 percent of the respondents said they had “a great deal” and “a lot” confidence in local police, respectively. These numbers were in line with the 2003 U.S. national data showing that approximately 90 percent of Americans reported having a great deal or some confidence in the police.
Contrary to popular belief, Arab Americans’ immigrant status, ethnicity, and religious belief do not necessarily affect their confidence in the police. The 2003 DAAS data revealed that foreign- and US-born, White and non-White, and Muslim and non-Muslim Arab respondents did not vary significantly in their confidence in the police. Instead, Arab Americans’ confidence in the police was influenced primarily by their educational attainment and social attitudes and trust. Those who had a high school diploma or lower educational attainment, higher levels of confidence in the U.S. legal system, greater respect for authority, and greater trust in neighbors were more likely to report higher degrees of confidence in the police.
Despite their high levels of confidence in local law enforcement agencies, Arab Americans clearly expressed their concerns about counter-terrorism measures. The majority of surveyed Arab Americans showed only weak to modest support for aggressive law enforcement practice, especially those targeting Arab Americans. Arab Americans’ attitudes toward antiterrorism measures were related to their ethnic identities and religion with those who self-identified as Arab American and Muslim showing less favorable attitudes toward counter-terrorism measures. Arab Americans’ confidence in the federal government was also found to be positively associated with their support for anti-terrorism practices.
Have Arab Americans’ levels of confidence in the police changed since 2003? The answer is not really. In a 2014 survey conducted in metro-Detroit, we found that Arab-American respondents continued to express favorable ratings of their police. When asked the same question about their levels of confidence in the police, 40.6 percent of respondents said “a great deal” and 36.2 percent said “a lot”. As shown in Figure 1, the 2003 and 2014 data were virtually identical in the first (“ a great deal”) and last response categories (“none at all”). Compared to the 2003 statistics, the 2014 data showed a lower percentage in the “a lot” category (45.4 percent v. 36.2 percent) but a higher percentage in the “not much” category (11.1 percent v. 19.8 percent). However, these differences were not statistically significant, meaning that Arab Americans’ confidence in their local police remained largely unchanged over the past decade in metro-Detroit.
Figure 1 – Arab Americans Confidence in Police
Due to limited empirical data, we don’t know how many Arab Americans in other parts of the country may hold similar or different views of the police from their counterparts in metro-Detroit. Metro-Detroit has one of the largest, oldest, and most concentrated Arab expatriate populations in the country. Arab communities there are highly institutionalized with effective community organizations, political prominence, and general support from benefactors. Local Arab Americans’ historical experiences of discipline (e.g., being watched, doubted, and asked to prove the loyalties) and inclusion (i.e., being incorporated, recognized, and rewarded for participation in the American mainstream system) may make them both resilient and highly adaptive to crisis, and subsequently fared much better than those in other cities after the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, local police departments’ efforts to establish solid rapport with Arab communities via various community policing and other programs, proactive patrol strategies to protect Arabs and their neighborhoods right after the 9/11 attacks, and cautious decision to avoid active involvement in federal investigation of terrorists may also have paid off in terms of maintaining high levels of confidence in the police.
Studying police relationships with minority communities, including Arab Americans, is very important. Tragic incidents in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore are just some examples of how use of deadly force and bias policing could be detrimental to perceived police legitimacy, police accountability, and relationships with local residents. Recent arrests of dozens of U. S. citizens, including some Arab and Muslim Americans, who allegedly try to join ISIS, emerged as a new source of potential conflict between Arab communities and law enforcement agencies. Police agencies serving Arab communities in the Detroit area should be complimented for garnering strong confidence from local residents, but they must continue to reach out to Arab communities and avoid overly aggressive activities or behaviors that target immigrants and/or Arab communities.
Public confidence in the police is fragile, difficult to build, yet easy to destroy. Federal and local authorities should work hard to establish and maintain public confidence by, for example, working with existing community-based organizations to promote community networks and efficacy, increasing residents’ mutual trust and cohesion, decreasing social disorganization and disorder, and attracting external capital building institutions. Strong Arab communities benefit not only local law enforcement but also the entire of U.S. society.
This article is based on the paper ‘Arab Americans’ Confidence in Police’, in Crime & Delinquency.
Featured image credit: jog (Flickr, CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0)
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Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of USApp– American Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.
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Ivan Y. Sun – University of Delaware
Ivan Sun is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. His research interests include police attitudes and behvaiors, public evluations of criminal justice and international and comparative crime and justice. He has published three books and over 70 refereed journal articles on numerous outlets in criminology, crimianl justice, sociology, social work, political science, and public administration.
Yuning Wu – Wayne State University
Yuning Wu is an associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Wayne State University. Her research interests include policing, fear of crime, and victimization. She was a recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship by the National Institute of Justice in 2014, and the Dorothy Bracey/Janice Joseph Minority and Women New Scholar Award by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in 2015.
This article shows that confidence in police remains fairly stable in Arab Americans from 2003-2014 and that the differences are not statistically significant. I find this surprising because of recent events such as the Michael Brown case that the media shows us. The media leads us to believe that police confidence is at an all time low, however in the case of Arab Americans the confidence is not statistically different. I am curious if the same would hold true for other races as well. It seems unlikely that African American confidence in the police would remain unchanged due to recent events.
I feel that it is not surprising that Arab American’s confidence in the federal government was in positive correlation with their anti-terrorism practices because Arab Americans are members of this nation and do not wish to see any harm come to it. Their dislike for aggressive tactics especially targeting Arab Americans is completely warranted due to just one small portion of this large Arab culture committing such heinous acts, which does not warrant aggression towards the Arab society as a whole. It would be interesting to see the direct impact the 9/11 attacks had on relations between Police and the Arab community in New York City as well as in Washington DC where the attacks occurred. Detroit’s studies may serve as a good indicator, but direct information from Arab Americans where the attacks specifically effected the lives of many police and citizens may serve as better indication of the true feelings the Arab Community may hold towards law enforcement. Detroit is a good example of what is working to keep police-community relations strong and that is important to further analysis to help these other cities with weakened relations rebuild the trust that was lost.
I found this article particularly interesting. I excepted a completely opposite reaction from the Arab American community. Post 9-11 spying and suspicion has focused so much on the Arab community such as the TSA “random searches” and other security measures that have been proven to focus somewhat on ethnicity. Past news articles have focused on how Arab Americans feel a distrust and tension between themselves and officers which is why I found this article so surprising because in Detroit it is the opposite reaction. I would like to see statistics pre 9-11 and compare them to the 2003 and 2014 studies and see if they changed at all over that period of time. Towards the end of the article it mentions that there is no data for the rest of the country and I wonder if this pattern holds true throughout the country and I would like to see more studies done. I do agree that Detroit police deserve to be commended for effectively gaining the Arab American communities confidence, but the article mentions that Detroit has had a historically higher concentration of Arab Americans so the department is used to dealing with the population which makes me lean more towards this is an isolated feeling of confidence in police and that nation wide it would be different.
I find it almost noble for arabs to have such a high percentage of trust in police, even after all the scrutiny they have been put through. It is not surprising to me that arabs with a higher education have the more trust, this is true with the majority of citizens. Those that have opposing views are usually the ones that are in trouble most often and have frequent visits by the police. In reality if the percentage has remained this high it leads me to believe that crime among them is low in these tight knit communities in Detroit. In another sense there is still that percentage that has this mistrust and I imagine they do whatever they can to avoid police contact, even if needed. Some may be skeptical on how they believe the police will treat them if they do call for help in fear of harassment and other stereotypes they can think of. The increase in 2014 for not very much doesn’t surprise me with everything that has happened in the past few years with police shootings. I am actually surprised the numbers did not increase more, with technology increases the mass media is a huge source for people to get their information, and often times the information is skewed or incorrect leading people to believe the wrong thing.
As an arab-american myself, I find this research especially interesting. With both of my parents immigrating to the United States from Lebanon, I grew up as a first generation American fused with my parents Lebanese culture. It has been hard witnessing Americans stereotype all Arabs after the 9/11 attacks, however I can say with confidence that it has not affected my family’s confidence in the American criminal justice system. In fact, my parents have supported my pursuit of a career in the criminal justice field. Just as Americans with a higher education tend to have a more favorable outlook on police, the same can be hypothesized for the Arab community. I would like to see future research on this topic- especially comparing education level, income, and socioeconomic status to an individuals trust in police. I do agree that trust between the criminal justice system and a community can be difficult to build yet easy to destroy. Subsequently, I believe police should focus on working with community-organizations (especially minority communities) to help maintain and strengthen this trust. I commend Detroit for beginning to accomplish this. It may be a small step, but it is a small step in the right direction. I am looking forward to future research and organizational efforts related to this topic.
It is remarkable that even after aggressive police tactics and public scrutiny, the American-Arab community has had a mostly static, positive confidence in police over the last decade-or-so. I was particularly surprised by this because after 9/11, the federal government made it very easy to stereotype and then interrogate suspected terrorists–even foregoing some parts of the constitution in the name of the war against terror. What I found very interesting as well was the fact that a majority of Americans have “a great deal or a lot of confidence” in the police and that this number was basically the same as minority groups like American-Arabs. The Detroit study was also intriguing, particularly because the city has a very dense and concentrated population of American-Arabs localized to one location in Detroit–and I wonder if a pattern of police-confidence would exist in a city where American-Arabs are present but fragmented in different areas. I think Detroit is at an advantage over other cities primarily because through community-policing, police are automatically familiar with the culture of a well known populace and can likely have an easier time maintaining relations with a demographic that is as centralized as American-Arabs. I personally believe that the most negative confidence level in local police would occur with American-Arabs where a fragmented area were police are less familiar with them and will likely single them out more commonly.
I was somewhat surprised after learning of the high levels of trust that American-Arabs have in law enforcement due to the constant stereotyping and targeting they are often unfairly subjected to. The fact that this study was conducted in Detroit, a city with a large population of American-Arabs, offers a different outlook than if it had been held in a different city in the US. Perhaps the local law enforcement gained such high reviews because they have been invested in this community for decades and understand the values of the population. This possibly may be different in other cities and results could vary depending on each local law enforcement’s dedication to serving all races within the community. I am also interested in the feelings American-Arabs had toward the police prior to September 11th, 2001 and the comparison with the present-day findings. It is so important to keep relations with the community and police strong and cohesive, especially with the recent events in Ferguson, South Carolina, New York and Baltimore. With education, trust and acceptance, police and citizens can work together to create a society for everyone to excel.
I found this article surprising and very interesting. The reason that I found this article so surprising was because I thought that Arab Americans would have thought the opposite about police because I know they are discriminated against by majority of Americans. This relates to what we learned in class because it talks about police community relationships and that was a big topic that we covered. I think that it would be interesting to study other Arab Americans that are not in Detroit since they have such a history and political presence in the community they might be more respected then other Arabs throughout the US. I believe another reason that the Arab American community in Detroit has so much respect for the police was because of their proactive measures to protect their community. I think that if this was applied to other areas that are suffering from poverty and are mostly a minority community if that would effect the attitudes of those minorities in other communities. That would be an interesting study to be done.
It surprised me that so soon after the attacks Arab Americans had such positive ratings of the police overall, I think it was excellent on the part of Detroit to ensure that the officers established community relationships and trust, however it would be interesting to see how Arab Americans feel in cities that do not have that type of relationship with police . This article is a very interesting stepping stone for further research into Arab American and police relations in America. I think it would be very interesting to have see this study conducted in New York City because NYC was the location of the attack and the citizens living in that state had to have had a different type of reaction and/or paranoia that may have led to a different relationship type between Arab Americans and police. Lastly, this study can be used to see how much change has come to attitudes about police competence in the African American population of this country after the actions from officers against African Americans in places like Ferguson and Baltimore.
It certainly is a surprise to see that a particular Arab-community within the United States has remained relatively unchanged in its perception of law enforcement. There are of course a few points to be made out, primarily the recognition that such a study was done of a particular community, one in which the arab population has been settled in for years. Not only that, but off the top of my head I can not remember an incident in the metro-Detroit area that could have placed Arab-Americans in a negative light. I would expect that a similar study done in New York City or Boston would yield very different results due to the location of the nation’s most recent terrorist attacks. I also think that a similar study that asks the same question but about federal law enforcement would provide different results. Given how only in the past few years we have learned the extent to which the federal government spies on its own citizens, could Arab-American’s be more worried about how far the spying went for them?
I found this article very interesting especially after 9/11. I believe that we stereotype Arab American’s more than we do with African Americans, yet they still hold a great deal amount of trust in the Police. This article also emphasized how in-favor of the police one is based on social class. The article and further reading’s suggested that the more wealthier one is the more of a favorable relationship one has with the police. Does the police treat Arab American’s less “harsh” than they do with African Americans? Another question that arises out of this article for me is if the behavior of African Americans different than Arab Americans post arrest? For instance, if a police officer arrests an African American, I believe they are more likely to resist versus Arab Americans, which is the reason why the relationship between police officers and the Arab American community is still strong.
I was very surprised after reading this article to find out that American-Arabs have such a positive and trusting rapport towards law enforcement. Typically, it seems as though American-Arabs are targeted negatively by law enforcement which is not only unfair but incredibly degrading. It was interesting to learn how the officers developed community relationships with the citizens; I feel that this had a greater effect on the study. Had there been no personal connections, it is possible that opinions on law enforcement could shift. I also feel that the results would have been different had the study been conducted in New York City. When looking at the bar graph, it is clear that American-Arabs seem to have high levels of confidence in police. Over the years, there has been a slight decrease in percentages, but overall the results remain static.
I was not surprised by the fact that Arab Americans still have faith in police officers and the criminal justice system after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. These people are still citizens of the United States of America and were affected by this, just like every other person in this country. Being a part of a specific culture or religion is your right protected by the U.S. Constitution. Seizing these people out because of the way they look or dress is against their rights. I do not blame these individuals for feeling upset about being picked out of a group and labeled something that they are not because of what they look like or how they choose to dress. I found it interesting that the levels of confidence in police for 2003 and 2014 did not change too much for the categories ( “a great deal” ) and ( “not at all” ), but did change, however, for the categories ( “a lot” ) and ( “not very much” ). This study was only conducted in Detroit. I would be interested to find out how Arab Americans in other parts of the country feel about police in their area. This blog shows how Community Policing is positively affecting the public’s views on police officers. Police were able to maintain a good relationship with Arab Americans while some people started to target them as terrorists.
I found it very interesting that Arabs have such high confidence in the police despite the number of Arab related issues that have accumulated over the past 15 years. One would assume that the bombings of the Twin Towers, the War in the Middle East, and current threat of ISIS would cause non-extremist Arabs to be afraid of the police, yet the statistics in this article reveal otherwise. Why do Arabs have so much confidence in the police? One theory could be that Arab Americans are afraid to say otherwise, in fear of being locked away or worse, for saying anything negative about the police. However, even though there may some relative truth in this theory I do not believe it is the majority reason. Another theory of mine is that the reason why Arab Americans have so much confidence in the police is because the police are actually performing their job with integrity. Could the media be a contributing factor in how people perceive police to treat minorities? Yes, absolutely but the media doesn’t tell the whole story. The media only displays the negative aspects of policing, which paints the picture that police treat minorities unfairly, however this generally is not the case as shown by the statistics. The statistics show that the majority of police are doing their job correctly.
This was a very interesting article. Before reading this, I would not have guessed that Arab Americans would have as much confidence in the police as the 2003 and 2014 statics demonstrate. It just goes to show that the media exaggerates how the majority of law enforcement officials conduct their job. The truth is, police- community relations are not as bad as the media portrays them to be.
What a thorough article! It seems reasonable that post 9/11 attitudes have changed over the years for Arab-Americans, especially in light of recent happenings in the minority communities and their clashes with law enforcement agencies. Many of the communities that are home to expatriates of Arab countries deal with problems just like any other community, yet they must deal with the knowledge that there are laws like the Patriot act and other minority-targeting lead to the citizens being doubted or watched just because of their ethnicity. Having to prove your loyalty to a country that serves as your home and place of work seems odd for a Caucasian person, but the police have a way of intimidating their suspects and making them feel uneasy or stained. I am interested in the statistical information that could be gained from other communities than the one mentioned in this article, yet if there is a trend, it is likely similar. The sample size of the Detroit Metro area is large and long-standing, so I doubt it to be very different than other Arab-American communities in large cities around the country. Police may ot want to befriend the Arab-Americans in the communities that they serve, but there is a need for more attention to community policing that will foster better relationships and more trust between the officers and the communities in which they function.
This is a great article, but it is only a stepping stone to a larger scale research project. I am a minority student with a certain level of higher education and was raised by my parents to have a high confidence myself in police and the criminal justice system, but with the constant news about the social injustices between minorities and police, my own confidence has been swayed. This research focused on an area that Arab-Americans have strongly held for many years, so in my personal opinion, they feel that high confidence in the police still because they believe their history is not affected by certain events that may occur around them. Also, compared to other policing forces around the world, ours would still be pretty fair. I have a feeling confidence levels of many minorities will change from this year to next.
I find the article highly interesting because I would have suggested that Arab-Americans would have a low trust in police, but in fact the opposite is true. After 9/11 the TSA was scrutinized for racial profiling therefore, I would have believed Arab-Americans would feel persecuted and not trust police of any kind. In class we learned that Detroit has one of the slowest response times for police, increasing the likelihood that they would doubt the competence of the officers, but they have shown their support for police. Maybe the officers in Detroit have a solid bond between them and their citizens. Strong community-police relations prove to help citizens see police officers in a better light. The Detroit officers may have implemented the community building style of community policing like the Boca Raton officers. In the video the Boca Raton citizens showed their support of police because they have close ties to the officers and the community. Perhaps the Detroit PD has adopted this same tactic to bond with their Arab-American citizens to help raise support and trust in police.
What I have taken from this article is that Arab Americans confidence in police officers has stayed the same from 2003-2014. I was very surprised by this data seeing how the United States government goes to very far lengths to make sure the anti-terrorism fight is strong, also with cases like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown media coverage which makes it look as though the nations trust is police and law enforcement as a whole is the lowest it has been in years when in actuality it is still stable. I wasn’t surprised that Arab Americans did agree with very strong fight on terrorism because as members of the United States they want to keep it just as safe as any other American.
I found this article and the findings from the study very interesting. This research reaches a very important area of study that has not been addressed too closely yet. I think it is a great beginning and should be pushed further to learn more about Arab Americans’ perceptions of police. Although Detroit is a city that has a large population of Arab Americans, I think it would be important to conduct a similar study in other cities around the nation, especially New York City and Washington DC since that is where the September 11th attacks hurt most. Since Arab American communities in Detroit are more involved in their areas and with their local police forces, it would be interesting to examine research in cities where similar groups do not have as tight-knit relationships with their local police. In addition, I think I would be interested to know how many Arab Americans who were asked to participate in the study chose to abstain from giving their responses. That information could provide insight or induce questions as to why some people chose not to respond. Additionally, since there is such a large gap between the “a lot” choice and the “not very much” choice, I would like to see if there was another option that could be put in between those two to see how many Arab Americans are more neutral about their feelings towards police officers. Since I have grown up and attended school in New York City, I would be very curious to see how younger Arab Americans in cities feel about police, particularly teenagers. The efforts in Detroit to create bridges between Arab American communities and police departments is inspiring and truly shows how important it is to make those connections and I think this study is a great beginning to strengthening those relationships.
After reading this article, it is clear that Arab Americans confidence in the police has been constant for quite some time, just slightly over a decade. To my surprise, they have a strong trusting relationship with law enforcement/Criminal Justice System. Regardless of the fact that the Arab community has been involved in many tragic incidents, officers have still developed community relations towards them. The enhanced governmental counter terrorism powers resulted in a special relationship between Arab American and law enforcement agencies, yet they were very concerned with police carrying out appropriate activity without imposing upon individuals. It was further interesting to read yet not shocking that those of high social class and education are more favorable toward the police community however I was fascinated to find that their religious beliefs or ethnicity does not interfere with their police confidence. It was also refreshing to see that despite their high levels of confidence toward law enforcement, they certainly expressed their concerns about counter terrorism measures. I can appreciate the fact that Arab Americans can have a positive attitude toward police and be confident in them but also display modest support for aggressive law enforcement practices because they don’t support all of the harshness, especially when its targeting their own community.
After reading this article I am interested in seeing how Arab Americans’ confidence in law enforcement fairs against all other racial groups in the US. I honestly did not expect them to have that much confidence in law enforcement to that extent. With further research I hope that the reasoning behind this is explored more deeply. The fact that a group as highly scrutinized as the have been since 9/11 express such confidence in law enforcement speaks volumes to the cultural beliefs of many Arab Americans in the US.
With the discovery of this I hope interviews of Arab Americans are done to help further explain why they have so much confidence in law enforcement. The fact that African Americans and other minority groups don’t have as much confidence in law enforcement after years of legislation and reform is alarming. It is definitely a topic that needs exploring. Why does one minority racial group vary so vastly from others when it comes to this issue? I have no answer for that question but hopefully someone will in the near future. The answer to that question could be the key to potentially mending race relations as it pertains to confidence in law enforcement.
I must disagree with most of the other responses regarding Arab-American attitudes towards policing. I do not find it the least bit surprising that the relations between Arab-Americans and the police have remained stable. In fact, I would not have been particularly surprised if these relations had actually improved over the past decade.
Although Arab-Americans most assuredly face a certain level of discrimination in today’s society, such discrimination is mainly fueled by the federal government’s aggressive anti-terrorist campaign following 9/11, not by the police. Indeed, the most perceptible discrimination against Arab-Americans transpires on the national level, through organizations such as the TSA.
The role that police play in anti-terrorism efforts is largely misconstrued. Generally speaking, the focus of policing is not to prevent major acts of terrorism, but rather to secure the peace and safety of the local community. As the article notes, local police departments have made a “cautious decision to avoid active involvement in federal investigation of terrorists.” The main responsibility of the police in regards to Arab-Americans has not been to investigate them, but rather to protect them from any discrimination or even hate crimes that might result from the public’s response to terrorist attacks. Therefore, the police have actually had a significant opportunity and responsibility to aid the Arab-American community in the past decade. Hence, it would not be wholly illogical for Arab-American relations with police to have improved as a result.
Nevertheless, it it easy for the distinction between the police and other organizations such as the TSA to become blurred, so it is commendable that the Detroit police have maintained such a high level of confidence in the eyes of Arab-Americans. I would be interested to see how these approval ratings compare to other cities, and also how Arab-American confidence in the police was changed pre and post 9/11.
I found it interesting that the Arab-American population in Detroit has not changed their view of the American policing and justice system since 9/11. From conversations I have had with Arab-Americans it seems as if a majority feel that they have been singled out and unfairly scrutinized for their religion and heritage. One friend in particular said that he always felt frustrated when he went to the airport because every time he would be selected for a “random screening” and noticed that most of the other people being screened were also Arab-Americans. I think it would be interesting to look further into Arab-Americans feelings towards the federal government and areas such as the TSA. The local police may have received such high ratings because they have had the benefit of getting to know their community and the different cultures that encompass it, and have had the opportunity to better it with community programs and policing strategies. Federal policing agencies have not had this benefit and may look at the Arab-American population in a different light, leading to more tension between the groups.
After reading this article, I am kind of finding myself in a bit of shock. Prior to reading this article, I would have definitely said that Arabs’ had to feel a distrust with police and a low level of confidence in the criminal justice system, especially after the 9/11 attacks. To find that my prior thoughts were found the complete opposite, that 40.1% have a “great deal” of trust leaves me surprised, yet happy to hear. I really have respect for the Arab culture that they see a point to our criminal justice system and feel a confidence in it. As stated in the article, typically those with higher education have more faith in the police due to the fact that they are more well rounded and have a better understanding of what life would be like without the police or criminal justice system. To see that the results have remained the same even in 2014 is also surprising to me not only because of 9/11 but due to the current ISIS situation. My favorite part of the article is where it says that ‘public confidence in police is hard to build, easy to destroy’. I think that statement probably had the greatest impact on me because it makes you realize all the work that is necessary to build up public confidence yet one small thing can tear it down. I also agree that other areas should follow Detroit’s lead and work on police trust with minorities.
I thought the findings of the studies were very surprising. Arab Americans are subject to stereotyping in America today but they were especially viewed as terrorists at the time of the study considering the study was taken so close to the 9/11 attack. This article shows how important police-community relations are in society today. As we all know the TSA were guilty and actually still are guilty of racial profiling arab americans as harmful and potentially dangerous so the findings in the study are especially surprising, you would think that their view of the police would be drastically worse after 9/11 but they remained relatively unchanged. Even though Detroit is a large city and is possibly large enough to represent the average view of police from the arab American view in America, it would be interesting if the study was done in other large cities like New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. After recent incidents and even incidents that happened in the past the police are portrayed badly by the media. The statistics show that actually most of the police are doing their job and the public’s view of the police is not as bad as we tend to believe. It would be interesting though if this study is taken next year due to recent incidents that are making the police out to be the bad guys.
This article shows how the relationship between Arab Americans and the police force began to strain after September 11. Today there is a great expression of freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. With that said the Arab Americans are treated differently because of the way they dress and because of their religion. The police force I’m my opinion fear the religious of Arab Americans. Thinking that they will sacrifice themselves for their religion, creating another catastrophe. It isn’t fair also considering the fact that the United Stated is suppose to be where anyone can live the American dream. Instead it discriminates against people who are from countries that it once went to war with.