The Policing of Black Communities and Young People of Color

– Download Full Report –

Author(s): Black Youth Project

Published: Aug. 15, 2014

Report Intro/Brief:
Since Michael Brown’s death, the media have focused on racial tensions among residents of Ferguson. It is important, however, to note that the tension between police forces and Black communities is nothing new, nor is it confined to Ferguson, Missouri. Instead, the Michael Brown tragedy and those like it are indicators of systemic injustices that have resulted in long-standing tensions between law enforcement and the Black community.

In this report, we use data from several national public opinion surveys to show that Black communities—especially Black youth under 30 years of age—across the country hold considerably more negative views toward the legal system and the police compared with other groups and they have done so for many years. This is not a new phenomenon.

Our main findings are as follows:

  • Black youth report the highest rate of harassment by the police (54.4%), nearly twice the rates of other young people.
  • Less than half of Black youth (44.2 percent) trust the police, compared with 71.5 percent of white youth, 59.6 percent of Latino youth, and 76.1 percent of Asian American youth.
  • Substantially fewer Black youth believe the police in their neighborhood are there to protect them (66.1 percent) compared to young people from other racial and ethnic groups.
  • Fewer Black youth believe the legal system treats all youth equally (26.8 percent) than young people in other racial and ethnic groups.
  • Fewer Black youth feel that they are full and equal citizens under the law (60.2 percent) compared with white (70.9 percent) and Latino (64.1 percent) youth.”



Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)



Recent Comments

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top