Apr 19, 2019 | Updated: 11:14 AM EDT

Unintentional Stops by Police Increase Criminal Behavior in Black and Latino Youths

Apr 09, 2019 02:36 PM EDT

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Unintentional Stops by Police Increase Criminal Behavior in Black and Latino Youths
(Photo : Image by Tom Farmer from Pixabay)

The NYU Steinhardt doctoral candidate, Department of Applied Psychology, Juan Del Toro in new research discovers that Latino and Black adolescent boys stopped by the police report more frequent engagement in delinquency behavior after that. Also demonstrated in the study is the negative impact the police stops have on the psychological health of these adolescents.

Del Toro maintained that the indication of the single most common proactive policing strategy is to direct officers to make contact with boys and young men in 'high crime' areas and this method may impose a terrible cost on Latino and Black youths across the country.

Also, he claimed that stops by police are connected to harmful consequences including subsequent delinquent behavior and psychological distress that may even be more harmful when they occur earlier in the lives of the boys. The implications of these actions call for immediate attention from policymakers and social scientists.

Proactive policing is the new technique the police agencies across the country shifted to reduce crimes. They deploy officers to the reported area of crime and engage with people most likely accused of those crimes.

In a recent review of research, there is a demonstration of proactive policing reducing crime and the same study also highlights the adverse effect of proactive policing to the public legitimacy of law enforcement and even push individuals to steer clear of law-related officials in general. Ultimately, the research disregards the potential negative impacts of proactive policing on youth criminality or racial disparity.

In Toro's recent research, it examines the research gap by addressing and discovering that police stops increase the possibility that Latino and Black adolescents will engage in subsequent delinquent behavior.

The focus of Del Toro's research was on boys, especially non-White boys since those are the people that are more likely to experience police stops, arrests, or another contact with law enforcement compared to their peers.

As he pointed to New York City notes in 2016, Del Toro said that more than 90 percent of people police subject to stops were male - the Black among them was 52 percent, Latino was 29 percent, and the White among them were 10 percent.

Also among them were 47 percent juveniles between the ages of 14 to 24, and only 7.5 percent White and about 7.2 percent female were the juveniles that experienced police contacts.

From six public high schools in the high-intensity policing neighborhood, and for over two years, Del Toro and his group recruited boys and studied their encounters with law enforcement. 57.5 percent in their sample were Latino, 23.1 percent were Black, and 19.4 percent belonged to other non-White. Regardless of their prior encounter with delinquency, all the boys in their sample were susceptible to police stops and confrontations.

In their additional findings, they established that psychological distress partially mediates the relationship between police stops and subsequent delinquency.

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