Exploring police legitimacy and other factors in predicting cooperation with police in the Atlanta Korean American community


Sociology and Criminal Justice

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Purpose: Limited research exists on the perceptions of police within specific ethnic minority groups. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the experiences of Korean and Korean American residents in the Metro Atlanta area regarding their perceptions of cooperation with the police, particularly in relation to hate crimes, along with their perceptions of police legitimacy and other relevant factors. By focusing on this specific population, the study aims to shed light on their unique perspectives and contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics between ethnic minorities and law enforcement. Design/methodology/approach: The authors’ sample comprised 128 Korean residents who were asked about their demographics, victimization experiences, self-rated English proficiency and police legitimacy. Multiple linear regression analyses were employed to investigate the impact of police legitimacy, victimization experiences and English-speaking skills on the participants' level of cooperation with the police. Findings: Police legitimacy and self-rated levels of English proficiency emerged as the most significant factors in predicting the level of cooperation among residents with the police. Furthermore, individuals who have experienced crime victimization in the past were more willing to cooperate with the police compared to those who have not. Additionally, men showed a higher tendency to cooperate with the police compared to women participants. Originality/value: The findings of this study suggest important implications for the policies and strategies aimed at enhancing the relationship between the Korean American community and the police. These implications include the need for improved language support for non-English speaking community members and the importance of building trust and fostering mutual understanding to cultivate positive police-community relations. By implementing measures based on these findings, it is recommended to promote a more inclusive and effective approach to policing within the Korean American population.

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