posts tagged “policy”

Several weeks ago, my Silver Spring neighborhood experienced a rash of petty thefts from parked cars. Word spread through our neighborhood listserv. Nothing major, it happens toward the end of every summer, and some neighbors admitted to leaving their car doors unlocked. One neighbor, however, strongly advocated that the police increase patrols in our neighborhood. It's a rational course of action, and most of my neighbors—the majority of whom are white—probably thought so as well.

But I also know from collecting data on the topic that more than half of black and Latino residents in the DC area report that the fear of police arresting or questioning them affects their daily lives. About a quarter of both groups say that this fear affects their daily lives "a lot." It's possible that increasing the police presence in our neighborhood might worry our black and Latino neighbors more than the car break-ins. By way of comparison, just over one in ten white residents feared police on a daily basis, and most of those who did said that it only affected their daily lives "a little."