ABA Journal Highlights John Rappaport’s Study on Law Enforcement Agencies’ Facebook Posts

Police create disproportionate amount of social media posts about Black suspects, study finds

In a study of about 14,000 Facebook pages maintained by law enforcement agencies, three law school professors found that posts about serious crimes overrepresented Black suspects by 25 percentage points compared to arrest rates.

The study was published Nov. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, titled “Police Agencies on Facebook Overreport on Black Suspects,” examined about 100,000 posts, as well as data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, to see how Facebook writings compared with local arrest statistics.

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