White, Karletta M. (2014). The salience of skin tone: effects on the exercise of police enforcement authority. Ethnic and Racial Studies.
vol. 38 (6) pp. 993-1010
Using nationally representative data, I examine the relationship between skin tone and police contact, in particular, the relationship between blacks' and Latinos' skin tone and being stopped or arrested by the police, controlling for prior delinquency and other important factors. Descriptive results show that darker-skinned blacks and Latinos are stopped and arrested more often than lighter-skinned members of the same group. When controlling for delinquency alone, blacks experience a significant increase in the number of times they are stopped and an 18% increase in the odds of being arrested by police as skin tone darkens. For Latinos, the interaction of skin tone and gender significantly affects the odds of police stops and arrests even controlling for demographic factors, suggesting that future research on skin tone should incorporate analysis for Latino/as as well as blacks.
Ethnic and Racial Studies
White, Karletta M.