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Perez, Anthony Daniel; Berg, Kimberly M.; & Myers, Daniel J. (2003). Police and Riots, 1967-1969. Journal of Black Studies, 34(2), 153-182.


This article investigates the role of policing in both the genesis and development of racial rioting. In particular, the authors focus on several riots that occurred in two cities, Boston and San Francisco, which experienced different overall levels of rioting during the peak period of racial violence in thelate1960s. Theamount and typeof rioting that occurred in each city is consistent with the paradoxical yet frequent pattern in which direct repression, particularly when characterized by excessive or selective use of force, fails to subdue rioting and often escalates conflict. Despite this consistency, however, there are substantial differences between the two cities concerning the amount and severity of rioting that occurred. These differences are connected to variation in three primary characteristics of the civil authorities in the two cities: (a) police preparedness and training, (b) racial polarization in attitudes toward the police, and (c) underlying police-community relations. Implications are then discussed for further research on racial rioting and for policing practices.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Black Studies


Perez, Anthony Daniel
Berg, Kimberly M.
Myers, Daniel J.