A History of Distrust: How Knowing the Law Impacts African American Males' Perceptions of Police Encounters
Glynell R. Horn Jr., Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Glynell R. Horn at his Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Philip Adu, Committee Member, Dr. Lemuel Watson, Committee Member.
- Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Lemuel Watson, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Philip Adu, Ph.D., Committee Member
African Americans, Action research, Mixed methods, Community policing, Law enforcement, Police, Perceptions of police, Disenfranchised communities, Police conduct, Police Encounters
From its inception American Law Enforcement was built from a racially motivated system in which African Americans were subject to discriminatory treatment. Unfortunately, that treatment still persists in modern day policing, which is highlighted by the deaths of Eric Garner and George Floyd to name a few. There is no surprise that law enforcement needs to improve trust with the African American community; however there is a dire need for a new approach. This study is unique because unlike previous research this study focuses solely on African American males that reside in disenfranchised communities that are most at risk for experiencing negative encounters with law enforcement. The overall purpose of this mixed-methods action research study was to enhance participants’ knowledge of Texas law. The primary research questions are: (1) How does knowing law impact perceptions of police-civilian encounters on the part of African American males? and (2) how do participant responses change by taking part in an educational session about the law? The research study included 43 Black males between the ages of 18 to 35 years of age from predominantly Black communities within the metro Houston, Texas area. The study consisted of pre- and post-perception surveys and educational tests, videos of police and civilian encounters, educational interventions and focus group discussions. Research findings suggest that an educational intervention did significantly shift participants' perceptions regarding police-civilian encounters in a positive direction. However, participant responses suggest that knowing the law brings police conduct into question; and indeed, knowing the law seemed to result in research participants trusting police even less. Law enforcement agencies can use this action research study to improve relationships with the African American community. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, (https://aura.antioch.edu) and OhioLINK ETD Center, (https://etd.ohiolink.edu).
Horn, G. R. (2021). A History of Distrust: How Knowing the Law Impacts African American Males' Perceptions of Police Encounters. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/728
African American Studies Commons, Educational Methods Commons, Law and Race Commons, Law Enforcement and Corrections Commons, Other Education Commons
Glynell R. Horn Jr.
ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0003-4962-4634
Dr. Glynell Horn Jr. is a dedicated law enforcement professional and public safety executive with 15 years of progressive experience with the municipal police department in Stafford, Texas. The Stafford Police Department also provides police services for the Stafford Municipal School District, which is the only municipal school district in Texas. He began his career as a patrol officer and quickly rose through the ranks to his current role as Assistant Chief of Police.
As a firm believer in the importance of strong organizational culture, Dr. Horn is committed to building transparent environments that promote employee development and inspire trust in leadership. His motto is "Productivity Inspires Credibility." He sets a positive example by embodying this ideal. Also, he is dedicated to fostering employee success by improving training, providing professional development opportunities, creating consistent evaluation processes, and seeking input from superiors and subordinates.
At its core, Dr. Horn recognizes that policing is about serving the community by creating a sense of safety and security. His overarching community safety goals are rooted in crime prevention and reduction, organizational excellence, and citizen engagement and involvement. Dr. Horn is passionate about working collaboratively with all communities, especially those from disenfranchised communities. Additionally, Dr. Horn is a strategic thinker who influences others, executes complex problems, and builds strong relationships. Dr. Horn's restorative approach to problem-solving and process improvement has generated positive results within the Stafford Police Department and the community he serves.