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Predictors of Police Reporting Among Hispanic Immigrant Victims of Violence — Published in Race and Justice

Predictors of Police Reporting Among Hispanic Immigrant Victims of Violence

Dane Hautala — University of Nebraska (REACH)

Kirk Dombrowski — University of Nebraska (REACH)

Anthony Marcus — John Jay College CUNY (SNRG)

Published in Race and Justice


The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of police reporting among
Hispanic immigrant victims of violence. A sample of 127 Hispanic immigrants was
generated through a chain-referral procedure in the city of Hempstead, New York.
Participants were asked about their most recent victimization experiences, and
detailed information was collected on up to three incidents. The analyses were based
on a total of 214 separate victimization incidents, one third of which were reported to
the police. Logistic regression analyses indicated that serious injury, multiple-victim
incidents, and perceptions of discrimination increase the odds of a police report.
Moreover, incidents involving a Black primary assailant were less likely to be reported
to the police than incidents involving an assailant perceived to be of Hispanic origin.
Supplementary analyses suggested that this latter relationship may be contingent upon
the type of crime and the victim’s relationship with the assailant. At the policy level,
these findings call into question assumptions about very recent immigrants being too
socially isolated and distrustful of law enforcement to sustain robust reporting levels,
as well as pointing to encouraging possibilities for productive engagement between
police and Hispanic immigrant populations.