Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Ojeh, Kalasia

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Logan, Kossi

Committee Member

Logan, Kossi

Committee Member

Swartz, Kristin

Author's Keywords

Racialization; policing practices; African American perceptions; community-oriented; Breonna Taylor


This study investigates how African Americans perceive the racialization process in the criminal justice system following the death of Breonna Taylor. Focusing primarily on police-community relations in Louisville, KY, I find the Breonna Taylor case amplifies preconceived perceptions of race between civilian and non-civilian groups. To test the hypothesis that racialization in the criminal justice system has caused damaging effects on relations between African Americans and police, two virtual focus groups were designed to discuss participants’ experiences with law enforcement. My findings suggest that the racialization process in the criminal justice system negatively skewed African American civilians’ attitudes towards law enforcement and reaffirmed distrust between the groups. It is my recommendation to revolutionize law enforcement policing practices by restructuring policing practices with a focus on the community that eliminates racial bias and builds positive relationships that promote public safety and the well-being of all civilians regardless of race and ethnicity.