Poster: Neuropsychiatric Implications of Police of Brutality in the Black Community

Neuropsychiatric Implications of Police of Brutality in the Black Community

Marie St. Clair, M.A., Lubnaa Abdullah, M.A., Tamyra Crossley, M.A., Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Recently, the acquittal of police officers involved in the deaths of unarmed Black individuals has prompted the need for a more thorough exploration of racialized police violence in Black communities.  The disproportionate presence that police brutality and excessive police force has in Black communities, has compelled further investigation into the political, and social-psychological constructs contributing to this phenomenon. While these theories are well researched, less is known about the neuropsychological and psychiatric underpinnings that have contributed to decades of discordance between Black people and police authority figures. However, direct and vicarious exposure to police brutality can result in neurobiological responses to trauma that contribute to, and exacerbate encounters between Black people and police agencies. Review of the existing literature examines the prevalence of PTSD in Black communities affected by police brutality. A suggested theory-the neurobiological hypothesis, will be discussed, making particular emphasis on the neuropsychiatric factors contributing to occurrences of Black-targeted police brutality. A proposed study is recommended in order to fill gaps in the literature. Further research may contribute to explanations and interpretations of the complex factors regarding police brutality and the Black citizens. This may also have clinical implications for psychologists working with the Black population.

Keywords: police brutality, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, neurobiological hypothesis, theory, racial discrimination