Minority groups frequently challenge the legitimacy of legal authorities, particularly the police. Without trust and legitimacy, the police encounter constant conflict and cannot function effectively. While past research has examined minorities’ perceptions of the police, national minorities provide an interesting and under-investigated test case because of their inherent identity conflict with the state. The current research examines three factors to explain minority–majority disparities in views of the police: (i) police effectiveness and fairness; (ii) intergroup discrimination (termed relative deprivation in policing); and (iii) identification with the state. Findings from a survey of Jewish and Arab residents of nationally mixed neighborhoods in Israel (n = 394) suggest that while all of these factors account for minority–majority discrepancies in views of the police, perceptions of police fairness are particularly important. Furthermore, feelings of discrimination and low levels of identification with the state are less important than evaluations of fairness in explaining minorities’ negative perceptions of the police.
- procedural justice