Out of the Recent Darkness and into the New Light: Managerial Implications Emerging from the Martin-Zimmerman Encounter

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Vol: 23, Issue: 1

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Williams, Brian N; Close, Billy R; Kang, Seong C
public safety; order; crimmythology; Political Science; Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration; Urban Studies and Planning
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This paper revisits the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin from two perspectives: the co-production of public safety and public order and black crimmythology. Co-production is associated with the expanding and often unpredictable role that community residents, formal and informal communal organizations and nongovernmental institutions play in assisting public agencies in developing and implementing public services (Whitaker 1980; Parks et al. 1981). Black crimmythology is a term used to describe the historical and contemporary conflation of blackness, maleness, and criminality in the mind of the American public (Close 1997). The objectives of this analysis goes beyond ascertaining the guilt, innocence, or proper role of Mr. Zimmerman, but seek to illumine the various historical and contemporary challenges that impact the co-production of police services which this encounter has dramatically underscored and highlight the managerial implications that have emerged.