Red, Black, and Blue

Television Scenes of Aggression Between Police and Black Citizens

  • James Odera MacEwan University


that will facilitate the intended framing of any given episode. When considering the continuing growth of the television sector of media, the portrayals that are shown to audiences must be analyzed to understand not only who is being shown on television, but the context in which they are being displayed. This independent study analyzes scenes of aggression between police officers and Black citizens as portrayed by television shows. The television shows selected were based in Los Angeles and were randomly chosen from the Crime TV category from the streaming service Netflix. These television shows will be analyzed for scenes of aggression that include characters that are police officers or Black citizens, paying particular attention to the characteristics, intention, and overall aggression that each character displays. This study found three themes that emerged after studying the television shows selected. The first theme displayed police officers as mature, older, white men who contrasted against young and aggressive Black males. The second theme was the discrepancy in the amount of dialogue afforded to each character with police officers dominating the primary conversations. The final theme showed that although Black characters had less dialogue, when they did speak they were much more likely to be verbally aggressive.


Faculty Mentor: Kalyani Thurairajah

Department: Sociology (Criminology)