Research

We’re inside of what we make, and it’s inside of us. We’re living in a world of connections – and it matters which ones get made and unmade. ~Donna Haraway

Areas of Interest: Police Violence | Police Legitimacy | Militarism/ization | Queer Law and Safety | Queer Informal Legal Cultures | Abolition

Police Violence, Legitimacy, and Militarism
Queer Law and Safety

Articles in Progress

Grasso, Jordan, Valerie Jenness, and Stefan Vogler. In Progress. “Police Avoidance: The Impact of LGBTQ Identities, Police Legitimacy, and Legal Cynicism on Hate Crime Reporting Attitudes.” To be submitted to Policing and Society.

[Abstract] Criminologists, policymakers, and police scholars have long studied crime reporting correlates. However, questions remain unanswered about sexual minorities’ (SMs) hate crime reporting. This article assesses factors that shape the probability that SMs report bias-motivated crime victimization to the police. Specifically, we ask: (1) Does SM identity impact the likelihood of reporting future hate crime victimization, (2) Does SM identity impact views of the legal system and police, and (3) How do legal cynicism and perceptions of police legitimacy shape the likelihood of legal mobilization among SM hate crime victims? To answer these questions, we utilize survey data collected by the Vera Institute of Justice that captures experiences with hate crime victimization and reporting, as well as legal cynicism and perceptions of law enforcement. We find that SM identity does not directly affect hate crime-reporting behavior. However, SMs are more likely to express legal cynicism and less likely to view the police as legitimate, therefore influencing reporting behaviors and police avoidance.


Grasso, Jordan. In Progress. “‘Life-Saving’ or Deadly? Examining Police Militarization and Weaponization in California Police Departments.” To be submitted to Contemporary Justice Review.

[Abstract] In this study, I analyze the relationship between police violence and militarization. Specifically, I assess the connection between material materialization – defined as the proliferation of military weapons and weapon accessories – in California police departments and police violence. Since 1997, local, county, state, and university law enforcement agencies across the country have acquired free military equipment through the 1033 Program, ranging from ready-to-eat meals, dumbbells, generators, and snowsuits to military rifles, high-caliber ammunition, armored vehicles, bayonets, and battering rams directly from the Department of Defense. Drawing on data from California police departments and the Federal 1033 Program, I reveal that the weaponization of local police departments drives the relationship between police militarization and the use of force. Specifically, I find that departments that receive more weapons and weapon accessories are significantly more likely to have higher counts of both lethal force and gun discharges committed by the police. 

Presentations

2022. “’Police Avoidance: Sexuality Minority Identities and Hate Crime Reporting Attitudes.” Presented with Valerie Jenness and Stefan Vogler at the Western Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. Honolulu, HI.

2021. “’Increase Police Training!’: An Analysis of Hours Spent on Police Training and Outcomes of Violence.” Poster Presentation at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL.

2021. “Weaponizing California Cops: An Analysis of Gun Discharges and Militarization in California Police Departments.” Justice Studies Association Annual Meeting. June 3. *Virtual due to COVID-19.

2021. “‘Law and Ethnography’:  A Lab Approach to Building a Research Community.” Roundtable Panelist. Law and Society Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. May 27-30. *Virtual due to COVID-19.

2021 “‘Life-Saving’ or Deadly? Examining Police Militarization and Weaponization in California Police Departments.” UCI Associated Graduate Student Virtual Symposium. April 24.

2021. “Evaluating Police Militarism: Theories, Research, and Future Prospects.” Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA. March 18-21. *Virtual due to COVID-19.

2020. “‘Life-Saving’ or Deadly? Examining Police Militarization and Weaponization in California Police Departments.” Justice Studies Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. May 28. *Canceled due to COVID-19.

2019. “Repercussions of the 1033 Program: Police Material Militarism and Use of Deadly Force.” American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. November 15. San Francisco, CA.

2019. “The Overlapping Values of Sport, the Military, and Law Enforcement” with Kaitlin Pericak. American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. November 14. San Francisco, CA.