Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS)

Committee Chair

Houston, Kate A.


Law enforcement officers have been entrusted for over 200 years to protect and serve our communities and citizens. Although this trust has been placed in the hands of our most highly braved citizens, it seems that such entrustment can be violated by law enforcement officers when conducting an arrest. Throughout the years there have been incidents where the trust placed in law enforcement officers has been tested. Furthermore, as has been seen in recent months, sometimes violation of this trust leads to brutality and fatal officer-involved shooting incidents. This research investigated whether an arrest is viewed differently by our citizens in light of these incidents of police brutality documented in the media. The central aim of this thesis was to investigate whether a muting of the audio on a video depicting police brutality, as the media often does when showing such footage, affects the level of perceived violence. Furthermore, another aim of this thesis was to investigate whether higher levels of education impacts ratings of the justifiability of perceived violence. This research data revealed that there was a statistical significant association when audio was present or absent, but revealed no statistical significant association throughout education year level.