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OLIVEIRA, Thiago R.; ZANETIC, André  and  NATAL, Ariadne. Predictors and Impacts of Police Legitimacy: Testing the Theory of Procedural Fairness in São Paulo. Dados [online]. 2020, vol.63, n.1, e20170159.  Epub May 08, 2020. ISSN 1678-4588.

This paper seeks to empirically investigate the predictors and the impacts of public perceptions of police legitimacy in São Paulo. The objective was to test Tyler’s model regarding the perception of procedural fairness in the Brazilian context. Thus, we used data from a representative survey of adults living in São Paulo in 2015. The analytical strategy adopted involved modeling structural equations to test the mediating role of police legitimacy judgments between the expectation of procedural fairness in police actions and legal compliance behavior. The results indicate a greater complexity in measuring the notion of duty to obey in the São Paulo context, in relation to the international scenario. Considering an analysis of spontaneous responses regarding the motivation of obedience, we suggest four categories of police legitimacy: moral duty to obey; disobedience through protest; coercive obligation; rejection of authority. These categories were incorporated into the model. The first two, which recognize police authority as legitimate, are associated with the perception of procedural fairness and are significative predictors of respect for the law. The others, who do not recognize the police as legitimate, are not. Finally, we discuss some considerations regarding the implications of these findings for public security policies in Brazil.

Keywords : police legitimacy; obedience to the law; procedural fairness; survey analysis; structural equation model.

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