Drawing on evidence from a study of Black Police Associations in English and Welsh constabularies, this article addresses perceived changes in the articulation of racialized relations within the police during the years following Lord Macpherson's Report about the police investigation of Stephen Lawrence's murder. Association officials argued that overt racism has been replaced by covert racism, evidence of which is, by definition, difficult to establish. Black Police Association officials’ and senior officers’ views of this change are discussed. Sources of evidence of covert racism are described and analysed, often related to Macpherson's definition of ‘institutional racism’. The wider implications of the article for the study of race and ethnicity are then discussed, with particular reference to Brubaker's recent work on ethnicity as cognition, which underpins the analysis of all the data gathered.
- black police associations