Edited by Cornelia Ilie
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 323] 2021
► pp. 145–164
This chapter uses critical discourse analysis (CDA) (Blommaert and Bulcaen 2000) to examine white police interactions with Black civilians in the United States. The syntactic, pragmatic, and discursive evidence in the interactions indicates the officers approach the interactions through an arrest framework based on assumption of civilian guilt. In contrast, it is arguable from the ways civilians ask questions and react to the officers’ accusations they frame the interactions as information exchanges. Because of this difference in framing, officers interpret actions allowable within an information exchange as “resistance” within an arrest framework, justifiying use of force against the civilians. This bias in the way civilians are treated when officers assume guilt problematizes this institutional interaction as unsafe for Black civilians.