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Citizen Complaints About Police Use of Force

NCJ Number
210296
Date Published
June 2006
Length
8 pages
Author(s)
Matthew J Hickman Ph.D.
Agencies
BJS
Publication Series
Publication Type
Statistics
Annotation
This report presents data on citizen complaints about police use of force received by large, general purpose State and local law enforcement agencies, as well as on complaint dispositions.
Abstract
Findings presented are from new questions on formal citizen complaints about police use of force added to the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey. Detail is presented on the policies and procedures of large municipal police departments relating to the processing of citizen complaints and other administrative features. The report also discusses the limitations of complainants’ data and the use of sustained complaints as a measure of police use of excessive force. Highlights include the following: (1) during 2002 large State and local law enforcement agencies, representing 5 percent of agencies and 59 percent of officers, received a total of 26,556 citizen complaints about police use of force; (2) about a third of all force complaints in 2002 were not sustained (34 percent), 25 percent were unfounded, 23 percent resulted in officers being exonerated, and 8 percent were sustained; and (3) using sustained force complaints as an indicator of excessive force resulted in an estimate of about 2,000 incident of police use of excessive force among large agencies in 2002. Tables
Date Created: June 25, 2018