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Occurrence of Resisting Arrest in Arrest Encounters: A Study of Police-Citizen Violence

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Review Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: (Spring 1997) Pages: 16-33
J Kavanagh
Date Published
18 pages
This study examines the occurrence of resisting arrest in police-citizen arrest encounters.
The study used the Logit regression procedure to identify factors related to resisting arrest in 1,108 police-citizen arrest encounters at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan between July 1, 1990 and June 30, 1991. The most powerful factor tested was arrestee disrespect towards the police officer. Other arrestee factors positively related to resisting arrest were other arrestee violence, arrestee intoxication, and the seriousness of the crime charged. Of more than 30 police officer factors tested, only two attitudinal factors were related to resisting arrest: desiring to remain a police officer was negatively related, and believing that the law governing the use of force is overly restrictive of the police was positively related. Among the situational factors tested, arrests initiated by police officers were positively related to resisting arrest. Results suggest that police officers may play a smaller role in the occurrence of resisting arrest than previously thought, and that future researchers should devote greater attention to the role of the arrestee in police-citizen violence. Notes, tables, references


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