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Police Coercion: Application of the Force Continuum

NCJ Number
William Terrill
Date Published
294 pages
This book discusses how and why police resort to non-lethal force.
Chapter 1 is an introduction that focuses on areas of concern regarding police force. Chapter 2 deals with how often officers resort to force; an examination of the various types of force used by the police; how force is applied within given encounters is discussed; and the chapter examines what factors influence police decisions to apply various types of force. The sociological, psychological, and organizational perspectives are analyzed regarding why officers use force. The study detailed in this book provides for the creation of a sequencing pattern that measures the nature and extent of citizen resistance and corresponding officer use of force. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about what prompts officers to use less rather than more force. A literature review on police use of force is also provided. The operating perspective, theoretical framework, research questions, and hypotheses of this study are presented in chapter 3. Chapter 4 focuses on the design and method of the study. Chapter 5 examines the first three research questions and considers the extent, nature, and application of force, as well as citizen resistance, within individual police-citizen encounters. Chapter 6 investigates the causes of police force in relation to the highest level of force used. Chapter 7 examines the application of the force continuum regarding citizen resistance. The conclusions and implications of this study are presented in the final chapter. 79 notes, 5 appendices, 75 references, index