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Police Investigations of the Use of Deadly Force Can Influence Perceptions and Outcomes

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 79 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2010 Pages: 1-7
Shannon Bohrer, M.B.A.; Robert Chaney
Date Published
January 2010
7 pages
The article investigates the far-reaching consequences of the use of deadly force and the subsequent police investigations of such use.
The law enforcement profession spends valuable time and resources training its officers in the use of force, including deadly force, and the investigations of crimes. This article examines the relationship between these two different events, which can lead to both positive and negative consequences for the police, the public, and the officers involved in the event. Descriptions are presented about the perceptions of deadly use of force from the officer's, the public's, and the department's points of view. Also discussed are the varying elements of an investigation, which include the crime scene, the witnesses, the investigators, the media, and the criminal justice authorities. The authors conclude that many times, the negative consequences that result from an incident of deadly use of force are not from the incident itself but rather from how the investigation was handled and the misrepresentations that resulted from these actions. 19 endnotes