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POLICE USE OF DEADLY FORCE

NCJ Number
41735
Author(s)
C H MILTON; J W HALLECK; J LARDNER; G L ABRECHT
Date Published
1977
Length
203 pages
Annotation
THE POLICE FOUNDATION UNDERTOOK THIS STUDY IN THE HOPE OF FINDING INFORMATION THAT MIGHT HELP POLICE AND CITY ADMINISTRATORS REDUCE THE RATE OF VIOLENCE BETWEEN POLICE AND CITIZENS.
Abstract
THE AUTHORS HAVE FOCUSED ON ONLY ONE FORM OF THAT VIOLENCE, THE USE OF FIREARMS BY POLICE, BUT ARE AWARE OF THE INTERRELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACTS COMMITTED BY THE POLICE AND ACTS COMMITTED AGAINST THEM. THE PRIMARY PURPOSES OF THIS REPORT ARE 1) TO PRESENT THE RESULTS OF SITE VISITS AND DATA ANALYSIS IN BIRMINGHAM (AL), DETROIT (MI), INDIANAPOLIS (IN), KANSAS CITY (MO), OAKLAND (CA), PORTLAND (OR), AND WASHINGTON, D.C.; 2) TO RAISE ISSUES AND IDENTIFY FACTORS POLICE ADMINISTRATORS SHOULD CONSIDER IN DEVELOPING OR REFORMULATING DEPARTMENT POLICIES DEALING WITH THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE; 3) TO PRESENT PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICE ADMINISTRATORS TO IMPROVE THE WAY DEPARTMENTS APPROACH THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE; AND 4) TO IDENTIFY AREAS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH. THE ANALYSIS OF DATA COLLECTED DURING THE FIELD VISITS OF THE SEVEN CITIES FOCUSED ATTENTION ON THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF WRITTEN POLICIES, ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCEDURES, AND OVERALL PERSONNEL AND TRAINING PRACTICES ON THE RATE AND CHARACTER OF SHOOTING INCIDENTS. SOME OF THE MAJOR FINDINGS, BASED ON A LITERATURE SEARCH OF STUDIES AND SURVEYS OF POLICE SHOOTINGS AND POLICIES, AND FROM THE ON-SITE OBSERVATIONS, WERE THAT: 1) POLICE DEPARTMENTS VARY WIDELY IN THEIR POLICY AND REVIEW PROCEDURES RELATING TO THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE. THERE IS NO UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED STANDARD OR NATIONAL TREND GOVERNING THE USE OF FIREARMS; 2) IT IS DIFFICULT, AFTER THE FACT, TO CATEGORIZE CERTAIN SHOOTINGS AS JUSTIFIED OR UNJUSTIFIED; 3) MOST SHOOTINGS ARE CALLED JUSTIFIED BY DEPARTMENTS, AND VERY FEW ARE REFERRED FOR CRIMINAL CHARGES; 4) WHILE THE NUMBER OF MINORITIES SHOT IS GREATER THAN THEIR PROPORTION IN THE GENERAL POPULATION, IT IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE NUMBER OF BLACKS AND MINORITIES ARRESTED FOR SERIOUS FELONIES; AND 5) A SIZABLE PERCENTAGE OF THE SHOOTING INCIDENTS INVOLVED OUT-OF-UNIFORM OFFICERS. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)...MSP