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On the Problems and Promise of Research on Lethal Police Violence: A Research Note

NCJ Number
Homicide Studies Volume: 16 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2012 Pages: 78-96
David A. Klinger
Date Published
February 2012
19 pages
This article discusses the frequently of police officers shooting citizens or involved in any sort of interaction in which citizens die.
There is presently little information about how frequently police officers shoot citizens or are involved in any sort of interaction in which citizens die. Despite this, however, researchers persist in using the limited data available on fatal police violence in various sorts of analyses. The current article outlines the liabilities in available counts of fatal police action, describes some of the problems posed by using such data, discusses why counting citizens killed by police bullets is not a sound way to measure deadly force, and offers some ideas for improving measurement of the use of deadly force and other police actions that lead to the death of citizens. (Published Abstract)