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NCJ Number: NCJ 199362     Find in a Library
Title: Curbing Police Brutality: What Works? A Reanalysis of Citizen Complaints at the Organizational Level
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Liqun Cao Ph.D.
Corporate Author: Eastern Michigan University
United States of America
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 37
  Annotation: This federally funded report examines two categories of citizen complaints about police brutality: excessive physical force and abuse of police power, and the role of organizational characteristics and behavior in predicting the citizen complaint rate.
Abstract: The unnecessary use of force by police is referred to as both police use of excessive force and police brutality. In this U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice funded report, the definition of police brutality is citizens’ judgment that they have not been treated with full rights and dignity by police as expected in a democratic society. The study of police brutality is important since it illustrates fundamental conflicts that arise from policing in a democratic society. This report focuses on citizen complaints against the police use of excessive physical force and abuse of power, as well as the relationship between the citizen complaint rate against the police and organizational behavior and characteristics. The report covers three major topics: (1) the extent of police use of physical force as recorded by police departments; (2) the extent of citizen complaints about police use of physical force as recorded by police departments; and (3) the legal consequences of using excessive force. Data were used from a 1993 study, designed to be a comprehensive national survey of law enforcement agencies on the matter of police use of excessive force. Multiple regression analyses were used. The results indicate that there is some evidence that both organizational characteristics and organizational behavior are important in predicting the citizen complaint rate. The citizen complaint rate is also influenced by the environment the police have to work in. The results of this report are viewed as tentative due to the study relying on official data. In summation, the study found that organizational behavior and organizational characteristics are important covariates of the citizen complaints against police use of excessive physical force and police abuse of power. Further study is recommended in observing the applications of police departmental rules in daily operation and whether the model can be extended to explain police brutality in operation. References and tables
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Police organizational structure ; Police Brutality ; Police management ; Police use of deadly force ; Organizational theories ; Police misconduct ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 98-IJ-CX-0064
Sale Source: Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
United States of America

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Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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