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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165040 Find in a Library
Title: Police Use of Force: Collection of National Data
Series: BJS Full Reports
Author(s): L A Greenfeld; P A Langan; S K Smith; R J Kaminski
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Washington, DC 20531
Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 179
Dept. BJS-236
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
United States of America
Document: Agency Summary|PDF|Text
Agency Summary: 
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report presents information and data on the planning of, recommendations for, and data from the 1996 Police-Public Contact Survey, which measured the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.
Abstract: In 1996 the Census Bureau interviewed a nationally representative sample of 6,421 persons age 12 or older. Extrapolated to a national population, the 6,421 represent nearly 216 million persons. Interviewers determined that 1,308 out of the 6,421 had face-to-face contact with police during the year. The 1,308 represent approximately 44.6 million persons nationwide. The survey questionnaire included detailed questions about specific types of force police might have used. Findings show that of the 6,421 persons 14 said that they were hit, held, pushed, choked, threatened with a flashlight, restrained by a police dog, threatened, or actually sprayed with chemical or pepper spray, threatened with a gun, or had some other form of force used against them. The 14 represent nearly 500,000 persons. An estimated 800,000 had none of these forms of force used against them, but were handcuffed only. Ten of the 14 respondents who reported that police force was threatened or used also reported that their own actions may have provoked police to threaten or use force during the contact. Demographic characteristics of persons having contact with police varied according to the nature of the contact; for example, males accounted for 47 percent of those reporting no contact with the police, 53 percent of those with a contact, 57 percent of those contacts initiated by the police, and 73 percent of contacts in which handcuffing occurred. A similar pattern was found for minorities and persons under age 30. those who described contacts with police that resulted in handcuffing were most likely to have been male, minority, and young. In addition to survey data, this report also provides information on the National Police-Use-of- Force Database Project, national research on the use of force by police, and plans and recommendations for the collection of data on police use of force. Appended questionnaire, selected survey responses, and data tables from the survey
Main Term(s): Police statistics
Index Term(s): Lawful use of force; Police Brutality; Police weapons use; Police-citizen interactions
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