skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 31040 Find in a Library
Title: APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM OF EXCESSIVE FORCE BY POLICE
Journal: JOURNAL OF POLICE SCIENCE AND ADMINISTRATION  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(DECEMBER 1975)  Pages:377-383
Author(s): K E RENNER; D A GIERACH
Corporate Author: Northwestern University
School of Law
Managing Editor
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Northwestern University
Chicago, IL 60611
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS PAPER DESCRIBES A STUDY WHICH USED PROBABILITY ANALYSIS TO STATISTICALLY EVALUATE WHETHER THE USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE BY POLICE WAS DUE TO CITIZENS' ACTIONS OR A CHARACTERISTIC TENDENCY OF SOME POLICEMEN.
Abstract: RESEARCHERS ASSUMED THAT POLICE USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE WOULD BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO CHARGES AGAINST THE CITIZEN FOR RESISTING ARREST OR ASSAULTING AN OFFICER, AND THAT THE ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE FREQUENCY OF ENCOUNTERING INDIVIDUALS WHO RESIST OR ASSAULT FOR ANY PARTICULAR OFFICER WOULD CORRESPOND CLOSELY TO WHAT WOULD BE EXPECTED ON A CHANCE BASIS. THIS CHANCE DISTRIBUTION COULD BE READILY CALCULATED WITH THE AID OF A COMPUTER AND WOULD SERVE AS THE STANDARD OF COMPARISON FOR THE ACTUAL DISTRIBUTION, ALLOWING ODDS TO BE ASSIGNED THAT ANY ONE OFFICER WOULD HAVE THE SAME NUMBER OF ASSAULT OR RESISTING CASES BY CHANCE ALONE. THIS STUDY RECORDED THE NUMBER OF RESISTING ARREST AND ASSAULT CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST CITIZENS BY EACH OFFICER ON THE POLICE FORCE OF A MIDWESTERN CITY OF 60,000 FOR THE YEARS 1970 THROUGH 1973. THREE FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTIONS WERE MADE: THE FIRST FOR THE OFFICERS WHO HAD BEEN ON THE FORCE FOR ALL FOUR YEARS; THE SECOND FOR THOSE ON THE FORCE FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS; AND THE THIRD FOR THOSE ON THE FORCE FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS. IN EACH CASE, THE ACTUAL DISTRIBUTIONS INDICATED THAT SOME POLICE OFFICERS HAD A LARGER NUMBER OF SUCH INCIDENTS THAN WOULD BE EXPECTED BY CHANCE AND THAT MORE OFFICERS THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPECTED BY CHANCE HAD ZERO SUCH INCIDENTS. IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE THREE OFFICERS WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBERS OF ACTUAL ASSAULT OR RESISTING CASES CONTRIBUTED EXCESSIVELY TO THE USE OF FORCE AND WERE GIVING THE ENTIRE FORCE A BAD REPUTATION. STUDY LIMITATIONS AND BIAS ARE DISCUSSED ALONG WITH POSSIBLE IMPLICATION OF THIS ANALYSIS FOR OFFICER SUPERVISION, SELECTION AND TRAINING, AND POLICE PROFESSIONALISM.
Index Term(s): Assaults on police; Frequency distribution; Police Brutality; Resisting arrest; Statistical analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=31040

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.