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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 44416 Find in a Library
Title: MANAGEMENT OF POLICE KILLINGS
Journal: CRIME AND SOCIAL JUSTICE  Dated:(FALL-WINTER 1977)  Pages:34-43
Author(s): S HARRING; T PLATT; R SPEIGLMAN; P TAKAGI
Corporate Author: Crime and Social Justice Associates
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Crime and Social Justice Associates
Berkeley, CA 94704
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS IS PRESENTED OF RESEARCH ON POLICE KILLINGS OF CIVILIANS IN THE UNITED STATES, AND CONCLUSIONS ARE DRAWN REGARDING MANAGEMENT OF POLICE VIOLENCE.
Abstract: A 1974 STUDY USING NATIONAL DATA NOTED THE DRAMATIC INCREASE OF CIVILIAN DEATHS, PARTICULARLY AMONG BLACKS, CAUSED BY THE POLICE BETWEEN 1962 AND 1969. THE SAME STUDY NOTED THAT THE POLICE-CAUSED DEATH RATE FOR BLACKS FROM 1958 TO 1968 WAS CONSISTENTLY NINE TIMES HIGHER THAN THAT FOR WHITES. SUBSEQUENT STUDIES, USING ESSENTIALLY SIMILAR DATA SETS, ARRIVED AT DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS. ONE RESEARCHER NOTED THE INCREASE IN POLICE KILLINGS OF CIVILIANS BUT EMPHASIZED THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE POLICE OFFICERS INVOLVED. OTHER RESEARCHERS ARGUED THAT COMMUNITIES GET THE NUMBER OF POLICE KILLINGS THEY DESERVE. A POLICE FOUNDATION STUDY WAS PRIMARILY CONCERNED ABOUT THE GROWING COST OF UNREGULATED POLICE VIOLENCE. ALL OF THE STUDIES ARE SAID TO MINIMIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF NONSTATISTICAL DATA AND TO FAIL TO INVESTIGATE THE CONCRETE CIRCUMSTANCES OF POLICE KILLINGS OF CIVILIANS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT MANAGEMENT OF POLICE VIOLENCE MUST BE UNDERSTOOD IN THE CONTEXT OF A POLICE SYSTEM THAT IS OFTEN UNRELIABLE AND DISORGANIZED, DESPITE THE INFUSION OF FEDERAL FUNDING. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT LINE-OF-DUTY DEATH RATES FOR POLICE HAVE NOT CHANGED, BUT THAT SANCTIONS FOR KILLING A POLICE OFFICER HAVE BEEN MADE MORE SEVERE. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE STATE LIE IN EXPLOITING AND PUBLICIZING THE IMPACT OF POLICE DEATHS IN THE LINE OF DUTY, THEREBY RESTRICTING THE ABILITY OF CITIZENS TO RESIST THE ILLEGITIMATE USE OF POLICE POWER. THE WILLINGNESS OF THE STATE TO USE FORCE IS VIEWED AS PART OF A BROADER SOCIAL CONTROL MECHANISM. AGGRESSIVE POLICE PATROL PRACTICES, PARTICULARLY IN WORKING CLASS, NONWHITE NEIGHBORHOODS, ARE SAID TO RELY SUBSTANTIALLY ON THE PUBLIC'S FEAR OF POLICE VIOLENCE.
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Fatalities; Police Brutality; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44416

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