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NCJ Number: 52129 Find in a Library
Title: MAJOR AND MOST PRESSING CONCERN
Journal: ENGAGE/SOCIAL ACTION, (NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1978)  Pages:10-14
Author(s): G G POMPA
Corporate Author: Engage/Social Action
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Engage/Social Action
Washington, DC 20002
Sale Source: Engage/Social Action
100 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF MINORITY CITIZENS KILLED BY POLICE OFFICERS IS DOCUMENTED AND THE CONCERN OF COMMUNITY AND MINORITY GROUPS IS EXAMINED. THE LEGAL BASIS FOR POLICE FORCE AND CIVIL LIABILITY ARE COVERED.
Abstract: FOLLOWING A REVIEW OF A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS IN WHICH THE KILLING OF A MINORITY PERSON BY THE POLICE TOUCHED OFF EITHER A RIOT OR AN ORGANIZED COMMUNITY PROTEST, THE DEEPER RAMIFICATIONS OF THE ISSUE OF POLICE FORCE ARE EXPLORED. STATISTICS ARE QUOTED WHICH SHOW THAT DURING THE YEARS 1967 THROUGH 1974 AN AVERAGE OF 359 PERSONS WERE KILLED BY THE POLICE; 50 PERCENT WERE BLACK. EXCERPTS FROM STUDIES BY THE NATIONAL MINORITY ADVISORY COUNCIL ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND DR. PAUL TAKAGI OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY ARE GIVEN. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT EVEN WHEN ACCOUNTING FOR DIFFERENTIALS IN ARREST RATES, BLACKS ARE KILLED AT A MUCH HIGHER RATE THAN WHITES. THE LEGAL BASES FOR POLICE USE OF WEAPONS ARE REVIEWED. UNDER COMMON LAW THE PENALTY FOR ALL FELONIES IS DEATH AND POLICE USE OF FORCE IS SO JUSTIFIED IN 24 STATES. SEVEN STATES HAVE A FORCIBLE FELONY RULE WHICH SPECIFIES THE KINDS OF FELONIES FOR WHICH DEADLY FORCE MAY BE USED. THE MODEL PENAL CODE, ADOPTED BY SEVEN STATES, FOCUSES ON THE ISSUES OF COMMUNITY SAFETY AND OFFICER SAFETY. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT MUNICIPAL POLICE GUIDELINES ARE USUALLY FAR MORE STRINGENT THAN STATE LAW. JUDICIAL DECISIONS WHICH HAVE HELD CITIES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR EMPLOYEES ARE THEN REVIEWED ALONG WITH THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE DECISIONS FOR POLICE USE OF FORCE. THE INCREASE ATTENTION GIVEN TO THE ENTIRE PROBLEM BY POLICE CHIEFS, THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK POLICE OFFICERS, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS WORKERS, AND NATIONAL HISPANIC ORGANIZATIONS ARE ALSO DOCUMENTED. POLICE ARE URGED TO HAVE STRICT POLICIES AND TO MEET WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS TO DEVELOP BOTH GUIDELINES AND RAPPORT BEFORE, NOT AFTER, AN INCIDENT INFLAMES EMOTIONS. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Civil liability; Common law; Judicial decisions; Lawful use of force; Laws and Statutes; Minorities; Model law; Police community relations; State laws
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52129

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