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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99125 Find in a Library
Title: Police Use of Deadly Force - Canadian Perspectives
Author(s): D Chappell; L P Graham
Corporate Author: University of Toronto
Centre of Criminology
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 211
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1, Canada
Publication Number: 23
Sale Source: University of Toronto
Centre of Criminology
Publications Officer
130 St George Street
Rm 8001
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1,
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This monograph analyzes statistics about Canadian police shootings, current laws governing police powers, and selected police shooting deaths in British Columbia. Recommendations concerning legal and administrative controls over police use of deadly force are presented.
Abstract: The report provides a statistical overview of variables pertaining to the use of deadly force in Canada and summarizes a research study conducted in Toronto. After noting the inadequacy of empirical research on the subject, this discussion concludes that persons killed by the legal use of police deadly force are predominantly young male adults. It also comments that the use of deadly force varies substantially across the province, that official statistics reveal only a fraction of police firearm use, and that the Canadian police lack a systematic method to document police shooting incidents. Three provisions which govern the amount of force a police officer may use and the circumstances under which it is justified are reviewed: The Canadian Criminal Code, judicial decisions, and police regulations. Also examined are the investigatory processes related to police shootings. The monograph analyzes 13 deadly force incidents using data obtained from the coroner's files on death caused by police use of firearms in British Columbia between 1970 and 1982. These victims had an average age of 27, and the majority were carrying firearms. There was no doubt in six cases that the suspects were threatening the police who shot them. At least five of the deadly force cases seemed to involve persons whose attempts to escape arrest resulted in the discharge of police firearms. Recommendations focus on training, policy and law, investigatory mechanisms, and gun control legislation. Case studies and footnotes are supplied.
Index Term(s): British Columbia; Canada; Lawful use of force; Police policies and procedures; Police use of deadly force
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