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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99437 Find in a Library
Title: Police and Citizen Killings of Criminal Suspects - A Comparative Analysis
Journal: American Journal of Police  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1985)  Pages:1-19
Author(s): D B Griswold; C R Massey
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of homicides of criminal suspects by police officers and citizens in Dade County, Fla., from 1957-1980 suggests that patterns of police and citizen killings were remarkably similar with regard to victims' characteristics and circumstances.
Abstract: Information collected from the Dade County Medical Examiner on 167 criminal suspects killed by the police and 126 suspects killed by citizens included age, sex, race, blood alcohol level of victims, and cursory descriptions of incidents. The typical victim of both police and citizen killings was a young black male who frequently had been drinking, although an even larger majority of citizen victims were black. The major differences between police and citizen killings concerned the alleged offenses and the place of the homicide event. The vast majority of suspects killed by citizens involved robberies or burglaries, while police homicides cut across a greater spectrum of victim offenses. Consequently, a great proportion of citizen homicides occurred in private places, notably the perpetrator's home. Most situations surrounding the deaths were similar for the two types of killings. Comparable proportions of police and citizen victims were fleeing without resistance, one-sixth and one-fifth respectively. In virtually all other police homicides, the victim threatened or actually used force. Tables and 12 references are included.
Index Term(s): Citizen gun use; Florida; Homicide; Police use of deadly force; Victim profiles
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