Preventing the Use of Deadly Force: The Relationship between Police Agency Policies and Rates of Officer‐Involved Gun Deaths

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Preventing the Use of Deadly Force: The Relationship between Police Agency Policies and Rates of Officer‐Involved Gun Deaths

Category: Firearm Policies, Homicide|Journal: Public Administration Review (full text)|Author: J Jennings, M Rubado|Year: 2017

Killings of civilians by police officers have become a matter of intense public concern in the United States. High‐profile deaths, especially those of black citizens, have caused outrage and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement with calls for dramatic changes in how police agencies operate. However, little systematic research exists to answer questions about which policies should be ended or put in place to reduce these deaths. The authors leverage a large data set of gun deaths by police officers in the United States, combined with agency‐level policy data and community demographic data, to examine whether certain policies are associated with lower or higher rates of officer‐involved gun deaths. Findings show that one policy—the requirement that officers file a report when they point their guns at people but do not fire—is associated with significantly lower rates of gun deaths.

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