Exploring Bias in Police Shooting Decisions With Real Shoot/Don’t Shoot Cases

Author: Worrall, John L.; Bishopp, Stephen A.; Zinser, Scott C.; Wheeler, Andrew P.; Phillips, Scott W.

Description: The controversy surrounding recent high-profile police shootings (e.g., Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Laquan McDonald in Chicago) has prompted inquiry into the possible existence of bias in officers’ use-of-force decisions. Using a balanced mix of shoot/don’t shoot cases from a large municipal police department in the Southwestern United States, this study analyzed the effect of suspect race on officers’ decisions to shoot–while accounting for other theoretically relevant factors. Findings suggest that Black suspects were not disproportionately the target of police shootings; Black suspects were approximately one third as likely to be shot as other suspects. This finding challenges the current bias narrative and is consistent with the other race-related findings in recently published research.

Subject headings: Implicit bias; Use of force; Police shootings; Bias

Publication year: 2018

Journal or book title: Crime & Delinquency

Volume: 64

Issue: 9

Pages: 1171-1192

Find the full text: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0011128718756038

Find more like this one (cited by): https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=9669112525136838675&as_sdt=2005&sciodt=0,5&hl=en

Serial number: 3229

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