By James P. Mcelvain
McElvain explores police shootings from a clean point of view. Combining the theories of regimen actions and social disinhibition, McElvain makes use of citizen behaviors (i.e., alcohol and/or drug intoxication, and past arrests for violent felony behavior) as contributory elements to officer-involved shootings. earlier examine in most cases concerned about officer features to provide an explanation for police use of lethal strength. McElvain additionally considers the position of the citizen. whilst citizen intoxication and previous violent criminality are thought of in addition to officer characteristics--gender, race, and age--the officer features are washed out. In different phrases, citizen behaviors seem to be enhanced predictors of police shootings than are the officials demographics.
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Extra info for Police Shootings and Citizen Behavior (Criminal Justice: Recent Scholarship)
Until more recently, Blumberg (2001) points out that a great deal of research relied upon limited resources such as newspaper accounts or coroner’s reports. These sources of information were largely confined to those incidents wherein the citizen involved died or the incident caught the attention of the media and was considered to be interesting enough for reporting by the media. Alpert and Dunham (2004) not only acknowledge that police use of force data are difficult to 20 Police Shootings and Citizen Behavior gain access to in the first place, the authors assert it is not uncommon for research to be stopped in the middle of a study when an agency changes its mind by either further restricting what the researchers may collect or terminating the study all together.
Manning maintains that police use of force is necessary vis-à-vis a society without enforced oversight for those who wish to cause social disruption. In her definition of legitimate force, McCoy (1986: 273) contends that it is based upon “rational discourse and objective decisionmaking” in the interest of social control; however, legitimate force can become illegitimate violence when it is “too much” or cannot be justified under the circumstances. ” In other words, the police are to employ force at the will and for the benefit of the society being served.
Trust in a newer officer usually occurs as a result of his/her demonstration that he/she is one of the team, and can be counted on when it matters most. These situations tend to involve physical altercations with a combative citizen. Officers need to know that they will be backed up in the heat of battle. During such life threatening encounters, bonds are formed. Almost nothing can earn the trust of one’s peers quicker than backing them up in a fight. Because each officer wants to belong and be accepted, he/she may feel inclined to seek opportunities to use force whether necessary or unnecessary.