• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

EvaluationThis article of "What We Know About Police Use of Force" is helping in putting police use of force into context in order to understand the potential magnitude of use of force problems

Extracts from this document...


“What We Know About Police Use of Force”

by: Kenneth Adams


Police use of force is one of the most sensitive subjects in American policing history. This subject has been depicted in many different ways. It’s a subject of what is too much and when should it be used. Finding the thesis of this article was quite a chore for me. I feel that Adams thesis is that it is important to put police use of force in context in order to understand the potential magnitude of use of force problems. Putting this issue into context will help reduce some future conflicts, issues and help gain a greater degree of control over use of force used by the police. He also discusses the importance of society striving to minimize police use of force as much as possible.


This article consists of results from of many different references and sources. The references and sources used in this article are very knowledgeable and are helpful in coming to a conclusion about police use of force.

  • In helping to bring understanding about the topic, Joel H. Garner and Christopher D. Maxwell are referenced by using their work “ Measuring the amount of force used by and against it police in six jurisdictions” which is found in Use of Force by Police, National Institute of Justice-Research Report.  (P. 133-134)
  • Also helping this article was information by Geoffrey P. Alpert and Roger G. Dunham. These men collaborated together to compose “The Force Factor” which can be found also in the National Institute of Justice-Research Report.    (P. 133, 135)
  • There were many other sources of information about this topic. Here are some of the extra sources of research support used Adams article:
  1. Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary that was published in 1958.  (P.130)
  2. A previous summary of research on police use of force that can be found in, National Data Collection of Police Use of Force, Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice by Tom Ewen.
  3. The research gathered by Lawerence Greenfield, Patrick Langan and Steven Smith, all apart of the U.S. Department of Justice, named Police Use of Force: Collection of National Data.
  4. The work of Kenneth Adams himself called “Measuring the Prevalence of Police Abuse of Force,” in Justice For All: A National Agenda for Understanding and Controlling Police Abuse of Force, ed. William A. Geller and Hans Toch. (P. 139)
  5. A source that is used a lot throughout Adams article is information that has been conceived by The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS).  (P. 132-135)
  6. Articles by David Bayley and James Garofalo titled “The Management of Violence by Police Patrol Officers” and “Patrol Officer Effectiveness in Managing Conflict During Police-Citizen Encounters”.  (P. 136)


From the Kenneth Adams’ assessment of police use of force the references and sources tell us:

What we know with substantial confidence about police use of force mainly is

  • police use force infrequently.
  • police use of force typically occurs at the lower end of the force spectrum, involving grabbing pushing, or shoving.
  • use of force typically occurs when police are trying to make an arrest and the suspect is resisting.

These are facts that support these main topics:

  • The Bureau of Statistics’ (BJS) says
...read more.


out of 6,421 persons, 14 respondents, or roughly 1 in 450, said that they were subjected to used of force or threat of force by police over a year’s time.out of the 14 respondents who reported that police used or threatened force against them, 10 suggested that they might have provoked the officer to use force.handcuffing is included in the BJS definition of force, the number of person’s increases to 1.2 million.it is estimated that about 500,000 people were “hit, held, pushed, choked, threatened with a flashlight, restrained by a police dog, threatened or actually sprayed with chemical or pepper spray, threatened with a gun, or experienced some other form of force. Three-fifths of these situations involved holding.
  • Garner and Maxwell found that physical force (excluding handcuffing) is used in less than one of five adult custody arrests.
  • Also they observed that police use weaponless tactics in roughly 80 percent of use of force incidents and that half the time the tactic involved grabbing the suspect.
  • 2.1 percent of custody arrests involved use of weapons by police. Chemical agents were the weapons most frequently used (1.2 percent of arrest), while firearms were the weapons least often used (0.2 percent of arrests).
  • After using statistical controls for more than 50 characteristics of the arrest situation, the suspect, and the police officer, found that forceful action by suspects was the strongest and most consistent predictor of use of force by police.
...read more.


I found this article to be very informative about police use of force. I learned from this article that police use of force is something that isn’t used as frequently as I thought. From watching television and hearing reports on the radio, I believed that police used force a lot more often than statistics show. Another thing I learned was that Police used of force is more likely to occur when the perpetrator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This article is very helpful to society who questions or has concerns about the whole aspect of police use of force. The article is beneficial to society because it helps address issues and give factual information to those who are unclear about the issue.

“What We Know About Police Use of Force” is an article based on the researching of Kenneth Adams. Even though he found answers to many questions about the topic of use of force by the police, he stated himself that there isn’t enough information to come to conclusions about some issues that have arise. He states a few times in the article that more research is necessary to come to a conclusion. The publication of this article was in 1999. I feel that the study of police use of force should be replicated to update the statistics and keep the public or society informed.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity essays

  1. Centripetal force

    Procedure 1. The centripetal force apparatus was constructed as shown as figure 1. 2. The mass of the rubber bung was measure by the balance. The weight of the slotted weight gives the tension T in the string. 3. A length of the nylon string from the rubber bung was measured to the glass tube.

  2. Centripetal Force

    3.3 This force is called the centripetal force. Increase the angular velocity of the rubber bung. What must be done to keep it in the same orbit? As , when the angular velocity increases, the centripetal force should be increased so that it can be kept in the same orbit.

  1. Use of technology in a hospital radiology department. The department of imaging is one ...

    During the examination there might be a slight noise as the machine start working running, but there will be unaware of the fraction of a second when the X-ray source is active. The process of taking the photo will last only a few minutes, but the radiographer may need to take further X-ray a different exposures or different positions.

  2. How successful was the management of the Chernobyl Incident?

    Also the fact that the scientists, themselves, are exposed to high levels of radiation as the Sarcophagus holds 200 tons of nuclear fuels makes it worse. This, in evaluation, is not effective, but one can say, in positive criticism, that in June 26, 1990, a physicist from the technical centre

  1. Multi-bladed Pumps. Does the number of propellor blades affect the efficiency of a ...

    that would reduce the workload of the propeller Height of water reservoir bottle adjusted until water just reaches the top of the propeller cavity, without spilling out the output hole How to accurately measure the volumes of water used in each experiment Volumetric glassware borrowed from chemistry department Calculation of

  2. In this report I will start by exploring the history of the Computerised Tomography ...

    Different types of tissue with different densities show up in a picture on the computer monitor as different colours or shades of grey. Therefore, an image is created by the computer of a 'slice' (cross- section) of a thin section of a body.

  1. A2 Physics;Research Report - Use and Function of Positron Emission Tomography

    An atom consists of a nucleus containing protons and neutrons, collectively called nucleons, and electrons existing as orbitals around the nucleus. The electrons, within this state, move without loss of energy. The number of protons and neutrons in a nucleus are represented by Z and N respectively.

  2. Drayton Manor Theme Park: Centrepedial Force

    As you can see, the direction is different at points A, B, C and D, so when moving in a circle you are constantly changing direction, this means that you are constantly changing velocity hence constantly accelerating. To accelerate a force is required, this force is called centripetal force or

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work