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  • NEWS FEATURE
  • 19 June 2020
  • Update 26 May 2021

What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work

  • Lynne Peeples 0

Lynne Peeples is a science journalist in Seattle, Washington.

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For 9 minutes and 29 seconds, Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. This deadly use of force by the now-former Minneapolis police officer has reinvigorated a very public debate about police brutality and racism.

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Nature 583 , 22-24 (2020)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01846-z

Updates & Corrections

Update 26 May 2021 : On 20 April 2021, Derek Chauvin was convicted of causing the death of George Floyd. The text has been modified to include updated information on how long Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.

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Police brutality, medical mistrust and unmet need for medical care

Sirry alang.

a Department of Sociology and Program in Health, Medicine and Society, Health Justice Collaborative, Lehigh University Bethlehem Pennsylvania, United States

Donna McAlpine

b Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN, United States

Malcolm McClain

c Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA, United States

Rachel Hardeman

  • • Police brutality can shape health by limiting access to health care.
  • • Police brutality is associated with greater odds of unmet need for medical care.
  • • This association is partly explained by medical mistrust.

Police brutality is a social determinant of health that can directly impact health status. Social determinants of health can also impact health indirectly by shaping how people access health care. In this study, we describe the relationship between perceived police brutality and an indicator of access to care, unmet need. We also examine medical mistrust as a potential mechanism through which perceived police brutality affects unmet need. Using data from the 2018 Survey of the Health of Urban Residents (N = 4,345), direct effects of perceived police brutality on unmet need and indirect effects through medical mistrust were obtained using the Karlson-Holm-Breen method of effect decomposition. Experiencing police brutality was associated with greater odds of unmet need. Controlling for covariates, 18 percent of the total effect of perceived police brutality on unmet need was explained by medical mistrust. Experiences outside of the health care system matter for access to care. Given the association between police brutality and unmet need for medical care, addressing unmet need among marginalized populations requires public health leaders to engage in conversations about reform of police departments. The coronavirus pandemic makes this even more critical as both COVID-19 and police brutality disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities of color.

1. Introduction

Police brutality refers to police (in)action that dehumanizes, regardless of conscious intent, and it encompasses psychological intimidation verbal abuse and physical assault. ( Alang et al., 2017 ) There is a growing body of research connecting police brutality to a range of health outcomes, including mental disorders, ( DeVylder et al., 2018 , Jackson et al., 2017 ) illness and injury, ( Sewell, 2017 , Feldman et al., 2016 ) and mortality. ( Bui et al., 2018 ) This research supports the framing of police brutality as a social determinant of health. ( Alang et al., 2017 ) The social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age—can impact health directly but also can indirectly impact health by shaping how people access health care. As a social determinant of health, police brutality does not only affect health status, but it affects the relationships that people have with health care institutions. For example, people who have experienced police brutality are more likely to mistrust medical institutions compared to their peers who have not experienced police brutality given that people bring the social context of their lives with them to the medical encounter. ( Alang et al., 2020 ) Here, we examine how medical mistrust that is connected to police brutality might then be associated with increased odds of unmet need.

Mistrust in one institution such as the police carries over to another institution such as health care. ( Alang et al., 2020 , Williamson et al., 2019 ) Therefore, one possible mechanism through which police brutality might increase unmet need for medical care is by decreasing trust in medical institutions. Medical mistrust indicates overall suspicion of the health care system and beliefs that health care providers and organizations may act contrary to patients’ best interests. ( Shoff and Yang, 2012 , Williamson and Bigman, 2018 ) Prior research indicates that factors outside of the patient-provider relationship such as neighborhood disadvantage can impact medical mistrust. ( Shoff and Yang, 2012 ) The only research to specifically address whether police brutality is related to trust in the medical system found that policy brutality was associated with increased mistrust among all racialized groups, but that Latinx, Black/African American and Indigenous people were more likely to have experienced such brutality. ( Alang et al., 2020 ) We build on this work to examine how police brutality might impact access to care through its association with medical mistrust and by ultimately increasing unmet need.

One indicator of access to health care is perceived unmet need for medical care. It reflects gaps between the services that people believe that they need and the services that they receive. ( Allin et al., 2010 ) As a subjective measure, it encompasses utilization of health services as well as individuals’ preferences, and their perceptions about the acceptability and effectiveness of care. ( Allin et al., 2010 ) Taking into account health status, persons who report unmet need also report lower utilization of health service, ( Bataineh et al., 2019 ) and do worse, overtime, than their counterparts who do not report unmet need. ( Gibson et al., 2019 ) The goal of this paper is to further accentuate police brutality as a social determinant of health by examining its association with unmet need for medical care.

There has been considerable research attention focused on the sociodemographic characteristics, resources and individual circumstances of persons who are likely to report unmet need. ( Gibson et al., 2019 , Baggett et al., 2010 , Yamada et al., 2015 , Mollborn et al., 2005 ) Broader contextual and health care system characteristics such as provider availability and accessibility, geographic location of services, and community poverty rates are also associated with unmet need for medical care. ( Long et al., 2002 , Peterson and Litaker, 2010 ) Furthermore, researchers have examined how relationships between patients and providers shape unmet need. For example, individuals who report that they mistrust their doctors or medical institutions are also more likely to report that they delayed care, did not get the care they needed, follow medical advice, or fill a prescription. ( Yamada et al., 2015 , Mollborn et al., 2005 , LaVeist et al., 2009 )

While health system factors and relationships between clinicians and patients shape unmet need, the experiences that patients have in other systems and in the places in which they live, work, grow and age might also impact their likelihood of having unmet need. Consider unmet need for mental health care as an example. Findings from a mixed-methods study suggest that persons who are treated unfairly by institutions outside of the health care delivery system such as education, child welfare services, and the criminal justice system, are likely to forgo mental health care. ( Alang, 2019 ) Further investigation is needed to examine whether negative experiences with institutions outside of the health care system might also be associated with unmet need for medical care. In this paper, we explore whether perceived negative experiences with the police — perceived police brutality — might have implications for unmet need.

In the current study, we evaluate two hypotheses: First, that people with experiences of perceived police brutality are more likely to report unmet need for medical care and more likely to report medical mistrust. Second, that some of the effects of perceived police brutality on unmet need can be explained by medical mistrust. If supported, our findings would inform interventions that address both medical mistrust and police brutality, and ultimately eliminate unmet need.

Data : Data came from the Survey of the Health of Urban Residents (SHUR) ( Alang et al., 2020 ) that was administered online in 2018 by Qualtrics LLC. ( Qualtrics, 2013 ) Respondents were recruited by leveraging multiple databases of individuals who have opted into participating in surveys. SHUR is a non-probability sample survey of adults who live in urban areas in the contiguous United States. People of color and those whose usual source of care was not a doctor’s office were oversampled. Qualtrics monitored the quotas for usual source of care and for race/ ethnicity using screening questions that asked respondents’ race and their usual source of care. For example, when the quota for persons whose usual source of care was a doctor’s office was met, the screening questions prevented additional respondents who would belong in this category from completing the survey. Our analytic sample (N = 4,345) is limited to respondents with no missing data on unmet need.

Measures: Our main outcome variable is perceived unmet need . Respondents were asked: “Was there a time in the past 12 months when you needed medical care but did not get it?” Medical care includes doctor’s visits, tests, procedures, prescription medication and hospitalizations. Unmet need was analyzed as a binary variable, 0 for no and 1 for yes. Perceived police brutality was created based on respondents’ answers to whether they experienced at least one of ten negative interactions with the police in their lifetime. Examples of these interactions, adapted from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Police Public Contact Survey (PPCS), include police cursing at the respondent, kicking, hitting or shoving the respondent, using an electroshock weapon such as a stun gun, or pointing a gun at the respondent. Respondents who reported at least one negative encounter with the police were asked if they believed that the action of the police officer during their most recent negative encounter was necessary. The variable perceived police brutality was then created with three mutually exclusive categories: no negative encounter, necessary negative encounter, and unnecessary negative encounter. We relied on self-reports of the necessity of police actions to highlight the importance of subjective assessments of experiences with police and it is consistent with other studies that have investigated the impact of police actions on health. ( Cooper et al., 2004 , English et al., 2017 )

The 12 item group-based medical mistrust index ( Thompson et al., 2004 ) was used to assess medical mistrust.. Respondents were asked how much they agreed with statements like: doctors and health care workers don’t have the best interests of people who belong to my racial or ethnic group and people in my racial or ethnic group should be suspicious of doctors. Responses ranged from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). The mean score across all 12 items was computed to create a mistrust scale ranging from 1 to 5 with a Cronbach’s alpha 0.80. We analyze medical mistrust as a continuous variable with higher scores indicating greater medical mistrust. Covariates in the data such as race/ ethnicity, age, gender, employment status, level of education, health status indicators (such as activity limitations and self-rated physical health), and usual source of health care, that are empirically and conceptually associated with police brutality, ( Sewell, 2017 , Alang et al., 2020 ) medical mistrust ( Alang et al., 2020 , LaVeist et al., 2009 ) or unmet need ( Mollborn et al., 2005 , Long et al., 2002 , Peterson and Litaker, 2010 ) were included the analyses.

Analyses: First, we describe the sample characteristics by perceived unmet need. Then, we ran a binary logistic regression of unmet need on perceived police brutality. Next, we included medical mistrust in the model, followed by running the full model with all covariates. Finally, we computed the direct effects of different experiences of perceived police brutality and indirect effects of experiences of perceived police brutality (through medical mistrust) on unmet need using the Karlson-Holm-Breen (KHB) ( Karlson and Holm, 2011 ) method of effect decomposition, controlling for all covariates. The KHB method ensures that decomposition of total effects in non-linear models such as logistic regressions are not affected by scale identification bias. Instead of estimating the effects in terms of logit coefficients, we requested STATA to present coefficients from effect decomposition as average partial effects to ease interpretation. ( Karlson and Holm, 2011 ) We also obtained the relative magnitude of direct and indirect effects (confounding ratio) and the percentage of total effect that is due to the mediator (confounding percentage), that are unaffected by the scale parameter.

Characteristics of the sample by perceived unmet need are presented on Table 1 . As shown, slightly over a third of the sample reported unmet need (37.7 percent). The mean medical mistrust score was 2.4, falling between “neither agree nor disagree” and “agree” that clinicians do not have their bests interests. Only four in ten persons had not experienced any negative encounters with police, and about a quarter of the sample reported having negative and unnecessary encounters with the police. Almost 64 percent of the sample was White, 14 percent Black, and almost 12 percent Hispanic/Latinx. The sample was disproportionately female (72 percent) and only about 5 percent of the respondents were 65 or older. One in four persons had at least a bachelor’s degree, 12 percent were unemployed, and three in four reported very good, good or excellent overall health. Most of the respondents had health insurance with about half insured publicly through Medicaid (or a similar state-sponsored program), Medicare, or military/veterans’ health care. But only 42 percent reported that their usual source of care was a doctor’s office.

Characteristics of Sample by Perceived Unmet Need.

Results of logistic regressions are shown on Table 2 . In the unadjusted model (model 1), odds of unmet need were greater among persons who had perceived necessary negative encounters with the police compared to those with no negative encounters (O.R. = 2.75, C.I. = 2.37–3.19). Respondents with perceived unnecessary negative police encounters also had greater odds of unmet need compared to their counterparts who did not report negative encounters with the police (O.R. = 2.04, C.I. = 1.74–2.38). When we included medical mistrust in model 2, the effects of perceived police brutality on unmet need were attenuated. Each unit increase in medical mistrust was associated with two times greater odds of unmet need (O.R. = 2.01, C.I. = 1.82–2.21). In model 3, we included all covariates. Negative encounters with the police that were perceived as unnecessary, and negative encounters with the police that were perceived as necessary were both associated with increased odds of reporting unmet need. Likewise, greater mean medical mistrust scores were still significantly associated with perceived unmet need, but the effects were less strong as compared to model 2. Demographic characteristics associated with unmet need include race (Black people are less likely than their White counterparts to report unmet need), and age (persons 55 and older had lower odds of unmet need compared to respondents between the ages of 18–24). Being employed as compared to being out of the labor force is also associated with higher odds of unmet need. Persons whose usual source of medical care was the emergency room, a hospital outpatient/urgent care department, and those with no usual source of care had greater odds of unmet need compared to their counterparts who had a regular primary care doctor. Having an activity limitation or poor self-rated health was also associated with unmet need. Finally, having either public or private insurance was associated with lower odds of unmet need compared to being uninsured.

Association between unmet need, police brutality and medical mistrust.

We assess the total and decomposed effects of perceived police brutality on unmet need, controlling for covariates. There were no significant differences in decomposed effects of perceived necessary encounters compared to perceived unnecessary encounters. But when we dichotomized police brutality (no negative encounters versus any negative encounter whether perceived as necessary or unnecessary), direct effects of perceived police brutality on unmet need, and indirect effects through medical mistrust were both significant as shown on Table 3 . As hypothesized, medical mistrust mediates the relationship between perceived police brutality and unmet need. On average, the probability of reporting an unmet need for medical care increases by 12 percentage points among persons who reported any negative encounter with the police, whether necessary or unnecessary compared to those who did not. After controlling for medical mistrust, this average is reduced to 10 percentage points. Having negative encounters with the police is associated to higher medical mistrust, which is then translated into a 2 percent greater probability of reporting unmet need. The confounding ratio is 1.23 and the confounding percentage is 18.44. These mean that the total effect of perceived police brutality is about 1.2 times larger than its direct effect, and that 18 percent of the total effect of perceived police brutality on unmet need is due to medical mistrust.

Direct and Indirect Average Partial Effects of Perceived Police Brutality on Unmet Need.

*p ≤ 0.05; **p ≤ 0.01; ***p ≤ 0.001.

~~ 95% CIs of difference not known for average partial effects methods of the KHB method of effect decomposition.

4. Discussion

The results support our hypotheses. First, perceived police brutality is associated with greater likelihood of not getting needed medical care such as doctor’s visits, tests, prescription medication and hospitalizations. Second, one of the ways by which perceived police brutality affects unmet need is by increasing medical mistrust. Specifically, when we account for race, age, gender, education, employment status, whether a person has a usual source of care, the type of place they go to for their health care, their health insurance status, whether they are limited in any activities because of their health, and their subjective overall health, there is a strong association between negative encounters with the police and elevated odds of reporting unmet need for medical care. This association can be explained, in part, by high levels of medical mistrust among persons who report negative encounters with the police. It is well understood that exposure to police brutality affects health status directly. ( DeVylder et al., 2018 , Sewell, 2017 , Feldman et al., 2016 , Bui et al., 2018 ) While our outcome is not health status, our results suggest two additional pathways through which perceived police brutality might impact health status.

The first pathway is medical mistrust – a distal mechanism through which perceived police brutality affects health. Experiencing police brutality can cause people not to trust that police have their best interest in mind. ( Sharp and Johnson, 2009 ) What we experience in one system shapes our experiences in another system. For example, experiencing discrimination at work or at educational institutions is connected to the anticipation of discrimination within health care settings. ( Alang, 2019 ) Therefore mistrust in police that might result from negative encounters can be transferred to other institutions, including medical institutions, ( Alang et al., 2020 ) thus affecting health by causing delays in care and failure to follow medical advice, ultimately increasing unmet need. One explanation for this might be that when people perceive discrimination by the police, they will expect to experience discrimination in medical institutions and seek to avoid contact with health care systems. Medical mistrust — the perceptions that heath care organizations do not have one’s best interest and might cause harm is exacerbated even with vicarious exposures to discrimination, such as in news stories. ( Williamson et al., 2019 ) Therefore, personal experiences of police brutality — a form of state-sanctioned discrimination and violence, ( Alang, 2020 ) is likely to lead to greater medical mistrust, ultimately limiting engagement with the health care system.

The second more proximal mechanism linking perceived police brutality to health outcomes may be unmet need. Unmet need is conditional on health status. Not receiving the medical care that is needed might worsen health. Our finding that individual negative encounters with the police are associated with unmet need for medical care is consistent with a recent study that found that sick people who live in disproportionately policed neighborhoods, regardless of their personal experiences with the police, are hesitant to use hospital emergency departments when such use is needed. ( Kerrison and Sewell, 2020 ) In addition to medical mistrust, a possible but speculative explanation is that exposure to police violence, like any trauma, might lead to distressing and upsetting emotions including hypervigilance, and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. People who experience these emotions might avoid potential exposure to additional trauma such as discrimination within health care settings by not seeking the care that they may need. This needs further investigation.

The rest of our findings with respect to the associations between unmet need and socio-demographics, health status and access are consistent with those of other studies. ( Alang, 2015 , Shi and Stevens, 2005 ) For example, in the National Health Interview Survey and the Community Tracking Study household survey, Blacks/African Americans are less likely than Whites to report unmet need, controlling for socio-economic factors and other indicators of access to care such as health insurance. ( Mollborn et al., 2005 , Shi and Stevens, 2005 ) Findings from several studies suggest that older adults and persons who are insured are less likely to report unmet need. ( Baggett et al., 2010 , Yamada et al., 2015 , Shi and Stevens, 2005 , Chen and Hou, 2002 , Fjær et al., 2014 ) For both older adults and persons with health insurance, this might be a result of relatively better access to and utilization of services, and better health financing. ( Yamada et al., 2015 , Shi and Stevens, 2005 , Chen and Hou, 2002 ) Older adults might have also used health services enough in their lives to have developed more trust and familiarity. We found that employed respondents were more likely than those not in the labor force to have unmet need. A speculative explanation is that given the lack of universal health care in the U.S., employed persons might be less likely to benefit from more comprehensive health coverage available to those out of the labor force enrolled in safety-net programs. Employer-sponsored health insurance plans that provide a limited range of benefits or that have high cost-sharing requirements might increase cost-related barriers to care among employed persons.

Our finding that respondents who use the emergency department as their primary source of care and that those who did not have a usual source tend to report greater unmet need were also not new. ( Cooper et al., 2004 , Cunningham et al., 2017 ) It is possible that the relationship that develops from going to the same primary provider who oversees your care might lower unmet need. We also found that respondents with poor self-rated health and who reported limitations had greater unmet need. These findings are consistent with several others. ( Yamada et al., 2015 , Shi and Stevens, 2005 , Chen and Hou, 2002 ) Perhaps, they reflect some of the struggles associated with persistent unresolved symptoms.

Our findings should be considered along with some limitations. First, the SHUR is a non-probability online survey that lacks the representativeness of a probability sample. Survey respondents might differ from the general population in ways that matter for our estimates. For example, persons who might be more exposed to police brutality, or who might have greater unmet need (e.g. people experiencing homelessness), are less likely to be included in online samples. Second, the analyses are cross-sectional not longitudinal, and do not measure unmet need and medical mistrust before and after negative encounters with the police. We only measure direct associations of perceived police brutality with unmet need and those mediated by medical mistrust. It is also possible that persons who experience unmet need might be more likely to be have negative encounters with the police, such as people with mental illnesses. Third, information regarding the reasons for perceived unmet need would have further strengthened our analyses.

5. Conclusion and implications

Groups that have negative experiences with the police are more likely to mistrust the medical system and to report unmet need. Our findings demonstrate that simply focusing on traditional barriers to care such as lack of insurance or health literacy is limited. This is particularly relevant as we address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among Black, Indigenous and other communities of color who are also disproportionately victims of police brutality. The promise of public health is that it directs us upstream for solutions. In this context, that means addressing police brutality. One way to do so is routinely tracking, reporting, and analyzing instances of police brutality and their outcomes in our surveillance systems, including national surveys. ( Krieger et al., 2015 ) However, to date, there has been little resolve to fund this effort.

Our findings also demonstrate the critical role of structural inequity in medical encounters and in unmet need. We join others to call for structural competency training in clinical education, ( Metzl et al., 2018 ) teaching clinicians and other health care professionals to understand, assess, and analyze how larger structural inequities, such as structural racism and exposure to police brutality, shape health status and access to care ( Hardeman et al., 2016 ).

Finally, the knowledge that conditions outside the medical system impact perceptions of medical encounters and unmet need matters for population health. It is not solely the encounters between clinicians and patients that result in mistrust or shape a potentially trusting relationship, but also the patients’ experiences with the police — something that happens out of the health care system. To address the issue of unmet need for medical care among under-resourced populations who are more likely to experience police brutality, reform of police departments across the country is necessary. The murder of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officers amplified a movement across the U.S. demanding police reform. It is important that public health leaders are part of these conversations, raising issues such as those explored in this study.

CRediT authorship contribution statement

Sirry Alang: Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Writing - original draft. Donna McAlpine: Writing - review & editing, Validation. Malcolm McClain: Visualization, Writing - review & editing. Rachel Hardeman: Writing - review & editing.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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  • An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force

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This paper explores racial differences in police use of force. On non-lethal uses of force, blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police. Adding controls that account for important context and civilian behavior reduces, but cannot fully explain, these disparities. On the most extreme use of force –officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account. We argue that the patterns in the data are consistent with a model in which police officers are utility maximizers, a fraction of which have a preference for discrimination, who incur relatively high expected costs of officer-involved shootings.

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10 things we know about race and policing in the U.S.

research paper on police brutality

Days of protests across the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the custody of Minneapolis police have brought new attention to questions about police officers’ attitudes toward black Americans, protesters and others. The public’s views of the police, in turn, are also in the spotlight. Here’s a roundup of Pew Research Center survey findings from the past few years about the intersection of race and law enforcement.

How we did this

Most of the findings in this post were drawn from two previous Pew Research Center reports: one on police officers and policing issues published in January 2017, and one on the state of race relations in the United States published in April 2019. We also drew from a September 2016 report on how black and white Americans view police in their communities. (The questions asked for these reports, as well as their responses, can be found in the reports’ accompanying “topline” file or files.)

The 2017 police report was based on two surveys. One was of 7,917 law enforcement officers from 54 police and sheriff’s departments across the U.S., designed and weighted to represent the population of officers who work in agencies that employ at least 100 full-time sworn law enforcement officers with general arrest powers, and conducted between May and August 2016. The other survey, of the general public, was conducted via the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP) in August and September 2016 among 4,538 respondents. (The 2016 report on how blacks and whites view police in their communities also was based on that survey.) More information on methodology is available here .

The 2019 race report was based on a survey conducted in January and February 2019. A total of 6,637 people responded, out of 9,402 who were sampled, for a response rate of 71%. The respondents included 5,599 from the ATP and oversamples of 530 non-Hispanic black and 508 Hispanic respondents sampled from Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel. More information on methodology is available here .

Majorities of both black and white Americans say black people are treated less fairly than whites in dealing with the police and by the criminal justice system as a whole. In a 2019 Center survey , 84% of black adults said that, in dealing with police, blacks are generally treated less fairly than whites; 63% of whites said the same. Similarly, 87% of blacks and 61% of whites said the U.S. criminal justice system treats black people less fairly.

More than eight-in-ten black adults say blacks are treated less fairly than whites by police, criminal justice system

Black adults are about five times as likely as whites to say they’ve been unfairly stopped by police because of their race or ethnicity (44% vs. 9%), according to the same survey. Black men are especially likely to say this : 59% say they’ve been unfairly stopped, versus 31% of black women.

Black men are far more likely than black women to say they've been unfairly stopped by the police

White Democrats and white Republicans have vastly different views of how black people are treated by police and the wider justice system. Overwhelming majorities of white Democrats say black people are treated less fairly than whites by the police (88%) and the criminal justice system (86%), according to the 2019 poll. About four-in-ten white Republicans agree (43% and 39%, respectively).

Vast gaps between white Republicans, Democrats on views of treatment of blacks

Nearly two-thirds of black adults (65%) say they’ve been in situations where people acted as if they were suspicious of them because of their race or ethnicity, while only a quarter of white adults say that’s happened to them. Roughly a third of both Asian and Hispanic adults (34% and 37%, respectively) say they’ve been in such situations, the 2019 survey found.

Most blacks say someone has acted suspicious of them or as if they weren't smart

Black Americans are far less likely than whites to give police high marks for the way they do their jobs . In a 2016 survey, only about a third of black adults said that police in their community did an “excellent” or “good” job in using the right amount of force (33%, compared with 75% of whites), treating racial and ethnic groups equally (35% vs. 75%), and holding officers accountable for misconduct (31% vs. 70%).

Blacks are about half as likely as whites to have a positive view of police treatment of racial and ethnic groups or officers' use of force

In the past, police officers and the general public have tended to view fatal encounters between black people and police very differently. In a 2016 survey  of nearly 8,000 policemen and women from departments with at least 100 officers, two-thirds said most such encounters are isolated incidents and not signs of broader problems between police and the black community. In a companion survey of more than 4,500 U.S. adults, 60% of the public called such incidents signs of broader problems between police and black people. But the views given by police themselves were sharply differentiated by race: A majority of black officers (57%) said that such incidents were evidence of a broader problem, but only 27% of white officers and 26% of Hispanic officers said so.

Most white, Latino officers say encounters between blacks and police are isolated incidents; majority of black officers disagree

Around two-thirds of police officers (68%) said in 2016 that the demonstrations over the deaths of black people during encounters with law enforcement were motivated to a great extent by anti-police bias; only 10% said (in a separate question) that protesters were primarily motivated by a genuine desire to hold police accountable for their actions. Here as elsewhere, police officers’ views differed by race: Only about a quarter of white officers (27%) but around six-in-ten of their black colleagues (57%) said such protests were motivated at least to some extent by a genuine desire to hold police accountable.

Most officers say protests mainly motivated by bias toward police

White police officers and their black colleagues have starkly different views on fundamental questions regarding the situation of blacks in American society, the 2016 survey found. For example, nearly all white officers (92%) – but only 29% of their black colleagues – said the U.S. had made the changes needed to assure equal rights for blacks.

Police, public divided by race over whether attaining equality requires more changes

A majority of officers said in 2016 that relations between the police in their department and black people in the community they serve were “excellent” (8%) or “good” (47%). However, far higher shares saw excellent or good community relations with whites (91%), Asians (88%) and Hispanics (70%). About a quarter of police officers (26%) said relations between police and black people in their community were “only fair,” while nearly one-in-five (18%) said they were “poor” – with black officers far more likely than others to say so. (These percentages are based on only those officers who offered a rating.)

About half or more officers say police have positive relations with the racial, ethnic groups in their communities

An overwhelming majority of police officers (86%) said in 2016 that high-profile fatal encounters between black people and police officers had made their jobs harder . Sizable majorities also said such incidents had made their colleagues more worried about safety (93%), heightened tensions between police and blacks (75%), and left many officers reluctant to use force when appropriate (76%) or to question people who seemed suspicious (72%).

Officers say fatal encounters between police and blacks have made policing harder

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Drew DeSilver is a senior writer at Pew Research Center .

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What the data says about crime in the U.S.

Fewer than 1% of federal criminal defendants were acquitted in 2022, before release of video showing tyre nichols’ beating, public views of police conduct had improved modestly, black americans differ from other u.s. adults over whether individual or structural racism is a bigger problem, violent crime is a key midterm voting issue, but what does the data say, most popular.

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Study indicates that as racial diversity and income rise, civilian injuries by police fall

by Emily Stone, University of Illinois at Chicago

arrest

An analysis of civilian injuries resulting from interactions with police in Illinois found that residents of all races and ethnicities are more likely to sustain injuries if they live in economically under-resourced areas. The risk of injury decreases as communities become more racially diverse, the researchers found.

The study from the University of Illinois Chicago analyzed information on nearly 5,000 injuries caused by police that were treated in Illinois hospitals between 2016 and 2022. The researchers then compared that information with socioeconomic data from the U.S. Census on each injured person's home ZIP code.

The study is published in the Journal of Urban Health and was conducted as part of the School of Public Health's Law Enforcement Epidemiology Project.

Most previous research on police-civilian interactions focuses on fatalities, the researchers explained.

"The problem is, for every fatal injury, there are more than 100 nonfatal injuries," said author Lee Friedman, a research professor at UIC and co-lead of the Law Enforcement Epidemiology Project.

The analysis of nonfatal injuries revealed a more granular picture of what is happening across the state, allowing the researchers to evaluate how community-level characteristics are associated with injuries during police-civilian interactions. These injuries can not only harm people's mental and physical health , they can also erode community trust in police, they said.

Without clear data on injuries, "there's no information to support people in specific communities when they want to understand, "Is this normal?'" said Alfreda Holloway-Beth, research assistant professor at UIC and co-lead on the Law Enforcement Epidemiology Project.

The study divided the state's ZIP codes into three categories: Chicago, suburban Cook County and the rest of the state. In all three areas, non-Hispanic Black residents had the highest rates of injuries, ranging from 5.5 to 10.5 times higher than the injury rate for non-Hispanic white residents. Hispanic residents had higher rates of injury compared with white residents in Chicago and suburban Cook County, but lower rates in rural areas.

Statewide, as the percentage of non-Hispanic Black residents or Hispanic residents in a ZIP code increased, injury rates among all three racial and ethnic groups decreased, though there was variability across regions of the state, and certain ZIP codes had very high rates of injury.

Across all three regions of Illinois and all three racial groups, the rate of injury increased in economically under-resourced areas.

"It was very consistent that the more economically disadvantaged a community is, the higher the rates of injury are going to be," Friedman said.

This result makes clear why it is very important to study factors beyond race when examining injuries, Holloway-Beth said.

"If we just rely on data on race, we don't get at the issue of being poor in America and how much that affects these numbers," she said.

Holloway-Beth, who is also director of epidemiology at the Cook County Department of Public Health, is part of a national pilot project among state and local public health departments to start tracking this sort of injury data. The researchers hope academics in other states begin these types of analyses, too.

"I think the narrative has been a bit constrained as being solely about race and ethnicity. And it's been focused on fatal injuries ," Friedman said. "That has meant we've lost some of the complexity of the issue."

The other authors of the paper are Chibuzor Abasilim, a post-doctoral scholar, and Brett Shannon, a doctoral student, both at UIC's School of Public Health.

Journal information: Journal of Urban Health

Provided by University of Illinois at Chicago

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87 Police Brutality Topics and Essay Examples

🏆 best police brutality topics for essays, 📌 most interesting police brutality essay topics, 👍 good research topics about police brutality, ❓ research questions about police brutality.

  • Police Deviance For the sake of this paper, the scope of this paper will only examine the code of conduct in reference to the relationship between the police force and the society.
  • Police Brutality: Dissoi Logoi Argumentation Under the influence of societal views, the majority of the representatives of the general public tend to perceive police officers as a safeguarding force that gathers individuals who perform their duties to ensure that the […]
  • Police Misconduct Actually, prosecutors are always reluctant to try these victims in the court of law for the following reasons; police officers, in most cases, are protected by the prosecutors.
  • Excessive Force by the Police On the other hand, the media reported on the severity of misconduct by police officers and cited the Blue code of silence as the key setback against the fight against police torture.
  • Excessive Force and Deviance, Police Brutality The events highlighting racial injustice could positively influence our society, maintaining an appropriate level of awareness regarding the issues encountered by African-Americans and prompting a change in police behaviors.
  • Police Brutality in the USA This paper aims to discuss the types of police brutality, the particularities of psychological harm inflicted by the police, and its consequences for the population affected by these forms of violence.
  • Police Brutality: Graham vs. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 In this essay, a summary of the Graham and Connor case and the decision of the court will be introduced. In case this suggestion is correct, Connor appears as a police officer who failed to […]
  • Police Brutality: Causes and Solutions If the criminal is armed and firing at the police, the use of force is acceptable. However, when the actions of the police are disproportionate to the committed crimes, the necessity of such measures is […]
  • Impact of Police Brutality on the Society in the United States The issue of racism is one that has led to police brutality that has been witnessed in the American society for a long time.
  • History of Police Brutality: The Murder of George Floyd Police officers strive to maintain order and ensure adherence to the laws of the state. The standards observed the right to democracy and addressed the need for representation.
  • Body-Worn Cameras Against Police Brutality in New York There is often a legal foundation to such a privileged position; the laws control the oppressed class and mitigate threats to the power of the ruling class.
  • Police Brutality: Social Issue This paper explores the issue of police brutality and seeks to shed light on the perceptions of the public, especially the black minority.
  • Police Brutality as a Law Enforcement Challenge The problem has persisted due to the ineffectiveness of different leaders. The number of unexplainable shootings, severe beatings, and mistreatments continues to be reported in the country.
  • Social Psychology: Police Brutality The first group of solutions to the problem of police brutality includes technical measures, such as the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras. Finally, another potential solution to police brutality is the diversification of […]
  • Technology Influences on Police Brutality Modern platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to inform and educate more people about the nature of police brutality.
  • Public Administration Issue: Police Brutality The trend is ongoing and is not expected to end any time soon because of the social structure and the culture that does not value the contributions of minorities and people of color.
  • Police Misconduct: What Can Be Done? Police officers are the individuals charged with the task of maintaining law and order and ensuring the security of the population.
  • Police in Law Enforcement Misconduct This creates a rift between the community and the police leading to further misconduct in the process of enforcing the law.
  • The Incidents Involving Police Brutality
  • The Infringement of Natural Human Rights Because of Police Brutality in the United States
  • Police Brutality and Its Effects on the United States
  • The Flaws of Police Officers and the Issue of Police Brutality on an Individual
  • The Suffering and Fight of African-Americans Against Police Brutality
  • The Image Serving as a Reminder of Police Brutality
  • The Negative Effects of Police Brutality
  • The Changing Patterns of Racism and Police Brutality in the United States
  • Police Brutality and the Death of Freddie Gray
  • The Issue of Police Brutality and Injustice in the Story of Kalief Browder
  • The Relation Between Police Brutality and Race in the United States of America
  • Police Brutality and Racism Against African Americans
  • The High Prevalence of Police Brutality Towards African America
  • The US Government Faces Different Challenges with Police Brutality
  • The Truth About Police Brutality Against Minorities
  • The Importance of Body Cameras for Solving the Problem of Police Brutality
  • Protesting Protest Against Police Brutality
  • The Solutions to the Issue of Police Brutality in the United States
  • Racism: Police Brutality and Racial Profiling
  • Prejudice, Police Brutality, Racism: The Three Things We Are Trying to Get Rid Off
  • Problems Caused by Police Brutality
  • Police Misconduct and Police Brutality
  • The Issue of Police Brutality Against People of Color in the United States
  • The Issue of Police Brutality Against the Colored People in the United States
  • The Effects of Violence on Police Brutality
  • The Deaths Caused by Hurricane Katrina and Police Brutality in America
  • Social Media Activism, Centered on Police Brutality
  • The Effects of Police Brutality on the Relationship
  • The Long Problem of Police Brutality in the United States
  • The Police Brutality Against Minorities
  • Race, Police Brutality, Crime, Education and Poverty
  • The Issue of Police Brutality in the United States and the Solutions to Curb Police Misconduct
  • The Influence of the Media and Social Class in Police Brutality
  • The Dangers of Racial Profiling and Police Brutality
  • The Effects of Police Brutality on Minority Communities
  • The Effects of Police Brutality and Racism English
  • The Drug Trade as the Cause of Police Brutality in Brazil
  • Police Brutality and Their Power Caught on Video by Bystanders
  • How to Deal with the Problem of Police Brutality in the United States?
  • What is the Relations Police Brutality and Its Contributors?
  • How Repressive Laws and Police Brutality Against Mexican Americans Stigmatized the Race as a Whole?
  • How Race and Ethnicity Affects Police Brutality Term?
  • Police Brutality Ends Here?
  • What Does the Media Cover up the Police Brutality?
  • How Does Police Brutality on Children Affect How Society?
  • Does Police Brutality Distort the Way People View Law Enforcement?
  • How Can We Help Prevent Police Brutality?
  • How to Stop Police Brutality Against Minority’s?
  • Has Been Police Brutality Alive for Too Many Years?
  • Has Police Brutality Increased Throughout the United?
  • What Is Wrong with Police?
  • How Police Corruption Remains a Tainted Reminder of Police Brutality in the US?
  • Does Police Brutality Affect the Mental Health of Black Youth?
  • Why Isn’t Outrage over Police Brutality Enough?
  • Are the Police Taking Advantage of People by Using Police Brutality?
  • Has Been Police Brutality Around for Decades?
  • Should There Be Direct Laws Against Police Brutality?
  • Can You Trust the Law?
  • What Is the Police Brutality Effect on African American Males?
  • When the Police Duty to Protect Fails Police Brutality?
  • Religious Profiling and Police Brutality: How They Affect Operations?
  • What Are the Effects of Police Brutality?
  • Police Brutality: What’s Really Going on?
  • What is the New York City Police Brutality?
  • How Does the Body Camera Increase Police Brutality?
  • The Causes of Police Brutality in America: Is It Due to Police Behavior?
  • When Excessive Force Becomes Police Brutality Sociology?
  • What is the Link Between Police Brutality and the Law Enforcement Officers?
  • Corruption Ideas
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  • Racial Profiling Essay Topics
  • Economic Inequality Questions
  • Government Regulation Titles
  • Accountability Titles
  • Prejudice Essay Topics
  • Constitution Research Ideas
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  • Chicago (N-B)

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  • Research & Reports

DC Metropolitan Police Department Social Media Monitoring Documents

A lawsuit by the Brennan Center and Data for Black Lives unearthed documents about how the DC police department monitors social media.

  • Social Media

On December 15, 2020, the Brennan Center for Justice and Data for Black Lives (D4BL) submitted a public records request to the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) for information on how the department uses social media to collect information about individuals, groups, and First Amendment–protected activities. The Brennan Center and D4BL also submitted a request to the DC Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) on March 17, 2021, seeking information about vendors with which the district has contracted to collect information from social media.

As the Brennan Center has repeatedly warned , law enforcement agencies across the country gather information from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter (now X), and Instagram in ways that disparately harm communities of color and often infringe upon constitutionally protected speech. In the district, previous reporting indicated that the MPD has conducted broad monitoring of First Amendment–protected activity, including Black Lives Matter demonstrations and protests against police brutality during the summer of 2020. But members of the public lack an adequate understanding of how law enforcement agencies use social media to monitor, track, and investigate them online. This public records request is a part of the Brennan Center’s series of public records requests to police departments nationwide to shed light on this surveillance.  

After the MPD produced only a handful of documents, we submitted an appeal to the DC Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel on December 22, 2021, challenging the adequacy of the district’s response to our request. The Brennan Center and D4BL, represented pro bono by Ballard Spahr LLP, sued the District of Columbia on March 1, 2022, to obtain the documents to which we were legally entitled. On October 13, 2022, we submitted an additional public records request for documents related to the MPD’s use of undercover social media accounts.

  • Read the MPD public records request here .
  • Read the OCP public records request here .
  • Read the undercover accounts records request here .
  • Read the administrative appeal here .
  • Read the Brennan Center’s and D4BL’s complaint here .
  • Read the Brennan Center’s and D4BL’s motion for partial summary judgment here .
  • Read the Brennan Center’s and D4BL’s motion for summary judgment here .

Overall, we obtained over 160,000 documents, totaling almost 750,000 pages. The documents that the MPD produced fall into five broad categories: monitoring of protests and assemblies, monitoring of communities of color, undercover social media activity, documents related to MPD criminal research specialists, and engagement with vendors of social media monitoring tools.

Monitoring of Protests and Assemblies

Email communications.

The Brennan Center and D4BL obtained emails between the MPD and government agencies at both the federal and local levels exchanging information about protests in the summer of 2020. We also obtained similar communications from 2015 wherein MPD officers shared posts from Facebook and Twitter about protests after Freddie Gray died in police custody in Baltimore. Throughout the communications from 2020, representatives from the MPD and other law enforcement agencies exchanged raw, seemingly unverified information (often sourced from social media) and speculated about Antifa (anti-fascist) involvement in the protests.

On August 31, 2020, for example, a Secret Service officer within the national Joint Terrorism Task Force asked another Secret Service officer in the Washington Field Office to corroborate the MPD’s claims that “a portion of protesters were ‘known Antifa members’ ” who were “throwing objects at police” and stretching “rope . . . across the street in an attempt to trip officers.” The Task Force officer noted that the Secret Service had not provided evidence of Antifa support in the crowd. When the Washington Field Office Secret Service officer asked the MPD to confirm these findings, a lieutenant within the MPD’s Homeland Security Bureau observed that “two known Antifa members” whose names are redacted “were within the group and participating in marches” without identifying additional evidence of any threat they posed.

A Capitol Police employee also singled out one Twitter user who “was posting photos and videos from the protests” as being “one of the main Antifa organizers in DC.” In another email to representatives from the MPD and federal agencies, from August 28, 2020, a Capitol Police employee flagged a post from a Twitter user — seemingly the same woman described as an Antifa organizer — announcing that she had given birth to her second child. The employee noted that “this certainly doesn’t mean she’s not out and about in the protests,” since she had “posted pictures of her older child sleeping in the backseat of a car” at another protest.

These communications continued well into the following year. On March 13, 2021, an MPD Homeland Security Bureau lieutenant sent representatives from the Secret Service and the Capitol Police an email flagging two vigils for Breonna Taylor (one of which was organized by a teen activist group), along with links to Instagram posts containing information about the vigils. Even though the lieutenant observed that the organizers of these events had previously held peaceful protests without incident, they noted that another organizer “not known to MPD” had called for “people to dress in ‘black bloc,’ indicating possible civil disobedience and/or criminal activity.” In response, an assistant commander within the U.S. Park Police’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Branch speculated, with no apparent evidence, that the organizer was “some kind of online instigator from out of the area.”

Demonstration Reports

We obtained documents compiling information about upcoming assemblies and demonstrations from February 2020 to January 2023, much of it drawn from social media. For example, one April 2021 demonstration report lists details about police brutality protests, May Day demonstrations, and assemblies regarding conflicts abroad, many of which include information sourced from social media. For each protest, the reports include the time and location of the event, the purpose, the estimated number of participants, the source of the information, and, occasionally, information about the organizer of the event. Additionally, we obtained emails establishing that the MPD sends at least some of these demonstration reports to other local, state, and federal government agencies as well as some private companies. For instance, the MPD sent its June 17, 2020, demonstration report to entities including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Defense, Montgomery County in Maryland, and Amazon.

We also obtained documents and emails from other federal and local law enforcement agencies that compile information about planned protests. Two reports from June 2020 sent to the MPD by the Department of Transportation and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service include a section listing tactics, techniques, and procedures that the national Joint Terrorism Task Force determined were used by racial justice protesters, including “prestaging of bricks, rocks, sledge hammers [ sic ], . . . and other weapons at protest locations.” Contemporaneous reporting indicated that there was no evidence that protesters were assembling stacks of bricks to use as weapons, but claims like these were nevertheless widely disseminated by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Monitoring of Communities of Color

The Brennan Center and D4BL obtained documents about the MPD’s Summer Crime Prevention Initiative (SCI), an effort that uses law enforcement personnel and technology to intensively patrol four to six areas that the department determines have a high density of violent crime. The SCI has been in operation since 2010 and as of 2019 expanded to a Fall Crime Prevention Initiative. Our findings are consistent with public reporting indicating that the SCI involves intensely patrolling Black and brown areas of the district to identify and monitor purported gang members.

We obtained a memorandum from April 20, 2011, that tasked the MPD’s Criminal Intelligence Branch (CIB) with creating teams to monitor social media for information on criminal activity. The memo states that “members shall continually monitor open pages that may have ties to known gang areas,” though there is no definition or explanation of what “may have ties” means. Team members are also directed to search through social media sites to uncover relevant information about violent incidents, including gang rivalries. Additionally, if team members suspect that a page on social media that “requires an invitation” contains “information concerning criminal activity and criminal associations,” they may seek approval from the CIB lieutenant to access those pages, likely using a covert social media account. Team members may also seek approval to interact with people online. It is unclear whether this memorandum remains operative.

We also obtained heavily redacted SCI Area Enforcement reports from May to July 2014 containing information about four designated areas or groups — Benning Corridor, Choppa City, Barry Farm, and Washington Highlands, which are in overwhelmingly Black wards of DC — sourced almost entirely from Twitter. Though each report states that it contains information found on social media “pertaining to ongoing criminal activities, beefs, and retaliations,” the little information that the MPD left unredacted demonstrates that these reports also include events and gatherings that appear far more innocuous, such as a birthday party, a graduation celebration, a cookout , a trip to Six Flags , a mixtape release party , and a concert.

The MPD did not produce reports for the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative held in other years and provided none for the Fall Crime Prevention Initiative, and it is unclear whether the MPD has continued assembling similar reports using information from social media.

Undercover Social Media Accounts

According to the MPD’s November 2021 policy governing the use of social media for investigative and intelligence-gathering purposes, undercover social media accounts may be used only in certain (undefined) circumstances by members of five divisions: Criminal Investigations, Intelligence, Internal Affairs, Narcotics and Special Investigations (NSID), and Youth and Family Services. Members of these divisions must obtain written approval from the NSID commander prior to using or creating an undercover account, and commanding officers are directed to monitor their members’ use of undercover accounts, conducting a documented review every 30 days.

Through our request targeting the use of undercover social media accounts, the Brennan Center and D4BL obtained a heavily redacted social media username log listing eight undercover social media accounts that were approved by the NSID commander. Seven of these, including one that was “de-listed” in April 2022 and “used for monitoring only,” are undercover accounts on Instagram, and one account is for Facebook. Undercover accounts violate Facebook’s platform policy , as both Facebook and its parent company, Meta, have repeatedly told law enforcement agencies. It is also likely that the MPD uses assumed personas to conceal these accounts’ law enforcement affiliation, implicating Instagram’s policy against creating accounts for the purpose of misleading other users.  

We also obtained 11 monthly reports dated between February and December 2022 that contain information about activities conducted using the undercover social media accounts overseen by the Violent Crime and Suppression Unit, which appears to be the successor to the NSID. Only one undercover account was used during that entire period as part of an investigation, which occurred in January 2022, according to the reports. The reports also state that undercover accounts not being used as part of “specific investigations are maintained for overt monitoring,” which typically means using fake accounts to monitor information online without communicating with individuals. These activities are not documented in the reports, likely inhibiting robust oversight. Accounts can also be maintained for “potential future undercover needs.”

Last, we obtained an undated presentation for the Gun Recovery Unit titled “Social Media Investigations,” which includes a heavily redacted section on undercover uses of social media — activities that the presentation acknowledges “typically violate the User Agreement from social media platforms.” According to the presentation, “covert accounts” are “used for focused investigations” and involve communicating with people online. According to the presentation, officers need a “ starting point ” (i.e., a reason) to communicate with someone online using a covert account, including tips from citizens or officers and information uncovered using social media aggregators, “hashtags or names from your experience as a law enforcement officer,” “Gang Books,” and MPD databases.

Criminal Research Specialist Documents

Agency guidance.

The Brennan Center and D4BL obtained two policies governing how criminal research specialists within the MPD’s Investigative Support Section (formerly the Investigative Support Unit) conduct research to support investigators and detectives working in the field, including on social media. First, the Social Media Use Policy dated December 19, 2014, governs how specialists use social media as part of their duties. The policy permits specialists to seek and store public information on social media using department–established accounts only in three scenarios: “based upon a criminal predicate or public safety threat”; to assist in investigations, prosecutions, “justice system response[s],” and crime prevention; and when the information is useful for “crime analysis or situational awareness reports.”

Second, the Execution of Social Media Searches policy dated February 6, 2018, guides how specialists may search for information on social media. At a minimum, specialists are required to query multiple combinations of a subject’s name, phone number, and email address on Facebook, Google, and at least two additional search engines listed in the Investigative Support Section Online Resources document , which includes several websites that compile information on individuals’ phone numbers, emails, social media accounts, and more. The resource document also includes a list of various social media platforms, including some sites used primarily by communities of color, such as Black Planet and MiGente (now defunct). Specialists are also required to run, for each subject, an Accurint Virtual Identity Report — a service provided by data broker, LexisNexis, that compiles individuals’ personal information — and to consult each page provided in the subject’s report. If the subject is a minor or the specialist cannot find any public information on the subject, specialists are directed to consult their relatives’ lists of connections on social media to uncover the subject’s social media profile.

We also obtained an undated presentation provided to the Investigative Support Section titled “Social Media” that includes various case studies to teach specialists how to search through social media according to the procedures in the Execution of Social Media Searches policy. Though the presentation is heavily redacted, it appears to focus in part on using social media to identify or monitor gang members. For instance, one slide directs specialists to proactively “check in on known recidivists and gang/crew members” who have a “social media footprint.” Another slide appears to direct officers to search through Instagram to determine whether a subject of an investigation is affiliated with a crew.

Social Media Search Logs

The records also include a 265-page log documenting criminal research specialists’ social media searches from November 2013 to January 2023, revealing how specialists comb through Facebook , YouTube , and Twitter profiles to investigate crimes. For example, an officer searched through a person’s Twitter and Facebook photos to note that they included “gang signs” and “marijuana.” Officers also watch peoples’ music videos or listen to their Sound Cloud to dig up information, or in some instances trying to identify people featured in YouTube videos with no explanation as to why. The police also rely on Morpho Face , a facial recognition tool, and the department’s oft-criticized gang database . The records reflect how people who are not suspected of crimes, as well as relatives , girlfriends , and associates of those involved, may be swept into the MPD’s surveillance. For example, an officer ran social media searches for a person’s “mother, father, godmother, other relatives,” while another search yielded “Facebook, Twitter, [Instagram,] and YouTube accounts for [a person of interest] and his mother.”

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Babel street.

BabelX is the flagship product of the social media monitoring company Babel Street, which, according to the company, collects information from dozens of social media platforms and across the internet, allowing its users to search for and analyze information in hundreds of languages. The DC fusion center has had access to Babel Street since at least August 2014, when the company conducted a demonstration of its social media monitoring capabilities.

Fusion centers are intelligence hubs developed in the aftermath of 9/11 to share counterterrorism information and criminal intelligence among local, state, and federal government entities and some private organizations. The district’s fusion center — formerly the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center until it was renamed the National Capital Regional Threat Intelligence Consortium in 2018 — is overseen by DC’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).

In 2015, the fusion center created filters on BabelX to collect information from social media on behalf of the MPD, including posts related to homicides and threats against local law enforcement officers. Fusion center personnel reviewed this information before sharing the most relevant postings with the MPD. It appears that the MPD provided the fusion center with  search terms. For example, the assistant chief who managed the MPD’s Homeland Security Bureau stated that the department would provide the fusion center with a “generic glossary of the most common [slang] terms” to use on Babel Street. In another instance, the MPD provided Babel Street with keywords to search for information related to an event at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium that included terms related to both assemblies and potential threats, such as “protest,” “demonstration,” “rally,” “armed,” and “evacuation.”

In April 2015 Babel Street provided HSEMA with a spreadsheet compiling social media accounts that were “geo-located in both Ferguson [Missouri] and Baltimore during times of unrest” — presumably referring to the protests after the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, respectively. Accounts to news organizations and journalists were excluded. The spreadsheet also contains a list of 58 social media users who Babel Street determined were “common connections” between the accounts in its first list — in other words, individuals or groups who did not necessarily have a connection to the protests but simply had a connection to those who did. Though HSEMA ultimately provided the  spreadsheet to the MPD, it is unclear whether either agency subjected the social media users included in the spreadsheet to further scrutiny.

We also obtained procurement documents from 2016–2020 showing that BabelX licenses were purchased for the DC fusion center, as well as a memorandum of understanding between the MPD and HSEMA that provides the police department access to the fusion center’s social media monitoring tools, which would include Babel Street. It is unclear whether the fusion center continues to have access to BabelX.

Dataminr, a company affiliated with Twitter, provides a FirstAlert tool that gives clients customized, real-time alerts about events uncovered through social media. Dataminr provided the MPD with 40 user licenses during a no-cost pilot in January and February 2017. During its trial, the MPD collected information from social media  related to events including “riots” during President Trump’s inauguration and during the first Women’s March. In February 2018, the MPD purchased seven annual Dataminr licenses at a cost of almost $48,000 using State Homeland Security Grant program funds from the Department of Homeland Security. According to internal communications, six of these licenses would be provided to the DC fusion center, and the MPD would have access to “unlimited licenses for the first year” of the contract, which it would provide to the department’s Command Information Center.

The Brennan Center and D4BL did not obtain procurement documents beyond the February 2018 purchase. However, it appears that the MPD lost access to Dataminr at some point before June 2020. In May 2020, Dataminr sent the MPD two promotional papers , including one in which it claimed that its FirstAlert tool had unearthed some of the very first indications of the Covid-19 pandemic in December 2019. Soon after, an MPD representative contacted the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), which paid about $200,000 for 50 Dataminr licenses, 45 of which it provided to HSEMA. On May 29, 2020, OCTO’s chief data officer responded to the MPD, stating that HSEMA could provide the MPD with some of its unused Dataminr licenses, which he said “would be very handy” for the MPD’s response to protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. The MPD gained access to Dataminr seemingly through an arrangement with HSEMA.

The Brennan Center and D4BL obtained more than 700,000 pages of email notifications from Dataminr First Alert to members of the MPD, dated between June 4, 2020, and May 20, 2022. In these emails, Dataminr sent the MPD information about protests, including real-time information about anticipated demonstrations, where protests were forming and moving , and protesters’ activities , often without any apparent connection to public safety.

Dataminr’s transmissions to the MPD belie the company’s position that it only provides news alerts to law enforcement and does not permit the use of its tool to surveil First Amendment–protected activity. The tension between Dataminr’s capabilities and its policy against surveillance was apparent in one December 2020 exchange between the company and the MPD when an MPD representative noted that Dataminr had failed to flag for the department “social media chatter” in the run-up to January 6, 2021. In response, one Dataminr employee stated that the company could not alert law enforcement about the “planning or scheduling of protests or demonstrations,” even though the company had provided this type of information to the MPD during the summer of 2020. The MPD replied that it was “concerned with the threats of ‘armed protesters’ and people planning on bringing firearms” to the district.

The MPD used Sprinklr on a trial basis from January to March 2017, a period that mostly coincided with the Dataminr trial. Like Dataminr, Sprinklr’s social media monitoring tool appears to rely on a user’s search terms to scour online platforms for relevant postings. During the trial, the MPD obtained six Sprinklr licenses that it distributed to the “POI team,” the Intelligence Branch, and the Fusion Desk. Though the trial was initially set to cost $40,000, we did not receive documents indicating whether the MPD paid for the trial.

The MPD’s Fusion Desk — a unit charged with providing “situational awareness and operational intelligence to MPD personnel” — used Sprinklr during former President Trump’s inauguration “to monitor key terms that could have an impact on” the district, “then fed this information to” other MPD divisions to “apprise them of real-time events as they unfolded.” The list of search terms that the MPD used on Sprinklr during the inauguration focused entirely on eliciting activity surrounding anti-Trump protests, including hashtags like #DisruptJ20, #RefuseFascism, #ResistTrump, #Anticapitalist, and #Antifa.

The MPD created two other lists of search terms for Sprinklr following the inauguration. The first was a “universal list” that included the search terms “Active Shooter,” “Evacuation,” “Protests,” “Terrorism/Terrorist,” and “ISIS.” The second list was limited to activity in the DC area and used search terms about a range of criminal activity, from “Graffiti” to “Stabbing” and “Shooting.” Internal emails also indicate that the MPD was considering assembling search queries for particular events in the district. For example, one MPD employee proposed collecting information about “A Day Without Immigrants” protests in February 2017 using search terms such as #BreakLunch and #GeneralStrike. It is unclear whether the MPD ultimately used Sprinklr for this purpose.

In December 2015, the MPD’s Intelligence Division conducted a two-week evaluation of VoyagerAnalytics , an “AI-based analysis platform” developed by a company called Voyager that collects information from social media (including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and purportedly uncovers details about individuals’ “relationships, the strength of those relationships, the prominent topics and narratives important to him or her, as well as hundreds of other signals, allowing [users] to derive significant, actionable insights.” Following the evaluation , the Intelligence Division found that the tool “exceed[ed] the capabilities of all other social media investigative tools [the division] had tried.” In January 2016, Voyager provided the MPD with a pricing proposal of $37,000 to $60,000 per year for three users, though it appears the department ultimately did not move forward with the purchase.

The MPD trialed Voyager again the following year. It sought to use Voyager in January 2017 to monitor activity surrounding the presidential inauguration in a trial coinciding with its trials of Dataminr and Sprinklr. It appears the MPD ultimately began its trial with Voyager after June 2017. According to a memorandum requesting approval to use Voyager, the MPD sought to provide user licenses to criminal research specialists, members of the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, and personnel assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The memo highlights Voyager’s “integrated analytics” that allow users “to conduct network analysis and [uncover] in depth information from over six social media platforms from non-attributable proxy servers.” Though the MPD attempted to purchase three licenses for Voyager in 2017, each costing $30,000, the department ultimately did not move forward with the purchase because of the cost.

In 2019 the MPD requested another pricing proposal from Voyager as it prepared to apply for grant funding, stating that the department would request licenses for up to 25 users, including personnel from the gang unit. Though Voyager conducted a demonstration with the MPD to showcase its tool’s updated capabilities, it is unclear from the documents whether the department moved forward with purchasing licenses for Voyager.

Data Brokers

The Brennan Center and D4BL also obtained documents demonstrating that the MPD contracted or had trials with three companies — Transunion, LexisNexis, and Thomson Reuters — for data brokerage services, which included access to information from social media.

Since at least 2015, the MPD has contracted with Transunion for access to its database service, TLOxp, which contains hundreds of millions of data points of individuals’ sensitive information including social media, vehicle tracking data using license plate readers, utility data, and more. In a marketing email from May 2019, Transunion advertised TLOxp’s Social Media Comprehensive Report feature, through which users “could reveal more about a subject’s digital identity through information not readily accessible via other forms of public records data.”

According to an email thread from August 2018, TLOxp was most used by the MPD’s criminal research specialists who conduct research to support officers working in the field; it was also used for broader crime analysis and situational awareness within the department. The specialists used TLOxp to obtain information about individuals’ phone numbers, home addresses, and social media activity.

Though we obtained an email thread from April 2022 showing that the MPD was considering renewing its access to TLOxp for the 2023 fiscal year, it is unclear whether the department continues to have access to the database. However, we also obtained dozens of emails notifying MPD employees that their TLOxp accounts had been inactive for 30 days or responding to a request to reset accounts’ passwords, demonstrating that some MPD employees had TLOxp accounts until at least June 4, 2022.

We also obtained email communications indicating that MPD accessed LexisNexis’s social media monitoring services in 2014 through Accurint, the company’s flagship database. While the MPD’s Intelligence Branch held a trial of LexisNexis’s social media monitoring services in March and April 2014, a LexisNexis representative provided the MPD with a proposal to increase the department’s existing contracts for Accurint from 35 users to 50 users and to incorporate Accurint’s social media monitoring services starting in May 2014. The total cost of the contract would increase from $39,348 to $82,150 per year. Instead, the MPD opted to pay to extend the Intelligence Branch’s trial from May to at least November 2014 and did not incorporate social media monitoring features into its annual license renewal for fiscal year 2015. It is unclear whether the department eventually purchased annual licenses for LexisNexis’s social media monitoring services.

Last, we obtained email communications indicating that the MPD conducted a 14-day trial of CLEAR, the data brokerage service from Thomson Reuters, in May 2014, as well as a demonstration of CLEAR’s “Social Media Threat Tool.” However, it appears that the MPD did not move forward with purchasing access to CLEAR because officers did not find it useful. In 2020 the MPD’s Homicide Branch conducted another trial of CLEAR, after which Thomson Reuters submitted a proposal to the department that would cost between $112,100 and $450,000 annually, depending on the number of users. It is unclear whether the MPD moved forward with purchasing licenses for CLEAR.

Compiled Production Documents

Original productions.

March 2021 OCP Production

September 2021 MPD Production

October 2021 OCP Production

June 2022 MPD Production

First September 2022 MPD Production

Second September 2022 MPD Production

November 2022 MPD Production

December 2022 MPD Production

January 2023 MPD Production

January 2023 MPD Production  (regarding undercover accounts)

March 2023 MPD Production

First April 2023 MPD Production

Second April 2023 MPD Production

First May 2023 MPD Production

Second May 2023 MPD Production

Third May 2023 MPD Production

Fourth May 2023 MPD Production

First June 2023 MPD Production

Second June 2023 MPD Production

Dataminr Emails

Reproduced Documents

Sent August 23, 2023

Sent August 24, 2023

Sent August 25, 2023

Sent September 5, 2023

Sent September 13, 2023

Sent September 20, 2023

Sent October 2, 2023

Sent November 28, 2023

2020: February , May , June , July , August , September , October , November , and December

2021: January , February , March , April , May , June , July , August , September , November , and December

2022: January , February , March , April , May , June , July , August , September , October , November , and December

2023: January

Note: There are some months between February 2020 and January 2023 for which we did not receive demonstration reports, as well as some months for which we only obtained a small number of demonstration reports. It is unclear whether the MPD assembled reports corresponding to those periods.

Capitol building in background and "Black Lives Matter" sign held up in the foreground

Records Show DC and Federal Law Enforcement Sharing Surveillance Info on Racial Justice Protests

Officers tracked social media posts about racial justice protests with no evidence of violence, threatening First Amendment rights.

DC police car

Documents Reveal How DC Police Surveil Social Media Profiles and Protest Activity

A lawsuit forced the Metropolitan Police Department to reveal how it uses social media surveillance tools to track First Amendment–protected activity.

Study Reveals Inadequacy of Police Departments’ Social Media Surveillance Policies

Ftc must investigate meta and x for complicity with government surveillance, we’re suing the nypd to uncover its online surveillance practices, senate ai hearings highlight increased need for regulation, documents reveal widespread use of fake social media accounts by dhs, related resources.

Police Surveillance social media

Brennan Center Files Public Records Requests for Information on Social Media Monitoring

The Brennan Center for Justice filed public records requests in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Washington, DC seeking information about their police departments’ use of social media monitoring.

Directory of Police Department Social Media Policies

Principles for social media use by law enforcement, informed citizens are democracy’s best defense.

research paper on police brutality

Race-based police violence impacts wealth of Black families, study finds

F inancial decision-making for Black individuals can be dealt a major blow by race-based police violence, new research suggests, offering insight into the far-reaching effects of police brutality.

The study, titled "Race, Police Violence, and Financial Decision-Making," examined detailed American data on home ownership and contributions to a pension plan—using statistics broken down by ZIP code—as well as information on fatal police encounters.

The analysis suggests police violence negatively influence financial decision-making for Black individuals, even when they are not directly involved in the incidents.

"We find that when a member of the Black community is killed in a police incident, the members of that racialized group in that local area experience changes in their financial decision-making that are not just statistically significant, but economically large," says co-author Lisa Kramer, a professor of finance in the department of management at University of Toronto Mississauga and the Rotman School of Management.

"I think what was most surprising was the magnitude of the effects."

The study, which will appear in AEA Papers and Proceedings , was carried out by U of T's Kramer, Duke University's Vicki Bogan, University of Manitoba's Chi Liao and University of Mannheim's Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi. It explored whether two key pieces of the "wealth pie" for most individuals—home ownership and retirement savings—might be affected by race-based police violence. While many studies have already looked at the grief and community trauma associated with race-based police violence, Kramer says the ripple effects on economic decision-making have been analyzed to a far lesser extent.

The research showed Black individuals were 47.5% less likely to own a home than their non-Black counterparts. After exposure to police-based violence, that gap increases to 62.2%, the study suggests. It also found that Black individuals' participation in defined contribution pension plans was reduced after exposure to police violence.

"We find already just to start with, just at the baseline, Black households are less likely to even own a home than others. And once they've observed one of these events in their local community, they become much less likely to own a home," Kramer says.

Since researchers analyzed demographic, socio-economic and geographic data from U.S. households from 1999 to 2019, some recent key events—including the 2020 Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd that prompted anti-racism protests all over the world—were not captured.

"I think in this more recent era, where social media allows these events to get on the collective consciousness more quickly and more fully, we might find that any sort of traumatic implications that arise might even be more pervasive," Kramer says.

And while the study is based on American data, Kramer says its findings likely apply in Canada as well.

"Certainly in Canada we have also had incidents of racialized violence with police involvement. We're not immune to that in Canada," she says. "There's every reason to believe that the effects that we document aren't unique to the United States."

The study doesn't delve into why police-based violence could have such an effect on financial decision-making for Black individuals, but it does hint at possible explanations, including disengagement from financial decision-making after police violence in a local area and decisions to relocate following an incident.

Kramer, who notes that the study does not seek to deliberately cast police forces in a negative light, says she and her colleagues want to explore possible causes for their findings in future research.

"Right now, we're identifying a striking set of results," she says. "We find differences in financial outcomes at the local community level after these police-involved fatalities. Next, we need to identify the mechanisms that drive the results by testing different hypotheses."

The hope is that the research will add to broader findings on racial inequalities and spark ideas about potential remedies to underlying problems.

"We're looking to explore those events through a financial lens because it's so important to make sure that households have the financial resources that they need," Kramer says. "And if there is a connection there—as it appears there may be—we want to start the conversation, in a data-driven way."

More information: Race, Police Violence, and Financial Decision-Making, AEA Papers and Proceedings (2024)

Provided by University of Toronto

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

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He didn’t trust police but sought their help anyway. Two days later, he was dead

Protesters raise their hands as they face police officers during a rally in Paterson, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in reaction to the death of Jameek Lowery. Lowery, 27, who recorded a frantic video at police headquarters, wound up unresponsive after being taken to a hospital in an ambulance with police officers inside. He died two days later. (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Record via AP)

Protesters raise their hands as they face police officers during a rally in Paterson, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in reaction to the death of Jameek Lowery. Lowery, 27, who recorded a frantic video at police headquarters, wound up unresponsive after being taken to a hospital in an ambulance with police officers inside. He died two days later. (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Record via AP)

Timere Jones, right, carries a life-sized picture of his brother, Jameek Lowery, as he and others visit Lowery’s grave in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Lowery was among more than 300 Black people who died after encounters with police in which officers used force that isn’t supposed to be fatal -- including restraints, punches and stun guns -- The Associated Press found in documenting a decade’s worth of such cases. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Timere Jones, right, carries a life-sized picture of his brother, Jameek Lowery, as he and others visit Lowery’s grave in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Lowery was among more than 300 Black people who died after encounters with police in which officers used force that isn’t supposed to be fatal -- including restraints, punches and stun guns -- The Associated Press found in documenting a decade’s worth of such cases. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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Timere Jones, center, carries a life-sized picture of his brother, Jameek Lowery, as he and other family and friends visit his grave in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Lowery’s case underscores how hard it can be for families to hold officers accountable, as well as how difficult it can be to pry loose information about deadly encounters. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jamilyha Lowery, center, talks to family and friends gathered at the grave of her brother, Jameek Lowery, in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Jalea King, right, is Jameek’s sister and Ron Jones, left, is his stepfather. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

This photo provided by the family shows Jameek Lowery. Lowery, 27, of Paterson, N.J., died two days after he was restrained and repeatedly punched by officers in 2019, according to records. (Courtesy Jamilyha Lowery via AP)

The tombstone of Jameek Lowery is seen as friends and family visit in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Shaquana Duncan, the mother of one of Lowery’s children, filed a federal lawsuit that alleged police had used excessive force on Lowery, who was “unarmed and posed no danger.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Family and friends of Jameek Lowery release balloons while visiting his grave in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. From left are, Monique Lowery, Ron Jones, Zimere Jones, Timere Jones, Naomi Beal, Jamilyha Lowery, Jalea King and Shavontay McFadden. After praying and sharing memories and impassioned promises to find answers about Lowery’s death, an aunt exclaimed, “Say his name,” as they released the balloons. The mourners replied in unison: “Jameek Lowery.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A man stands in front of police motorcycles as protesters face Paterson police officers during a rally, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Paterson, N.J., in reaction to the death of Jameek Lowery. Lowery, 27, who recorded a frantic video at police headquarters, wound up unresponsive after being taken to a hospital in an ambulance with police officers inside. He died two days later. (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Record via AP)

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Jameek Lowery entered the dimly lit lobby of the city’s police headquarters in a panic. He was having a mental breakdown — and needed help.

Barefoot and wearing only pajama pants and a sweatshirt in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 5, 2019, Lowery pulled out his cellphone and began a social media broadcast of an anti-police rant.

“Why y’all trying to kill me?” Lowery asked several Paterson police officers on his Facebook Live video feed. “If I’m dead in the next hour or two, they did it.”

As Lowery sounded off, police stood back and summoned an ambulance to take the 27-year-old Black man to the hospital. What happened in the ambulance remains a flashpoint in the Black community’s deteriorating relationship with the city’s 400-plus-member police department, an agency so troubled and distrusted that state officials last year took it over.

Lowery arrived unconscious at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center handcuffed to a gurney and died two days later. Officials would later say that officers forcefully restrained and punched Lowery when he kicked and struck them. His sister and activists believe that police acted with excessive force because of his race.

This photo provided by the family shows Jameek Lowery. Lowery, 27, of Paterson, N.J., died two days after he was restrained and repeatedly punched by officers in 2019, according to records. (Courtesy Jamilyha Lowery via AP)

This photo provided by the family shows Jameek Lowery. (Courtesy Jamilyha Lowery via AP)

Lowery was among more than 330 Black people who died after police stopped them with tactics that aren’t supposed to be deadly, like physical restraint and use of stun guns, The Associated Press found . Black people of non-Hispanic descent accounted for about a third of the 1,036 deaths that AP catalogued across the nation, despite representing just 12% of the population.

The investigation into a decade of such deaths , led by AP in collaboration with FRONTLINE (PBS) and the Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism, comes as studies by criminologists and public-health researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that Black people endure discrimination in all aspects of the criminal justice system, accounting for high rates of unjustified police stops, arrests, uses of force and incarceration.

Lowery’s case also highlights how hard it can be for families to hold officers accountable and to pry loose information about encounters where officers use body blows and other types of force that are easier to obscure than a shooting.

Due to weak public information laws and other restrictions, it can be difficult to find out what happened in such incidents. Officials in New Jersey, like those in some other states, inconsistently release information about deaths related to police action. In Lowery’s case, AP obtained an autopsy report, a prosecutor’s statement, police reports and a 10-page report prepared by an expert hired by the family that offers considerable new detail not yet made public about police actions in the ambulance.

The high-profile fatalities of George Floyd , Freddie Gray and Eric Garner sparked nationwide protests over the use of force and a reckoning over police interactions with people of color. Advocates in Paterson had hoped Lowery’s death would provide a similar catalyst to reform the city’s police force. But five years later they say they remain disappointed.

“It’s kind of inconceivable to think that a person would go to an agency — in this day and time anyway — for help, and end up being dead shortly after,” said Casey Melvin, a community activist who works with an anti-violence program.

LETHAL RESTRAINT INVESTIGATION Many more people have died after police subdued them than the American public knows.

- The AP found that over a decade, more than 1,000 people died after police subdued them with physical force that is not supposed to be lethal. Explore the full database of cases here . - New details open fresh wounds for a mother who had believed her son died of an overdose. - AP found encounters that ended in death disproportionately affected Black Americans .

Paterson’s racial unrest

New Jersey’s third-largest city, Paterson has a population of nearly 160,000 and sits about 20 miles northwest of Manhattan. Like many other industrial cities, its demographics have shifted since the middle of last century when the vast majority of its residents were white. Today, Black residents account for nearly 24% and Hispanics just over 60% of the population.

As Paterson’s Black population grew, it found itself repeatedly clashing with the city’s white power structure, particularly its police force.

In the mid-1960s, Paterson was the site of civil unrest between police and Black residents. Paterson was also the inspiration for the 1975 Bob Dylan song “Hurricane,” about the boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a Black man who was convicted by an all-white jury in 1967 of killing three white people at a city bar. A federal judge later threw out the conviction, writing that it had been “predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason.”

In subsequent decades, tensions between the city’s Black residents and police have flared again and again. A few years ago, the force came under withering criticism for allowing a rogue group of officers to form a “robbery squad” that for three years beat residents and stole their money.

Since the start of 2019, city police have fatally shot four people; two others, including Lowery, have died after being restrained.

Many Black residents learned at an early age to look over their shoulders for police, said Ernest Rucker, a community activist.

“At 8 years old, because of the color of my skin, I would be stopped by law enforcement because I crossed the wrong street,” he said. “That type of treatment especially at that young age would always have you mistrust the police, not like the police — hate the police — to a great degree.”

This was Jameek Lowery’s hometown. One of 17 children, he was raised by his mother and stepfather in a series of crowded houses in Paterson’s Fourth Ward. The family moved a lot during his childhood.

Relatives said Lowery enjoyed school, especially music. His stepfather was a DJ, and as a kid, Lowery loved dancing and singing to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” As he grew, he loved ‘90s R&B and wanted to be a singer like Usher.

Life was not easy for Lowery. He was diagnosed as a child with bipolar disorder, a mental health condition that resulted in extreme mood swings. As long as he took his medication and regularly saw his doctors, he was fine, said Shavontay McFadden, an older sister.

As an adult, he used and sold illicit drugs, leading in 2013 to a drug distribution conviction and three-year probation sentence. During a jail stay in 2016, Lowery banged his head against a cell’s wall and was sent to a medical center for mental health treatment. By late 2018, Lowery was unemployed — and his mother was managing his Social Security disability income.

At that point, Lowery decided he wanted to move with his three children to North Carolina. He explained to friends and family members he wanted to be closer to his mother in Virginia. But he also said he was tired of the Paterson police, of being worried he was going to be arrested or hassled.

He sent relatives strings of texts and left them messages that complained “certain cops were harassing him,” said his sister, Jamilyha Lowery. “He said they were going to hurt him.”

Jamilyha Lowery, center, talks to family and friends gathered at the grave of her brother, Jameek Lowery, in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. Jalea King, right, is Jameek's sister and Ron Jones, left, is his stepfather. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jamilyha Lowery, center, talks to family and friends gathered at the grave of her brother, Jameek Lowery. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

His family had no reason to doubt him. But it was not always easy to separate his real-life concerns from his growing paranoia.

He was increasingly hallucinating and acting paranoid, they said. Lowery believed that people were out to get him. He imagined he had become an FBI informant providing tips about corrupt and violent police officers, Jamilyha Lowery said, although there is no evidence that he called the FBI.

It was in this state of mind that he called 911 for help on a dreary and chilly January Saturday.

Just after 2:40 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2019, Lowery told a 911 dispatcher that he had taken “ecstasy and was paranoid.” Paramedics took him for observation to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center.

After Lowery was examined and discharged, he jumped on furniture in the hospital lobby, causing a commotion, officials said. Hospital security staff escorted him to a taxi that had brought a friend to take him home. When the cab stopped at a red light in downtown Paterson, Lowery leapt out of an open window and ran toward city police headquarters.

At 3:45 a.m., Lowery opened the front door and walked barefoot into the lobby. He began broadcasting on Facebook Live. When he looked into the camera, he was sweating. Spit had gathered in the corners of his mouth. He sounded desperate, at times breathless.

As he rambled about threats and dangers, he asked police again and again to “help me.”

When the ambulance called by police arrived, Lowery at first said he didn’t want to get into it and return to the hospital, but changed his mind. By the time he got to the hospital, he was fighting for his life. He never regained consciousness.

Lowery’s relatives only learned he was at St. Joseph’s after coming across his archived livestream and calling local hospitals.

“He always said his safe haven is a hospital,” Jamilyha Lowery said.

They raced to his bedside and were aghast at what they found — he was unrecognizable. His face seemed bruised and swollen. Dried blood and fluids crusted his eyes, nose and face. Doctors told them he had gone into cardiac arrest, his sister said, and his brain and organs had gone without oxygen for quite some time.

Lowery died on Jan. 7.

‘Not the result of force’

In the days after his death, the video of his encounter with police went viral. Black residents, in particular, pointed to his eerie foreshadowing of his death, and noted he had been talking and his face looked untouched before he got into the ambulance.

Convinced police must have done something to end Lowery’s life, hundreds of protesters descended on City Hall. Their signs read “Justice for Jameek Lowery,” and they chanted, “We want answers!”

A man stands in front of police motorcycles as protesters face Paterson police officers during a rally, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Paterson, N.J., in reaction to the death of Jameek Lowery. Lowery, 27, who recorded a frantic video at police headquarters, wound up unresponsive after being taken to a hospital in an ambulance with police officers inside. He died two days later. (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Record via AP)

A man stands in front of police motorcycles as protesters face Paterson police officers during a rally, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Paterson, N.J., in reaction to the death of Jameek Lowery. (Danielle Parhizkaran/The Record via AP)

As community pressure built, Mayor Andre Sayegh suggested Lowery had died from the infectious disease meningitis, not police force.

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes investigated the death. In August 2019, she reported that police and fire personnel escorted Lowery from police headquarters to a waiting ambulance. Once inside, police restrained Lowery when he became “physically combative.” She didn’t elaborate on what exactly he had done but said the force required “compliance holds” in which officers held down Lowery. Officers also struck him with their fists, she said.

Valdes cited a ruling by the state medical examiner — which was also obtained by AP — that said Lowery’s death had been a cardiac arrest while under the influence of bath salts, a psychoactive stimulant.

“The investigation has concluded that Mr. Lowery’s death was a medical event and not the result of police use of force,” Valdes wrote in a press release. That was similar to how a Minneapolis prosecutor had initially characterized George Floyd’s death in 2020, alleging he had succumbed to underlying health conditions and drug use, not police force.

Valdes, the Paterson Police Department and attorneys for two of three officers involved did not respond to a request for comment. The officers’ attorneys either declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests. In court papers, the attorneys argued the officers had acted appropriately and within the scope of their duties.

Family’s investigation

Activists and family members did not buy the official explanation. Worn down by decades of racist policing in Paterson, they believed police felt they could act with impunity because Lowery was Black.

Shaquana Duncan, the mother of one of Lowery’s children, sued the city and three police officers, alleging police had used excessive force on someone who was “unarmed and posed no danger.”

Her attorneys obtained police reports and other documents not available publicly that they say call into question the county prosecutor’s conclusions. They hired Dr. Michael Baden, a former chief medical examiner for New York City who also conducted the second autopsy on George Floyd, to review the documents and perform a second autopsy on Lowery. Relying on his own autopsy, the state’s autopsy, X-rays, medical records, police reports and interviews of officers by investigators, Baden produced a detailed report that has not before been made public.

Due to New Jersey’s public disclosure laws, AP was not able to obtain documents cited by Baden other than the state autopsy and two police reports filed as exhibits in the federal lawsuit. To reconstruct what happened in the ambulance, AP relied upon those records and the county prosecutor’s statement:

The trouble started when Lowery changed his mind about going back to St. Joseph’s because he told officers, “you guys are gonna kill me there.”

Concerned Lowery might pose a threat to himself or others, two officers restrained him and tried to strap him to the gurney inside the ambulance, according to police reports. As they did, an officer wrote, Lowery kicked an officer in the groin and punched two others in the face.

I’m not going to the hospital. You guys are gonna kill me there.

Officer Mucio Lucero told investigators he punched Lowery two or three times in the rib cage in response to the man’s behavior, according to Baden’s report. Baden added that Officer Kyle Wanamaker said he hit Lowery in the face “more than once.”

Baden wrote that an emergency medical technician told investigators an officer placed Lowery’s sweatshirt over his mouth to stop the man from spitting on them. Officers managed to handcuff Lowery to the gurney by holding down his wrists, arms and legs. Wanamaker and Officer Michael Avila rode in the ambulance with Lowery to St. Joseph’s.

In his report, Baden wrote that his own autopsy revealed Lowery had suffered “traumatic blunt force” injuries to his face, jaw, arm and chest and found evidence of “compressive choking.” Further, while the county prosecutor had said publicly that Lowery had no broken bones, Baden wrote that X-rays taken before the state autopsy revealed “multiple fresh traumatic fractures” of fingers on Lowery’s left hand.

Baden also noted that hospital records showed Lowery was bleeding from his nose and mouth upon arrival, and his face was bruised. Baden added that a hospital chart stated there was “a question of possible assault.”

Baden wrote that lab tests showed only recreational levels of bath salts in Lowery’s blood, enough to cause bizarre behavior but not to stop his heart. Baden concluded that Lowery died from cardiac arrest and kidney failure from being restrained and beaten by police.

The death wasn’t accidental, Baden wrote. It was homicide.

Under pressure from the community, Paterson’s mayor announced in 2019 he was launching an outside audit of the police department.

The audit by the Police Executive Research Forum — a respected law enforcement training nonprofit — found the community distrusted the police and called on the Paterson Police Department to update its use-of-force policies and improve oversight of officers.

Researchers identified at least 602 use-of-force incidents from 2018 to 2020. Black people accounted for 57% of the residents whose race was known in those incidents, even though they only represented only about a quarter of Paterson’s population.

The most common types of force involved tactics that were not supposed to be lethal, like holds, blows and pepper spray, according to the audit published in 2022.

There was no indication that supervisors investigated such incidents beyond affixing signatures on use-of-force reports submitted by officers, the audit found. Of the 73 excessive force complaints filed during the three-year period, only one was sustained by the department.

The audit found that the force was fairly diverse but its supervisors were mostly white men. As recently as 2022, state statistics show, about a third of Paterson officers were white, while just 11% were Black. Hispanic officers made up more than half of the force.

The audit “validated through data the need for change, the need for additional training, the need for compassion, the need for the community voice to be heard,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, who has represented Paterson in the state Legislature since 2012.

But some advocates, and even a few city officials, said the audit was not robust enough and they didn’t trust the police to reform.

“No one really believed that the police would hold themselves accountable,” said the Rev. Kenneth Clayton, pastor at St. Luke Baptist Church in Paterson. “It’s the belief that police don’t really police themselves.”

Advocates convinced state officials to take their complaints seriously following the fatal police shooting last year of Najee Seabrooks, 31.

No one really believed that the police would hold themselves accountable. It’s the belief that police don’t really police themselves.

It began when police responded to a call from family members concerned that he was hallucinating after taking drugs. When police arrived, they found the Black man barricaded in a bathroom. He had used a knife to cut himself and warned that he had a gun. Police said they fatally shot Seabrooks when he came out of the bathroom and lunged at them with a knife.

Three weeks later, relying on state law, New Jersey’s attorney general took extraordinary action: His office took over the Paterson police force. Attorney General Matthew Platkin told the AP that he ordered the takeover, in part, because communities of color in Paterson have long complained about police discrimination.

“I don’t blame anyone who has lived in Paterson for a long period of time for being distrustful,” Platkin said, adding that reforming the force won’t be quick or easy.

Activists said they recognized the need for change but were skeptical the force could be reformed.

“What happened to Jameek is happening to people all across the country,” said Zellie Thomas, a Paterson native who leads a local Black Lives Matter organization. “It’s not just about this one police officer, or the three police officers that assaulted him inside of the ambulance. It’s about a system that we need to be able to take down.”

The city’s public safety director and police chief have sued Platkin, seeking to overturn the attorney general’s control.

Meanwhile, Jameek Lowery’s family and friends say they are still seeking answers.

The tombstone of Jameek Lowery is seen as friends and family visit in Garfield, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

On a weekday in mid-January, a dozen members of Lowery’s family and local supporters held a vigil on the ice-and-snow covered grounds of St. Peter’s Cemetery in Garfield, New Jersey, where their friend and brother was interred five years ago.

“Say his name,” an aunt exclaimed as they released nearly two dozen blue balloons.

The mourners replied in unison: “Jameek Lowery.”

Family and friends of Jameek Lowery release balloons while visiting his grave in Garfield, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. From left are, Monique Lowery, Ron Jones, Zimere Jones, Timere Jones, Naomi Beal, Jamilyha Lowery, Jalea King and Shavontay McFadden. After praying and sharing memories and impassioned promises to find answers about Lowery’s death, an aunt exclaimed, “Say his name,” as they released the balloons. The mourners replied in unison: “Jameek Lowery.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Family and friends of Jameek Lowery release balloons while visiting his grave. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

This story is part of an ongoing investigation led by The Associated Press in collaboration with the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism programs and FRONTLINE (PBS). The investigation includes the Lethal Restraint interactive story , database and the documentary, “Documenting Police Use Of Force,” premiering April 30 on PBS.

research paper on police brutality

The Associated Press receives support from the Public Welfare Foundation for reporting focused on criminal justice. This story also was supported by Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights in conjunction with Arnold Ventures. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Contact AP’s global investigative team at [email protected] or https://www.ap.org/tips/

AARON MORRISON

Key Aspects of the Landmark Case: Graham V. Connor

This essay about the landmark Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor explains its significance in establishing the “objective reasonableness” standard for evaluating police use of force under the Fourth Amendment. The case involved Dethorne Graham, a diabetic man who experienced harsh treatment by police during a medical emergency, leading to a lawsuit. The Supreme Court ruled that excessive force claims must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, considering the circumstances at the time. The essay discusses the impact of this decision on law enforcement practices, training, and accountability, while also addressing criticisms and ongoing debates about police use of force and systemic issues in policing.

How it works

The Supreme Court litigation of Graham v. Connor, rendered in 1989, carries substantial ramifications for law enforcement and the application of coercion. The litigation centers on Dethorne Graham, an individual with diabetes who underwent a severe insulin reaction and encountered police officers while endeavoring to procure orange juice to alleviate his condition. The rigorous treatment meted out by the officers impelled him to institute legal proceedings, contending that his Fourth Amendment privileges were transgressed due to the disproportionate use of force. This litigation established a precedent for the scrutiny of claims alleging excess force, impacting law enforcement methodologies and directives to the present day.

Graham’s tribulation commenced on a November day in 1984 when he sensed the onset of an insulin reaction. Acknowledging the exigency of his predicament, he beseeched a companion to chauffeur him to a nearby convenience store to acquire juice. Upon entering the establishment, Graham expeditiously discerned the protracted queue and promptly absconded in search of respite elsewhere. This abrupt departure aroused the suspicion of Officer M.S. Connor, resulting in Graham and his confidant being intercepted as they departed the premises. Despite Graham’s endeavors to elucidate his medical predicament, the officers proceeded to subdue him and subject him to harsh treatment, culminating in multiple injuries. Graham subsequently initiated litigation against the officers, alleging that their conduct amounted to an unwarranted employment of force.

The principal legal query in Graham v. Connor revolved around the methodology for appraising claims of excessive force under the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court’s decree established that such claims should be scrutinized under an “objective reasonableness” criterion. This entails the assessment of law enforcement conduct from the perspective of a reasonable officer present at the scene, devoid of retrospective bias. The Court underscored that the reasonableness of an officer’s employment of force must factor in the circumstances prevailing at the time, encompassing the gravity of the offense, whether the suspect posed an imminent threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether the suspect exhibited active resistance to arrest or endeavored to evade apprehension by flight.

This adjudication was pivotal in delineating a standardized benchmark for assessing police conduct, endeavoring to reconcile the imperatives of instantaneous decision-making in fraught and ambiguous scenarios with the constitutional entitlements of individuals. The “objective reasonableness” evaluation precludes consideration of subjective intent, concentrating solely on the rationality of actions within the extant circumstances.

The ramifications of Graham v. Connor transcend the specifics of the case and have permeated numerous subsequent legal deliberations concerning police conduct. It underscores the significance of contextual assessment and has emerged as a cornerstone in law enforcement instruction and directives. Officers are cognizant that their actions will be appraised against this objective criterion, with the overarching objective of safeguarding both public welfare and law enforcement personnel.

Despite its significance, the verdict in Graham v. Connor has been the subject of contention and censure. Some posit that the “objective reasonableness” criterion may be excessively deferential to law enforcement officers, potentially permitting unchecked recourse to excessive force. Critics assert that this criterion inadequately addresses systemic issues within law enforcement, such as implicit bias and the disproportionate impact of police violence on minority communities.

The Supreme Court’s decree in Graham v. Connor underscored the imperative that the assessment of police employment of force must be rooted in the circumstances perceived by a reasonable officer present at the scene, divested of retrospective bias. This principle acknowledges the exigencies confronting law enforcement officers, who are frequently compelled to make expeditious decisions under duress. The decree does not mandate impeccability in an officer’s actions but rather accentuates their rationality within the extant circumstances.

In the years subsequent to the Graham v. Connor adjudication, the “objective reasonableness” criterion has evolved into a fundamental facet of police instruction and policy formulation. Law enforcement agencies across the United States have integrated this criterion into their protocols governing the employment of force, fostering a comprehensive approach to instruction focused on de-escalation techniques, situational awareness, and decision-making under stress.

However, the application of the “objective reasonableness” criterion has not been devoid of challenges. One of the primary criticisms is that the criterion may be construed excessively expansively, affording officers significant latitude in employing force. This has occasioned instances where force deemed reasonable under the criterion has elicited public outcry and perceptions of injustice. Moreover, the criterion does not explicitly address the role of systemic issues, such as racial bias, in shaping officers’ perceptions and actions.

The litigation of Graham v. Connor also spotlighted the imperative of robust accountability mechanisms within law enforcement agencies. While the “objective reasonableness” criterion furnishes a legal framework for evaluating incidents involving the employment of force, it cannot supplant comprehensive oversight and accountability. In response to this exigency, many police departments have instituted measures such as body-worn camera programs, augmented transparency in reporting incidents involving the employment of force, and established civilian review boards to furnish independent oversight.

Furthermore, the Graham v. Connor verdict has exerted a profound impact on the judicial system’s approach to claims of excessive force. Courts consistently apply the “objective reasonableness” criterion when adjudicating such claims, ensuring uniformity in legal proceedings. This has engendered enhanced clarity and predictability in legal outcomes, furnishing both law enforcement officers and the public with a clearer comprehension of the legal standards governing police conduct.

Despite the legal lucidity provided by Graham v. Connor, the ongoing discourse regarding police employment of force underscores the intricacy inherent in balancing law enforcement imperatives with individual rights. The case underscores the significance of sustained dialogue and reform to address the evolving challenges in policing. Efforts to augment instruction, enhance accountability, and address systemic issues are indispensable in ensuring that the principles established in Graham v. Connor are effectively applied in practice.

In conclusion, Graham v. Connor stands as a seminal Supreme Court litigation that established the “objective reasonableness” criterion for assessing claims of excessive force under the Fourth Amendment. This criterion mandates that police actions be appraised from the perspective of a reasonable officer present at the scene, accounting for the specific circumstances they confronted. The decree has left an indelible imprint on law enforcement practices, policies, and instruction, fundamentally shaping the appraisal and resolution of incidents involving the employment of force. While the “objective reasonableness” criterion furnishes a critical legal framework, the ongoing discourse regarding police employment of force underscores the need for continual reform and accountability to uphold the principles of justice and equity in law enforcement. The case endures as a pivotal reference point in discussions concerning police accountability and the employment of force in the United States.

As we contemplate the legacy of Graham v. Connor, it is imperative to acknowledge that the pursuit of just and equitable policing is an ongoing endeavor. While the principles established in the case provide a foundational framework, the true challenge lies in their effective implementation and the unwavering commitment to continual improvement. Law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and communities must collaborate to address the complex issues surrounding police employment of force, ensuring that the legal standards enshrined in Graham v. Connor are not only upheld but also evolve to meet the needs of a diverse and dynamic society.

It is essential to note that this essay serves as a starting point for further exploration and research. For personalized assistance and to ensure compliance with all academic standards, consider engaging professionals at EduBirdie.

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  1. Police Violence and Associations With Public Perceptions of the Police

    Correlates of Police Violence. Research has shown that Black and Latino/a adults are more likely to experience police violence than white adults (Davis et al., 2018; Edwards et al., 2019; Ross, 2015; Tregle et al., 2019).Gender also plays a key role, as empirical evidence has found that Black and Latino men were more likely than white individuals and women to experience threats or use of ...

  2. Systemic Racism in Police Killings: New Evidence From the Mapping

    These charges are not unfounded. It is now well-established that policing in the United States is tainted by a deeply racist, anti-Black legacy (Alexander, 2010; Gruber, 2021).Aside from its racist inception, the policing profession continues to struggle with diversity issues, as police forces across the United States are still dominated by White men (Ba et al., 2021; Morabito & Shelley, 2015).

  3. PDF An Examination of Police Brutality in The United States: Living and

    The research material provided in this paper was collected January 6, 2017 through May 6, 2017. The research source utilized in obtaining this information was from the data base of the library at University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The terms searched were "police brutality,"

  4. Fatal police violence by race and state in the USA, 1980-2019: a

    We found that more than half of all deaths due to police violence that we estimated in the USA from 1980 to 2018 were unreported in the NVSS. Compounding this, we found substantial differences in the age-standardised mortality rate due to police violence over time and by racial and ethnic groups within the USA. Proven public health intervention strategies are needed to address these systematic ...

  5. Police brutality and racism in America

    Risk is highest for Black men, who (at current levels of risk) face about a 1 in 1000 chance of being killed by police over the life course. The average lifetime odds of being killed by police are about 1 in 2000 for men and about 1 in 33,000 for women. Risk peaks between the ages of 20 and 35 for all groups.

  6. What the data say about police brutality and racial bias

    What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work ... Hoekstra, M. & Sloan, C. W. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 26774 (2020).

  7. The racialized patterns of police violence: The critical importance of

    Search for more papers by this author. Charlene M. Shroulote-Durán, Charlene M. Shroulote-Durán. Department of Criminal Justice, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA ... Although the research on fatal police killings was studied by only a small number of individuals prior to 2014, after the killing of Michael Brown in ...

  8. Police Brutality and Black Health: Setting the Agenda for Public Health

    PHYSICAL INJURIES AND DEATH. A direct pathway between police brutality and health is through injury and death. The most comprehensive information about the connection between race and death during police encounters comes from data collected by a UK newspaper, The Guardian. 9 Analysis of those data concluded that in 2015, "young Black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be ...

  9. Police, violence, and social justice: A call for research and

    Objective: Black people compose 13% of the U.S. population but 23% of fatal police shootings (McLeod et al., 2020). Numerous studies have documented the negative mental health consequences experienced by communities of color due to negative experiences with law enforcement (Muchow & Amuedo-Dorantes, 2020; Smith et al., 2019). The goal of this special issue of the Psychology of Violence is to ...

  10. What Social Science Research Says about Police Violence against Racial

    This volume of the Journal of Social Issues integrates theoretical and empirical research to examine police violence (i.e., disproportionate physical and psychological injury and maltreatment) against racial and ethnic minorities and provides policy recommendations directed at reducing this violence from a multidisciplinary perspective ...

  11. 'Stop resisting!' : an exploratory study of police brutality and its

    police brutality against people of color. Research demonstrates an increasing rate of police contacts and a significant amount of people experiencing excessive force or threat of force by police, with Blacks and Latinos more likely to experience force (Eith & Durose, 2011; Tuttle, 2009).

  12. PDF Justice for All? An analysis of police brutality in the United States

    This paper will argue that the lack of data, accountability, and reprimand against officers in police brutality cases in the United States. indicates the need for implementation of multi-level reforms throughout the country. This paper will look at police brutality in the United States, England and Canada. These.

  13. Police Brutality: Impacts on Latino and African American Lives and

    Police Brutality: Impacts on Latino and African American Lives and Communities. Angelica Delgado. ETHN 165, Winter 2016. Santa Clara University Abstract. This research focused on Latino and African American experiences with law. enforcement and the impact that those encounters have on health, well-being, parenting, and violence in communities ...

  14. PDF An Empirical Analysis of Racial Di erences in Police Use of Force

    An Empirical Analysis of Racial Di↵erences in Police Use of Force⇤ Roland G. Fryer, Jr.† July 2017 Abstract This paper explores racial di↵erences in police use of force. On non-lethal uses of force, blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police.

  15. Police brutality, medical mistrust and unmet need for medical care

    (Alang et al., 2017) There is a growing body of research connecting police brutality to a range of health outcomes, including mental disorders, (DeVylder et al., 2018, ... 2019) The goal of this paper is to further accentuate police brutality as a social determinant of health by examining its association with unmet need for medical care.

  16. An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force

    Abstract: This paper explores racial differences in police use of force. On non-lethal uses of force, blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police. Adding controls that account for important context and civilian behavior reduces, but cannot fully explain, these ...

  17. What works to reduce police brutality

    In Seattle, officers trained in a "procedural justice" intervention designed in part by psychologists used force up to 40% less. These are just a few examples of the work the field is doing to address police brutality. "There's much more openness to the idea of concrete change among police departments," says Joel Dvoskin, PhD, ABPP, a ...

  18. (PDF) Effects of Police Brutality on Society

    9. 1.1 INTRODUCTION. Police brutality has occurred all across the world and is still a major concern amongst society. and police organizations. This brutality ranges from assaults, death as a ...

  19. (PDF) Police Brutality

    Alongside this history of police brutality has existed antibrutality sentiment and action within the citizenry, the press, and both local and national government. Discover the world's research 25 ...

  20. Race and policing in America: 10 things we know

    Similarly, 87% of blacks and 61% of whites said the U.S. criminal justice system treats black people less fairly. Black adults are about five times as likely as whites to say they've been unfairly stopped by police because of their race or ethnicity (44% vs. 9%), according to the same survey. Black men are especially likely to say this: 59% ...

  21. Study indicates that as racial diversity and income rise, civilian

    Most previous research on police-civilian interactions focuses on fatalities, the researchers explained. ... The other authors of the paper are Chibuzor Abasilim, a post-doctoral scholar, and ...

  22. PDF Police Brutality In India: A Critical Analysis From A Human Rights

    This paper will include all the major points related to police brutality, whether those be complaints, allegations, etc., and the Hon'ble Court's commentary on it. Police brutality includes both physical and mental torture, in some cases even death. Being rude and insulting people is a common thing for policemen, whether it be at police

  23. 87 Police Brutality Titles for Essays and Research Papers

    Police Brutality in the USA. This paper aims to discuss the types of police brutality, the particularities of psychological harm inflicted by the police, and its consequences for the population affected by these forms of violence. Police Brutality: Graham vs. Connor, 490 U.S. 386.

  24. PDF The Police Brutality in India: a Critical Analysis

    article focuses on the laws and precedents related to police brutality and some of the instance of police brutality which still remains unsolved or unresolved. This is doctrinal research where the scholar has analyzed the provisions related to police and the reason why the judiciary proved to be ineffective to the common man in providing justice.

  25. DC Metropolitan Police Department Social Media Monitoring Documents

    Social Media. On December 15, 2020, the Brennan Center for Justice and Data for Black Lives (D4BL) submitted a public records request to the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) for information on how the department uses social media to collect information about individuals, groups, and First Amendment-protected activities.

  26. Race-based police violence impacts wealth of Black families ...

    Financial decision-making for Black individuals can be dealt a major blow by race-based police violence, new research suggests, offering insight into the far-reaching effects of police brutality.

  27. He didn't trust police but sought their help anyway. Two days later, he

    In court papers, the attorneys argued the officers had acted appropriately and within the scope of their duties. ... The audit by the Police Executive Research Forum — a respected law enforcement training nonprofit — found the community distrusted the police and called on the Paterson Police Department to update its use-of-force policies ...

  28. Key Aspects of the Landmark Case: Graham V. Connor

    The Supreme Court's decree in Graham v. Connor underscored the imperative that the assessment of police employment of force must be rooted in the circumstances perceived by a reasonable officer present at the scene, divested of retrospective bias. This principle acknowledges the exigencies confronting law enforcement officers, who are ...