Published Papers: 2017

Katelyn K. Jetelina, Wesley G. Jennings, Stephen A. Bishopp, Alex R. Piquero, Jennifer M. Reingle Gonzalez, “Dissecting the Complexities of the Relationship Between Police Officer–Civilian Race/Ethnicity Dyads and Less-Than-Lethal Use of Force”, American Journal of Public Health 107(7), pp. 1164-1170.

Objectives. To examine how sublethal use-of-force patterns vary across officer–civilian race/ethnicity while accounting for officer-, civilian-, and situational-level factors.

Methods. We extracted cross-sectional data from 5630 use-of-force reports from the Dallas Police Department in 2014 and 2015. We categorized each officer–civilian interaction into race/ethnicity dyads. We used multilevel, mixed logistic regression models to evaluate the relationship between race/ethnicity dyads and the types of use of force.

Results. Forty-eight percent of use-of-force interactions occurred between a White officer and a non-White civilian (White–non-White). In bivariate models, the odds of hard-empty hand control and intermediate weapon use were significantly higher among White–Black dyads compared with White–White dyads. The bivariate odds of intermediate weapon use were also significantly higher among Black–Black, Hispanic–White, Black–Hispanic, and Hispanic–Black dyads compared with White–White dyads. However, after we controlled for individual and situational factors, the relationship between race/ethnicity dyad and hard-empty hand control was no longer significant.

Conclusions. Although we observed significant bivariate relationships between race/ethnicity dyads and use of force, these relationships largely dissipated after we controlled for other factors.

 

Jetelina, K., Reingle-Gonzalez, J., & Bishopp, S. (2017). “Gradual escalation of use-of-force reduces police officer injury.” Injury Prevention. Published Online First: 16 March 2017.

Objectives: To examine how escalation through the force continuum predicts officer injury in the presence of citizen aggression, while controlling for extraneous factors, like behavioral characteristics.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were extracted from 2,244 use-of-force reports from the Dallas Police Department in 2015. Multi-level, mixed logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between use-of-force and officer injury. Multi-level path analysis tested indirect and direct relationships between citizen aggression and officer injury.

Results: Results suggest that escalation through the force continuum significantly decreases officer injury when a citizen is actively aggressive. Black and Hispanic officers are less likely to gradually escalate through the force continuum, due to lower odds of verbal commands and intermediate weapon use compared to White officers. Finally, citizens who were mentally unstable or under the influence of alcohol or drugs were more likely to be actively aggressive.

Conclusions: Future research should assess whether further environmental or situational factors contribute to the strong relationship between use-of-force and officer injury. Also, reliability and validity testing of use-of-force reports is an imperative direction for future research.

 

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