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Police Misconduct

police car


Instances of police use and misuse of force are contentious national stories: the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the death of Eric Garner in New York, and the 16 shots that killed Laquan McDonald in Chicago. What causes police officers to misuse force? Is it possible to identify those officers more likely to abuse their power? IPR researchers have some answers.

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Research Roundup

Networks and Police Misconduct

A recent analysis by IPR sociologist Andrew Papachristos and his colleagues of police officers’ work networks finds that officers who worked with others who were accused of misuse of force were more likely to also be involved in misuse of force.

The Network Structure of Police Misconduct 

In related research, Papachristos, IPR postdoctoral fellow George Wood, and Daria Roithmayr of the University of Southern California discover that police misconduct is concentrated in networks. They explore the role of gender, race, and tenure in the networks and recommend steps to decrease complaints against officers.

Predicting Police Misconduct

Civilian allegations can predict which police officers pose the highest risk for serious misconduct. The allegations can serve as an early warning system to reduce misconduct and save cities money, according to a study by law professor and IPR associate Max Schanzenbach.