An Overview of Police Use of Force Policies and Research

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Illinois Criminal Justice Authority, Center for Justice Research and Evaluation
The relationship between the police and public has become increasingly tenuous following a series of highly publicized police killings. These include the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and Elijah McClain. In addition, data reveals notable racial disparities in police use of force. Although approximately 1,000 civilians in the U.S. are killed by police officers each year, Black men are 2.5 times more likely than their White counterparts to die at the hands of an officer. Studies also have shown that persons of color, persons with mental illness, and persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) have increased likelihood of experiencing force. The disparities in police use of force have long been a source of controversy, sparking numerous protests and calls for reform throughout the country.