Effect of race on suspect injuries during encounters with police

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To estimate the effects of race and ethnicity on suspect injuries during use of force encounters with police in Tucson, Arizona. Methods: Data on all use of force cases recorded by the Tucson Police Department from January 2018 to March 2020 were analysed. Logistic regression was used to estimate the effects of race and ethnicity on the likelihood of suspect injuries controlling for a variety of other factors. Results: Overall, 28.5% of people who had force used against them by Tucson police were injured. Multivariate analyses reveal that among those who had force used against them, African-American suspects were significantly less likely than white suspects to be injured. The risk of injury for other racial and ethnic groups is about the same as the risk for white suspects. Resisting arrest and seeking to escape from police custody do not increase the risk of injury among suspects, but assaulting officers or other individuals does increase the risk of injury. Certain types of force, such as canines, firearms and TASERs, are associated with significantly elevated risks of injury among suspects. Conclusions: Numerous interest groups have raised concerns about the police use of force against minorities. Using publicly available data, this analysis examined the effects of race and ethnicity on risk of injury during the use of force encounters with police in Tucson. The findings reveal that minorities are not injured at elevated rates relative to whites. To the contrary, African-American suspects are less likely to be injured than white suspects are.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044010
JournalInjury Prevention
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • legal intervention
  • multiple Injury
  • violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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