Hitting the Target (or Not): Comparing Characteristics of Fatal, Injurious, and Noninjurious Police Shootings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite the well-documented inaccuracy of police officers who use deadly force, research has generally given scant attention to factors that affect shooting accuracy. This article uses bivariate and multivariate analyses—logistic regression and chi-square automatic interaction detector (CHAID)—to examine characteristics among noninjurious, injurious, and fatal police shootings in Philadelphia from 1987 to 1992 (N = 271). A number of factors emerge as predictors of shooting accuracy including distance, suspect actions, and officer approach and preparedness. Alternatively, a number of seemingly important factors appear unrelated to shooting accuracy including lighting conditions, use of cover, and gun type. The article concludes with a discussion of findings and their implications for police policy and training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-330
Number of pages28
JournalPolice Quarterly
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • deadly force
  • police shootings
  • shooting accuracy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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