The current study will use this definition to examine two disgorges of citizen complaints about police brutality: excessive physical force and abuse of police powers. While estimates vary, the incidences of police brutality are infrequent (Dugan and Bread 1991; Fee 1995; Serviettes 1985; Clocks 1996; Littleton 1981; Pate and Hamilton 1991; Wagner 1980; Wagner and Decker 1993; Worded 1995). Even so, police use of excessive force is a serious problem, both for citizens who might be subjected to such force and for officers who employ it.
Many riots of this century were caused by the public perceptions concerning the police misuse of force, from the Chicago disturbance of 919 to the Los Angels riots followed the trial of police officers in the Rodney King incidence. Police use of excessive force reduces public confidence in the police, depresses officer morale, and generates conflict between police and residents (Languorous and Travis 1994). The police agency’s image can be tainted significantly by the conduct of its officers (Son et al. 1997).
Johnson (1981) argues that perceptions of police brutality have been at the heart of citizen distrust of and complaints about the police. Investigations done by the Christopher Commission (1991) reveal that ritually is one manifestation of the often troubled relationship between the police and the communities they are supposed to serve and protect. Furthermore, scandals associated with abuse of authority “Jeopardize organizational stability and continuity of leadership” (Keeling, Wassermann, and Williams 1988), since the organization is at risk of outside interference, and the police chief is at risk of losing his or her Job.
Still another important point is that whenever police violate either the spirit or the letter of the law, the line between totalitarian and democratic governance becomes blurred. Although the issue of controlling police use of excessive force is very important and theories about minimizing police misconduct are widely available, empirical research in this area is limited, particularly at the organizational level. At the individual level, have studied the extent and nature of citizen complaints (Dugan and Bread 199 1 ; Serviettes 1985; Littleton 1981; Pate and Hamilton 199 1; Wagner 1980; Wagner and Decker 1993).
More recently, Griswold (1994) did a multivariate analysis of the three factors on the disposition of complaints. Serviettes et al. (1 996) studied the impact of ace on the investigation of excessive force allegations against police. Dunham and Albert (1 995) did a case study on controlling police use of excessive force in Miami. All these studies are informative and help to understand police brutality. However, few of studies report correlation of citizen complaints at the organizational level.
While Griswold (1994) and West (1 988) notice the paucity of empirical research regarding the factors that are related to the disposition of complaints and call for additional research, at the organizational level less research has been undertaken either about the nature of the problem or about the efficacy of proposed solutions. The current study contributes to filling this gap primarily through reanalysis of data collected by Pate and Frilled(1993).
Although designed to be a comprehensive national survey of law enforcement agencies on the matter of police use of excessive force, Pate and Fireside’s final report (1 993) does not fully use the information they have collected. The report covers three major topics: the extent of police use of physical force as recorded by police departments, the extent of citizen complaints about Alice use of physical force as recorded by police departments, and the legal consequences of using excessive force. It presents a series of 2 by 2 contingent tables of statistics and bar graphics.
These tables and figures contain the raw numbers and sometimes percentages of these interests. The independent variables are largely two: agency types and agency size. It is doubtful, Howe. Seer, all these bi-relationships will endure the scrutiny of multiple regression analysis. For example, city police have the highest citizen complaint rate, and a lower percentage of officers with college degrees and a Geiger percentage of black officers (Up. 99-105). Whether the effect of police education on the citizen complaint rate will be significant once the percentage of minority officers is controlled for remains to be tested.
Other information gained in their survey, including civilian boards, effect of training programs, etc. , is not utilized in their report. In addition, this study develops a parsimonious multivariate statistical model to test various theses on controlling police use of physical force and abuse of police power. Multivariate analysis is superior to the abbreviate analysis because it revised various means to control for spuriousness, interpretation, and multiple causes. Not all statistical relationships are true. By introducing an additional factor, the original statistical relationship may disappear, eliminating the spurious relationship.
Furthermore, in a complex world, the causes of a particular social phenomenon is seldom unitary. The multivariate model helps account for the part of multivariate model helps eliminate, or at least reduce, the effect of confounding factors on a abbreviate relationship. After an extensive review of the literature on causes of police behavior, Sherman (1 980) concludes that very few of the abbreviate relationships between police misconduct and its various correlations have been elaborated into multivariate relationships with any of the other independent 4 variables.
This study examines police department characteristics and the impact of various programs on the rate of citizen complaints, and thus fills the gap by extending abbreviate analysis to the multiple variant analysis at the organizational level. THEORY AND HYPOTHESES The study of police brutality is important since it illustrates fundamental conflicts hat arise from policing in a democratic society. Given the importance of the issue in improving police and community relations, many theories have been proposed for curbing the damaging behavior of police.
Wilson (1 968), advocating police professionalism, identifies two models for controlling police misconduct: the professional model and the bureaucratic model. The professional model works by ensuring that only the best-trained, most honest candidates are employed as police officers. The bureaucratic model depends on the issuance and enforcement of rules and regulations through close supervision of police officer activities. Landsman (1 980) criticizes professionalism as a control on police misconduct.
He suggests that professionalism, by focusing on the individual officer, ignore the social and organizational correlates of misconduct. Furthermore, professionalism is an obstacle to citizen control, since by definition a professional is one who has special knowledge and skills that the average person lacks. Instead, Landsman (1 980) maintains that most police misconduct is a product of organizational deviance, so that what needs to be controlled is not individual behavior, but organizational climates. According to this Hess, police departments may have different rates of citizen complaints.
The difference varies with the particular departmental characteristics, 5. Enforcement. Goldstein (1977) argues for positive approaches to control police behavior: reward proper behavior and provide appropriate role models. He also stresses the importance of specific training aimed at preventing improper conduct and for avenues of citizen redress in order to reduce police brutality. All these theories point out various ways that law enforcement officers’ use of unnecessary force can be reduced by various departmental policies and practices.
No empirical studies so far, however, have tested the validity of these theories. Thus, their utility is still assumed, not verified. Rises (197 1) has done a classic participation analysis of police use of force. Others have studied the extent and nature of citizen complaints (Decker and Wagner 1982; Dugan and Bread 1991; Serviettes 1985; Littleton 1981; Pate and Hamilton 1991; Wagner 1980; Wagner and Decker 1993). Griswold (1994) did a multivariate analysis of the three factors on the disposition of complaints. Serviettes et al. 1996) studied the impact of race on the investigation of excessive force allegations against police. Dunham and Albert (1 995) did a case study on controlling the police use of excessive force in Miami. Lowers and Microeconomics (1996) investigated the characteristics of the officers and citizen complaints. All these studies are very informative and helpful to understand police brutality at the individual level. At the organizational level, empirical research has not been undertaken either about the nature of the problem or about the efficacy of proposed solutions.
Studies on citizen complaints have focused on a limited number of Jurisdictions and the measures have not been consistent across studies (Dugan ND Bread 1991; Pate and Hamilton 1991; Walker and Bumps 199 1; Wagner and Decker 1993). Many of these studies use a 6 nonsocial comparison approaches to test the citizen complaints and various characteristics of individual officers (Lowers and Microeconomics 1996). Few of these studies report correlation of citizen complaints. Organizational characteristics have not been used to predict citizen complaints against police use of excessive physical force.
Sherman (1 980) proposed that more research at the organizational level is needed since theoretically the macro level of explanation ought to be the most rueful level. Echoing Sherman, Wagner and Decker (1 993; 1997) also argued that citizen complaints are most appropriate to be studied at macro-level rather than micro-level when considering efforts to stem police behavior perceived offensive by citizens. The paucity of empirical research on excessive physical force at the organizational level is partially due to the lack of data in this regard.
As Pate and Frilled(1993) noted, police use of excessive force is low-visibility act, many victims do on such events. Further, from the police stand of view, complaints concerning the use f unnecessary force may be due to the fact that subjects have been arrested for a legitimate offence, or who have lurked by the potential of winning a big law suit. However, studies on the citizen complaints indicate that citizens did not file a complaint simply for a . Personal revenge motive (Russell 1978).
There are obstacles to complaints, such as personal fear of reprisal, complex and cumbersome filing procedure, and the highlighted possibility of criminal prosecution for making a false report (The National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals 1973). Although not all citizens who are subject to unnecessary force will file a formal complaint which will end up in the police department and not all recorded complaints are legitimate, Bailey and Mendelssohn (1969) observed I 7 that willingness to file a complaint seems to be a function of what happens to people and what they expect to gain from it.
Therefore, citizen complaints should be looked as a “barometer of police performance” (Wagner and Decker 1997) and as “important indicators of public perception of the agency’ (The United States Commission on civil Rights 1981). In this study, we use data collected by Pate and Frilled(1993), which ere designed to be a comprehensive national survey of law enforcement agencies on the matter of police use of excessive force. Their data provide a national picture of police use of force as reflected by official records. Their own study, however, only provides comparison of simple percentages and abbreviate analysis.
Theories and hypotheses are not tested against each other in the multiple variant analysis. Further, Pate and Frilled (1 993) attempt to cover a much wider variety of topics, from citizens’ complaints about physical force, to internal complaints about physical force, to verbal abuse of power, ND to litigation’s. Our study, in contrast, focuses on citizen complaints against the police use of excessive physical forces and abuse of power. All aspects of police brutality defined by Rises (1 971) and modified by Decker and Wagner (1 982) are included in the measures of police use of excessive physical force and abuse of power.
Thus, the two measures include citizen complaints of police physical force, improper investigation, illegal search, intimidation, and verbal abuse. Since both Wilson (1968) and Landsman (1 980) suggested that organizational behavior and organizational characteristics are potentially related to the citizen complaint rate against the police, we will test their theories. From Willow’s professionalism control thesis, we have reduced a number of testable propositions included in the following two sets of hypotheses.
Hypothesis 1 : Psychological exams taking before admitting to police academy, field training officer programs, and the length of probationary period tend to reduce citizen complaint rate against police use of physical force and abuse of power. As we know, police colonization begins at the police academy, and it entities in field training and throughout an officer’s career, Hiring the best qualified officers as a control is advocated by Wilson (1 968) in his professional model, and also by Albert and Frilled (1992) in their recommendation for hiring suitable officers to defend against police use of excessive force.
These arguments are more rhetorical than empirical (see Swanson 1977; Booker 1980; and Sherman 1980). Our first set of hypotheses captures the concept of Willow’s professional model. Hypothesis 2: Increasing the number of in-service training programs on the use of force within a Alice department, regular reviews of the use of force, written policy on the use of less lethal weapon, and the reporting requirement for the use of force are negatively related to the citizen complaint rate. Our second set of hypotheses target the bureaucratic model in controlling police excessive physical force.
Wilson (1 968) and Goldstein (1 977) advised police agencies to strengthen institute training specifically aimed at preventing improper conduct. More recently, Albert and Frilled(1992) called for competent training to minimize the police use of excessive force. We shall test the effectiveness of these in-service training programs and regular reviews in reducing the police brutality. 9 Part of the problem in controlling police brutality is that what is and what is not brutality has not been clearly defined by the court (Albert and Smith 1994) or by many police departments.
Evidence regarding police use of the deadly force suggests that implementation of more restrictive policies decreases the use of deadly force (Meyer 1980; Sherman 1983). Since some police departments have written policy on the use of less lethal force and others don’t, and some have mandatory reporting yester on the use of force while others don’t, we shall expect those with written policy and those with mandatory reporting system to have fewer citizen complaints.
The above four variables measure Willow’s bureaucratic model that the police misconduct could be controlled by the issuance and enforcement of rules through close supervision. From Landsman’s organizational product thesis, we also reduce two establishment of civilian review boards reduces the citizen complaint rate. The control of police use of excessive force through civilian review board is widely hailed s a cure by a number of scholars (Goldstein 1977; Landsman 1980; Remain 1985).
West (1988: ISO), for example, stated that the closed system (or bureaucratic model of control), where police investigate the police, is contrary to “the rules of natural Justice and is, by definition, imperfect. ” Some researchers doubt the effectiveness of civilian review board (Languorous and Travis 1994). Its empirical efficiency has yet to be decided by empirical data. Hypothesis 4: The composition of a police department’s personnel is related to the citizen complaint rate.
The larger the proportion of female and African-Americans in the 0 department, the higher the educational level of police department personnel is, and the longer the average service years a police department is, the lower the citizen complaint rate becomes. Individual-level data provided evidence that women officers may act to reduce the likelihood of violence in police-citizen encounters (Greener 1987), they initiated fewer detentions and made fewer felony and misdemeanors arrests (Sherman 1979, and they are significantly less likely to have a citizen complaint (Lowers and Microeconomics 1996).
Individual-level data seemed to provide some conflicting evidence regarding minority officers. While minority group officers are found to be less antagonistic to the public and display greater ties to the community than their white colleagues (Berg, True, and Egret 1984), they were more likely to use force, but less likely to use improper force in dealings with citizens (Worded 1995).
Since gender and racial issues are at the core of our criminal Justice system (Henderson et al. 1997; Cacao, Frank, and Culled 1996; Browning and Cacao 1992; Browning et al. 1994), our study will test these associations at the organizational level. Further, ever since August Volume, the police chief and reform advocate at the urn of the century, the education of police officers has become an increasingly important issue.
In recent decades, there has been a concerted effort to raise the educational level of police recruits. The federal government has expended millions of dollars on law enforcement education (see Jeffery [ 19901 for a detailed discussion). It is argued that college-educated police officers are more sensitive to citizens, can communicate better, and are more effective (Hoover 1989). Past research indicates that average service years is expected to be negatively related to the citizen