Policing

An Evaluation of Police Use of Force and Race

Olugbenga Ajilore
Associate Professor of Economics, University of Toledo

Key Findings

  • Race and officer characteristics both play a role in excessive use of force complaints.
  • Race and officer characteristics both play a role in which complaints are sustained.
  • Older individuals are less likely to report excessive force.
  • Male officers are more likely to be the subject use of force complaints.

Description

In the article, “Do #AllLivesMatter? An Evaluation of Race and Excessive Use of Force by Police,” Ajilore and his co-author examined the effect of race on excessive use of force through case studies and empirical evidence. Ajilore set out to determine if African-Americans are more likely to experience excessive use of force by police based on a variety of factors such as individual demographics, officer characteristics, and location. The researchers used data from the Citizens Police Data Project from the Invisible Institute. The dataset contains information on allegations, citizen demographics, police officer characteristics, and final dispositions from 2011-2015. The results showed that race, officer characteristics, and other demographic variables impact the probability of complaint of use of excessive force and the probability of a complaint sustained. The researchers also found that older individuals are less likely to report excessive force and that male officers are more likely to be the subject use of force complaints.

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