Provides a critical understanding and evaluation of police tactics and the use of force
Police violence has historically played an important role in shaping public attitudes toward the government. Community trust and confidence in policing have been undermined by the perception that officers are using force unnecessarily, too frequently, or in problematic ways. The use of force, or harm suffered by a community as a result of such force, can also serve as a flashpoint, a spark that ignites long-simmering community hostility.
In Evaluating Police Uses of Force, legal scholar Seth W. Stoughton, former deputy chief of police Jeffrey J. Noble, and distinguished criminologist Geoffrey P. Alpert explore a critical but largely overlooked facet of the difficult and controversial issues of police violence and accountability: how does society evaluate use-of-force incidents? By leading readers through answers to this question from four different perspectives—constitutional law, state law, administrative regulation, and community expectations—and by providing critical information about police tactics and force options that are implicated within those frameworks, Evaluating Police Uses of Force helps situate readers within broader conversations about governmental accountability, the role that police play in modern society, and how officers should go about fulfilling their duties.
Seth W. Stoughton is Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Jeffrey J. Noble is a police consultant and author of Managing Accountability Systems for Police Conduct: Internal Affairs and External Oversight. Geoffrey P. Alpert is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina and author of more than twenty books about criminal justice.
Jeffrey J. Noble is a police consultant and author of Managing Accountability Systems for Police Conduct: Internal Affairs and External Oversight.
Geoffrey P. Alpert is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina and author of more than twenty books about criminal justice.
"An excellent reference for lawmakers and reformers. By pulling together so much important information in a single place, Stoughton and his coauthors have done the country a service at a very fraught time."
"Provides a current and complete blueprint of the laws and policies that contribute to persistent inequalities in police violence. This blueprint will be of tremendous value—perhaps especially so—to those who seek to understand the existing system and where they may best intervene in order to reduce these damaging inequalities."
"Evaluating Police Uses of Force is a deeply informative and clearly organized book that provides a thorough description of the standards used to evaluate police uses of force in the United States ... I highly recommend it for that reason."
"This meticulously researched book may be the most comprehensive treatment of police use of force there is. The authors carefully explain how force legally may be used, and how it should be regulated. This should be required reading for all policing leadership. Highly recommended."
~Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law and Director of the Policing Project at NYU School of Law
"A timely and needed tool with which to engage in critical debates around policing and police violence ... The value of this analysis for our understanding of police violence is difficult to overstate"
"These authors are at the forefront of those who probe the complex questions that can arise when an officer shoots a civilian. This book is an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand police use of force. At the Washington Post we have relied on Geoff Alpert’s expertise to untangle use-of-force issues. Here, he and his co-authors advance the public discussion of this important topic."
~Jeff Leen, Investigations Editor at the Washington Post
"An informed, in-depth review of one of the most controversial and misunderstood aspects of modern policing: the use of force. Everyone—from police chiefs to judges to community activists—would benefit from the insights this book provides."
~Art Acevedo, Chief, Houston Police Department
"No book has offered a full account of the legal standards used to evaluate use-of-force incidents—until now. The authors bring decades of combined academic and practical expertise in law, criminology, and policing to comprehensively lay out not only federal constitutional law, but state law, administrative standards, and tactical considerations that influence the use of force. As a result, every reader—whatever their perspective or experience—will walk away far more knowledgeable about how the use of force by police officers is governed in the United States."
~Rachel Harmon, University of Virginia School of Law