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Yale Study Shows Differences In Police Use Of Force

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According to a new Yale University study, police use of force is likely to increase after officers are victims of violence – but only if the suspects are black.

The study looked at how New York City police reacted after an officer was killed on duty. It looked at four cases over the past 10 years. Joscha Legewie is the author of the study. He says in two cases when the officer killed a black suspect, police would use a lot more force in their encounters with black citizens.

“In a two-week period after this event, there’s an increase in use of force – in one case 12 percent, in the other 18 percent. Hands on suspect, weapon drawn, suspect against a wall, firearm drawn.”

Legewie says he didn’t see an increase after police were killed on duty by white or Hispanic suspects. He says he suspects this could have to do with unconscious stereotypes or an unconscious desire for retribution.

“These kind of events evoke a long history of tensions between police and African-American communities. They create and sustain this notion of the police versus black youth. This blue versus black.”

Legewie says he’s curious about what happens after the first two weeks. So he says next, he’ll investigate the long-term effects that violence against police could have on how police use force.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
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