Description : Misinformation about self-defense rights and laws is what has sparked major debate over the misapplication of lethal force in civilian communities. Bruce Lawlor identifies the major issues in self-defense cases and the legal approaches used to resolve them, resulting in less confusion and greater understanding of what self-defense is.
Description : Almost every movie of a police shootout includes the following depiction of violence: good guy shoots bad guy; bad guy instantly drops dead. But the reality is that when someone is hit by a bullet, or even several bullets, this rarely happens. What does happen when someone is shot? How effective is the use of hand guns? Why are so many shots fired at a shootout? Why don't officers shoot a gun out of an assailant's hands, or shoot him in the leg instead of killing him? What is it really like for an officer to pull his gun and fire? In this book, Chris McNab, author of Tools of Violence and The Special Forces Survival Guide, analyzes the use of lethal force in the control of crime in the United States from the Civil War to the present day. Covering incidents from the shooting of Bonnie and Clyde to the Waco Seige, and the actions of gunmen from “Wild Bill” Hickok to modern SWAT teams, he answers these questions and examines the history of armed response and those who in enforcing law face making life and death choices in a few, traumatic seconds.
Description : Featuring a new preface and afterword by the author From the host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the riveting story of a 1975 police shooting of an unarmed black man in Boston—one of the first to draw national headlines—and the dramatic investigation and court case that followed. On a rainy winter night, James Bowden, Jr. left his mother’s house in Roxbury after a visit. As he guided his Buick out of his parking spot, an unmarked police car suddenly blocked his path. Two undercover officers sprang out, running toward his car. Shots were fired, and Bowden slumped over the wheel. Moments later, he was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. The police argued that they had fired in self-defense, claiming that Bowden was an armed robbery suspect and that after they had ordered him to stop, he had fired a shot at one of them. And multiple internal investigations by the Boston Police Department exonerated the officers involved. But Patricia Bowden, James’s widow, knew better. “The truth will come out,” she said at her husband’s funeral. She sought a lawyer willing to take on the Boston Police Department and finally found one in Lawrence F. O’Donnell, the author’s father, a man whose past, unbeknownst to Patricia Bowden, made him the only man in town who could not refuse her case. O’Donnell embarked on a highly contentious three-year battle with the Boston Police Department to win justice for James Bowden. More timely now than ever, Deadly Force is a powerful indictment of police misconduct, a reminder of this issue’s long, tortured history and of how far we still have to go.
Description : The effects of a single deadly force incident are far-reaching and can have a long-term effect on police-community relations, the profession, the police officer, and his/her family, friends and co-workers (IACP, 2012). Recent high-profile deaths of unarmed men at the hands of police officers have had a dramatic effect on citizens across the country and from all demographics. Regardless of where it occurs, it has the potential to reverberate throughout the law enforcement community. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to examine the personal experiences of police officers who used lethal or deadly force in order to understand the human factors that lead to these decisions and identify any training implications pre/post-event. The theoretical framework used for this examination was the symbolic interactionist theory, which relies on the meaning and interpretation a police officer gives to the interactions and behaviors of others. The following research question framed this study: What are the lived experiences of police officers who use lethal force? This qualitative study utilized criterion sampling to locate participants who had experienced this phenomenon and snowball sampling to expand the sample size and obtain other similarly situated officers who had used lethal or deadly force. An open-ended interview format was used to understand this phenomenon, gain insight, and provide a deeper understanding into the participants; experiences (Fontan & Frey, 2000; Speziale & Carpenter, 2007). The research results provided conclusions regarding the participants’ training and preparation, the aftermath or effects of their lethal force use, and recommendations or advice for agencies or others in a similar situation. By viewing these incidents through the participant’s lens, it provided insight into areas where their agency performed satisfactorily but also highlighted where improvements can be made, and additional research should be conducted.
Description : The Psychology of Police Deadly Force Encounters: Science, Practice, and Police is a fascinating look into the reality of police work. The author integrates noted theories into a “street-wise” understanding of being a police officer. The focus of this book is on the use of deadly force by officers—a topic of considerable importance. The author discusses the psychosocial aspects of deadly force use, stemming from the individual officer, the situation, organizational influences, and the police culture. Expanding further into social issues, the controversial topic of race and use of deadly force is discussed. This depiction looks at both sides—that of racial victimization and that of the police—which helps to provide a rather unique perspective on this important issue. Of interest, the author breaks down the different dimensions of cognition as a factor in decision making among police, including the perception of the situation, the action taken depending on that perception, and the role of present and past memory. This will make for a useful training topic to alert officers to the cognitive processes that go into deadly force use—processes that they have the control to change to make a better decision. Next, the book delves into the biological factors that may be involved in police decision making—again where deadly force is involved. The various negative psychological impacts that a deadly force situation may bring about are identified and explained. This book will be useful as a tool for both law enforcement practitioners and researchers to better understand the intricacies of deadly force by the police. For researchers, the book has a multitude of references available for further exploration. It will prove to be a useful guide and reference volume for police managers and supervisors, mental health clinicians, investigators, attorneys, judges, law enforcement educators and trainers, rank and file police officers, including expert witnesses.