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Spatial pattern analysis of police use of force: Exploratory findings
AuthorMcGowan, Daniel Joseph
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Relative to American culture and justice today is the issue of police using force on citizens to control a situation. Many believe the use of force by police can be excessive and it has changed police-citizen interactions. Currently, much of the research into the topic has been limited, and often shows conflicting results with unclear conclusions. To better understand the influences of police use of force, this study uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine spatial patterning that may help explain which factors contribute to a use of force event. Taking information provided by a police department of a mid-sized city in the western United States, this study analyses reports of use of force by mapping cases and determining significant clusters that develop based on numerous variables. Results show incidents of use of force cluster around the downtown area of the region and suggests neighborhood contexts which lead to police using force