Dissecting the complexities of the relationship between police Officer-Civilian race/ethnicity Dyads and less-than-lethal use of force

Katelyn K. Jetelina, Wesley G. Jennings, Stephen A. Bishopp, Alex R. Piquero, Jennifer M. Reingle Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives.To examine how sublethal use-of-force patterns vary across officer-civilian race/ethnicity while accounting for officer-, civilian-, and situational-level factors. Methods. We extracted cross-sectional data from 5630 use-of-force reports from the Dallas Police Department in 2014 and 2015. We categorized each officer-civilian interaction into race/ethnicity dyads.We used multilevel, mixed logistic regression models to evaluate the relationship between race/ethnicity dyads and the types of use of force. Results. Forty-eight percent of use-of-force interactions occurred between a White officer and a non-White civilian (White-non-White). In bivariate models, the odds of hard-empty hand control and intermediate weapon use were significantly higher among White-Black dyads compared with White-White dyads. The bivariate odds of intermediate weapon use were also significantly higher among Black-Black, Hispanic-White, Black-Hispanic, and Hispanic-Black dyads compared with White-White dyads. However, after we controlled for individual and situational factors, the relationship between race/ethnicity dyad and hard-empty hand control was no longer significant. Conclusions. Although we observed significant bivariate relationships between race/ethnicity dyads and use of force, these relationships largely dissipated after we controlled for other factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1170
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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