Controlling police (excessive) force: The American case

Zakir Gül, Hakan Hekim, Ramazan Terkeşli


This article addresses the issue of police abuse of power, particularly police use of excessive force. Since the misuse of force by police is considered a problem, some entity must discover a way to control and prevent the illegal use of coercive power. Unlike most of the previous studies on the use of excessive force, this study uses a path analysis. However, not all the findings are consistent with the prior studies and hypotheses. In general, findings indicate that training may be a useful tool in terms of decreasing the use of excessive force, thereby reducing civilians’ injuries and citizens’ complaints. The results show that ethics training in the academy is significantly related to the use of excessive force. Further, it was found that community-oriented policing training in the academy was associated with the citizens’ complaints. A national (secondary) data, collected from the law enforcement agencies in the United States are used to explore the research questions.


Police; excessive force; civilian injuries; citizen complaints; police training; psychiatrist or psychologist

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