Men, Women, and Police Excessive Force: A Tale of Two Genders

A Content Analysis of Civil Liability Cases, Sustained Allegation, and Citizen Complaints

Authored by: Dr. Kim Lonsway, Michelle Wood

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2002
Citation: Lonsway, Kim, and Michelle Wood. Men, Women, and Police Excessive Force: A Tale of Two Genders. National Center for Women & Policing, 2002.

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Executive Summary

Research from seven major U.S. police agencies has documented what many police and community leaders have known for a long time: women officers are substantially less likely than their male counterparts to be involved in problems of excessive force. Whether citizen complaints, sustained allegations, or civil liability payouts are used as the measure, women officers are dramatically under-represented in excessive force incidents. By better understanding the gender dimensions of excessive force, police executives and community leaders can strive toward hiring more women officers who will be less likely to engage in brutality.