Death by Cop

Death by cop, or death by legal intervention, refers to situations in which on-duty law enforcement officers use lethal force against an individual, resulting in the individual’s death. Law enforcement officers are in a unique position that allows them to legally use force, including lethal force, against the public in certain situations. Officers might use lethal force against an individual in situations where they perceive the individual as threatening or where the individual is noncompliant with law enforcement instructions. Although death by cop is a relatively rare phenomenon, death-by-cop incidents have been subject to extensive media coverage and societal engagement. This entry discusses death by cop, with a focus on the role mental health plays in death by cop, including victim-precipitated (i.e., suicide-by-cop) incidents.

Prevalence and ...

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