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“Suicide by cop” is a phrase used to describe a situation in which a person wants to commit suicide but chooses to have police do the killing. The number of such incidents appears to have doubled during the last 10 years; however; it is not known whether there was an actual increase or merely improved recognition and reporting methods. There may be more incidents than are actually known, because many are disguised so that the suicidal intent of the person is never revealed.

Police officers are often involved in situations with suicidal persons. They are generally the first responders to situations with desperate persons who threaten to kill themselves. In addition, many other calls to the police turn into situations in which suicide is threatened. The ...

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