The purpose of this paper is to evaluate officer and civilian race/ethnicity disparities during ten years of officer-involved shootings (OIS).
Internal affairs, personnel and geospatial data were triangulated for 253 OIS at the Dallas Police Department from 2005 to 2015. Multinomial regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between civilian and officer race/ethnicity in OIS, controlling for officer, situational and neighborhood factors.
In total, 48 percent of unique OIS involved a non-Hispanic black civilian and most OIS occurred in Hispanic majority neighborhoods (48 percent). Officer age and number of shooters on scene were the only variables significantly associated with officer race/ethnicity. Most notably, officer race/ethnicity was not associated with the race/ethnicity of the civilian during OIS incidents.
There is limited scientific evidence on whether officers of certain races/ethnicities are disproportionately likely to engage in OIS with civilians of a particular race/ethnicity due to the relative rarity of such events.
This study was funded by two sources: an internal innovation grant at the University of Texas School of Public Health; and a National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety grant (K01-OH011532). Institutional review board approval was received from the University of Texas Health Science Center (HSC-SPH-15-0957). No financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.
Jetelina, K., Bishopp, S., Wiegand, J. and Reingle Gonzalez, J. (2020), "Race/ethnicity composition of police officers in officer-involved shootings", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-10-2019-0166Download as .RIS
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