Excessive and unnecessary use of force is common in the American criminal justice system. Many police officers make arbitrary arrests and offend people with trumped-up charges. Moreover, the use of discretionary is believed to be another cause of excessive and unnecessary use of force by police officers. However, de-escalating training has been proposed as a method to reduce the excessive and unnecessary use of force. This research proposal will investigate the viability of de-escalating training to reduce the excessive and unnecessary use of force among police officers.
This proposal aims at understanding how the use of excessive and unnecessary use of force affects the public and the individual suspected offenders. Moreover, the proposal will seek to understand the significance of de-escalating training among police officers. Consequently, the proposal will aim to answer the following research questions:
- What are the effects of the use of excessive and unnecessary force by police officers on the public and suspected offenders?
- What is the significance of deescalating training in reducing the excessive and unnecessary use of force?
- What mechanisms can the U.S criminal justice system adopt to conduct de-escalating training among police officers?
Research Hypotheses and Design
A research hypothesis involves specific, clear, and predictive statements about the possible outcome of a research. Therefore, the hypotheses help in ensuring that the adopted methodologies are scientific and valid. Additionally, they help in predicting the probability of a research’s success and failure. The proposal will adopt a quasi-experimental research design to test the causal hypotheses. The design will be adopted since the research will involve two groups: one subjected to the de-escalation training and the other one not subjected to the training. This proposal will adopt the following hypotheses based on past studies on the overarching research topic:
- Excessive and unnecessary use of force causes psychological damage and physical injuries to the suspected offenders (Strote & Hickman, 2020).
- The excessive and unnecessary use of force causes public mistrust in the criminal and justice system (Mourtgos & Adams, 2020).
- The de-escalation training helps the police officers to defuse a potentially dangerous situation (Engel et al., 2020).
- The de-escalation training encourages police officers to adopt effective strategies when dealing with people who are experiencing mental and emotional crises (Engel et al., 2020).
This proposal will involve six variables that will be measured to test the research hypotheses: police force, physical and emotional injuries, public mistrust, de-escalation training, police strategies, and police communication. The study’s independent variable will be de-escalation training. Meanwhile, the remaining five variables will be dependent. The research-dependent variables will have an ordinal level of measurements since the attributes can be rank-ordered. For instance, the police force will be measured as “extremely excessive”, “excessive”, “normal”, “less excessive”, and “no-force.”
The independent variable, de-escalation training, will have a nominal level of measurement since no ordering of the cases will be implied. Instead, the variable will be described as either “present”, or “absent.” The study will not have a control variable due to the chosen research population. The variables will be conceptualized by defining abstract ideas with specific characteristics. Meanwhile, the variables will be operationalized by identifying specific measures for each variable.
The Population of Interest
This study will involve the police officers in the U.S and selected members of the public. The researcher will adopt a simple random sampling technique to recruit the participants from the population. The sampling method is simple and eliminates any form of bias. The police officers will be categorized into two: those who have experienced de-escalation training and those who have not been trained. Meanwhile, the members of the public will be categorized on whether they have been forcefully arrested by the police officers or not. The research will involve sixty police officers and one-hundred members of the public. The age range of the population will be between 26 years and 40 years. The study’s sampling method and the chosen population will enhance the collection of quality data, hence, reliability and validity.
The study will be conducted under strict ethical conduct to ensure safety and confidence among the participants. The data will be collected from the participants who will consent to take part in the research and give the required information. The participants’ personal information such as names and contact information will not be asked by the researchers. Moreover, the researcher will avoid discriminatory terms that will make the participants uncomfortable. Furthermore, the study will utilize only copyrighted documents for research, and avoid plagiarized work. Therefore, the study will be ethical for effective data collection.
The study will involve the use of IBM SPSS software to record and analyze the collected data. Additionally, Microsoft Excel will be used to record the information collected from the participants. Each of the variables will contain a set of questions that will be coded accordingly before being transferred to IBM SPSS software for analysis. ANOVA will be used to determine the degree of freedom (df2=n-k). Since this study will observe a total population of 160 respondents with only one independent variable; thus, df2 is 160-1 = 159. The Pearson Chi-square will be used to measure the relationship between the research variables, and a number of less than 0.05 will be statistically significant.
The study will involve determining the significance of de-escalation training among police officers to reduce the excess and unnecessary use of force. Moreover, the research will explore the impact of the excess and unnecessary use of force. Consequently, the study will make recommendations that policymakers can adopt to introduce de-escalation training among police officers. Moreover, the study recommendations can be adopted to develop policies that enhance public awareness of their rights before, during, and after arrests.
Engel, R. S., Corsaro, N., Isaza, G. T., & McManus, H. D. (2020). Examining the impact of Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) de-escalation training for the Louisville Metro Police Department: Initial findings. Alexandria, VA: International Association of Chiefs of Police. Retrieved. Web.
Mourtgos, S. M., & Adams, I. T. (2020). Assessing public perceptions of police use-of-force: Legal reasonableness and community standards. Justice Quarterly, 37(5), 869-899. Web.
Rust, J. (2021). Max Weber and social ontology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 51(3), 312-342. Web.
Strote, J., & Hickman, M. J. (2020). The relationship of injury and complaints of police use of excessive force. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 41(1), 5-10. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000537