Riley A. Bendery, Annalisa Benziger


Presentation: 9:00-10:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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In 1994, the Phoenix Police Department, in collaboration with Rutgers University and Arizona State University, conducted a study on the use of force by and against Phoenix police officers. The study aimed to evaluate the extent of force employed in various arrest situations and to identify factors that could predict the amount of force used, including the involvement of the officer, the suspect, the nature of the offense, and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. The study generated a set of variables designed to accurately capture the diverse spectrum of forces commonly encountered in typical arrest scenarios. The study's design involved collecting data on all adult arrests made during a two-week period that commenced on June 13, 1994, in Phoenix, Arizona. The researchers obtained survey data from 1,585 adults who were booked by Phoenix police officers at Maricopa County Jail. Simultaneously, the Phoenix Police Department's automated information system recorded 1,826 arrests involving adult suspects being booked. In the second week of this two-week data collection period, the researchers randomly selected 20 out of 56 three-hour periods for conducting screening interviews with both officers and suspects. To understand the results, a statistical analysis using an ordinal regression model was conducted. Contrary to our hypothesis, this study found that race did not play a significant role in police victimization when accounting for other variables. What did play a significant role in understanding when an officer will use force is a suspect's sex, a suspect's age, officer's sex, the suspect's attitude during the encounter, and the suspect's resistance levels.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Mark A. Morgan

Primary Advisor's Department

Criminal Justice and Security Studies


Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Police Use of Force Towards Suspects