Good Cop, Bad Cop: An Analysis of Chicago Civilian Allegations of Police Misconduct

Citation data:

SSRN Electronic Journal

Publication Year:
2016
Usage 1876
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SSRN
SSRN Id:
2866696
DOI:
10.2139/ssrn.2866696
Author(s):
Rozema, Kyle ; Schanzenbach, Max M.
Publisher(s):
Elsevier BV
Tags:
Policing; Personnel Economics; Police Misconduct; Civil Rights; Civil Rights Litigation; Public Finance
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article description
In response to high-profile cases of police misconduct, reformers are calling for greater use of civilian allegations in identifying potential problem officers. This paper applies an Empirical Bayes framework to data on civilian allegations and civil rights litigation in Chicago to assess the predictive value of civilian allegations for serious future misconduct. We find a strong relationship between allegations and future civil rights litigation, especially for the very worst officers. The worst one percent of officers, as measured by civilian allegations, generate almost five times the number of payouts and over four times the total damage payouts in civil rights litigation. These findings suggest that intervention efforts could be fruitfully concentrated among a relatively small group.