Police Use of Force and the Racial Disparities in Policing


  • Gisselle Marroquin San Francisco State


Excessive use of police force is a serious issue that has captured the headlines of the news and media we consume. However, in policing racial disparities and the use of force police use on specific minority racial groups can create an elevated lifetime risk for these individuals. Thus, the explored question: How does police use of force connect to racial disparities in policing in police stops of individuals, lethal and less-lethal police tactics, and the racial differential treatment of African Americans and Latinos? The history of policing, police misconduct behavior through racial bias stops, the impact of police force tactics (CEDs, Batons, Sprays), and the police and public perception of racial discriminatory treatment is reviewed to gain clarity. An analysis of intervention strategies through implicit bias training for officers, de-escalation training, procedural justice training to build police-civilian transparency, and a change from policing’s command and control model to community policing are assessed. Altogether, this paper aims to discuss the connection of police use of force and racial disparities in policing to recognize problems and provide possible solutions to reform the system to eliminate racial injustice and foster the maintenance of police duty in equitable protection and safety for all communities.