CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Zimring on Race and the Vulnerability of Armed Police

Zimring franklinFranklin E. Zimring (University of California, Berkeley) has posted The Death of the Unarmed Assailant on Racial Fears, Ambiguous Movement, and the Vulnerability of Armed Police (in The Symbolic and Material Construction of Guns, Austin Sarat and Jonathan Obert, eds. (Oxford University Press), Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The firearms that 600,000 police officers carry in the United States are a double-edged sword. They kill about 1,000 citizens each year but also can be used to attack the police officer. Often, the reason police kill unarmed citizens is they fear their guns will be turned against them. Statistics suggest that African American men are 40% of the 94 unarmed victims who were shot and killed by police in 2015, a much larger share of unarmed deaths than of other killings by police. Clear rules from police administrators are a much more promising method of reducing this death toll than the criminal law.

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