• Brian A. Maule
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)


The legitimate use of force distinguishes law enforcement from other branches of government (Kobler, 1975). Police officers are granted qualified immunity for using reasonable force regardless of the injury that results as long as they were acting in good faith (Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 1987). Recently however, questions regarding “good faith” abound as the names Ferguson, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Walter Scott and Freddie Gray were added to a cohort that includes Rodney King, Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo. While the cohort is populated by names that many Americans have never heard, what determines inclusion is an allegation of police misconduct and the civil liability that results from such misconduct.


  1. Adams, K. (1996). Measuring the prevalence of police abuse of force. In W. A. Geller & H. Toch (Eds.), Police violence: Understanding and controlling police abuse of force (pp. 52–93). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project. (2011). Retrieved June 9, 2017, from
  3. Chiabi, D. K. (1996). Reactions to section 1983/Bivens actions: Policy implications. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 10(3), 20–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Elinson, Z., & Frosch, D. (2015). Cost of police-misconduct cases soars in big U.S. cities. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 9, 2017, from
  5. Holtzman, E. (1993). City of N.Y. OFfice of the Comptroller, Claims Report: Fiscal Years 1992–1993. Available at
  6. International Association of Chiefs of Police. (2001). Professional assistance: Management study. Available at
  7. Kobler, A. L. (1975). Police homicide in a democracy. Journal of Social Issues, 31(1), 163–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lersch, K. M., & Mieczkowski, T. (2000). An examination of the convergence and divergence of internal and external allegations of misconduct filed against police officers. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 23(1), 54–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Liu, J. C. (2011). City of N.Y. office of the comptroller, claims report: Fiscal years 2009–2010, 2011. Available at
  10. Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. (2017). Annual statistical bulletin of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, 2016/17.Google Scholar
  11. Ross, D. L. (2000). Emerging trends in police failure to train civil liability. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 23(2), 169–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Thompson, W. C. Jr. (2007). City of N.Y. office of the comptroller, claims report: Fiscal Years 2005–2006, at 2–3 2007. Available at
  13. U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Retrieved January 12, 2015, from
  14. U.S. Department of Justice. (1996). Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved February 9, 2015, from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian A. Maule
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations