Police Misconduct in Brooklyn, New York

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


Despite the recent rash of social media videos of seemingly outrageous police misconduct, as mentioned earlier, police misconduct is difficult to document. One source of data is the individual police officer or police official. However, not only is it difficult to get information from individual officers or police officials (Collins, 1998) but because of the homogenous nature of police culture, findings from research at the individual level may be mixed, ambiguous and lack variability (Grant & Grant, 1996; McManus, 1969). Though somewhat more reliable than research at the individual level (Kane & White, 2009) research at the organizational level may nonetheless reflect an organizational subculture of policies formed by administrators but executed by individual police officers. For example, some police organizations may have a “siege mentality” of “them versus us” that permits and even encourages violent misconduct by individual police officers to maintain order on the streets (Fyfe & Skolnick, 1993). In such cases research at the organizational level may also be limited by its lack of variability but more importantly may suffer from external validity, in that administrative officials and supervisors in different police organizations may differ in determining what constitutes police misconduct in their particular organization.


  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. Barrineau, H. E. (1987). Civil liability in criminal justice. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Chiabi, D. K. (1996). Police civil liability: An analysis of section 1983 actions in the Eastern District and Southern District of New York. Journal of Criminal Justice, 21(1), 83–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins, A. (1998). Shielded from justice: Police brutality and accountability in the United States. New York City, NY: Human Rights Watch. Available at Scholar
  5. Collins, M. G. (1997). Section 1983 litigation in a Nutshell. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Fyfe, J. J., & Skolnick, J. H. (1993). Response to Mastrofski and Uchida. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30(3), 359–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grant, J. D., & Grant, J. (1996). Officer selection and the prevention of abuse of force. In W. Geller & H. Toch (Eds.), Police violence: Understanding and controlling police abuse of force. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hayden, G. A. (1981). Police discretion in the use of deadly force: An empirical study of information usage in deadly force decision making. Journal of Police Science and Administration, 9(1), 102–107.Google Scholar
  9. Henggeler, S. W., Cunningham, P. B., Pickrel, S. G., Shoenwald, S. K., & Brondino, M. J. (1996). Multisystemic therapy: An effective violence prevention approach for serious juvenile. Journal of Adolescence, 19(1), 47–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kane, R. J., & White, M. D. (2009). Bad cops: A study of career-ending misconduct among new York City police officers. Criminology and Public Policy, 8(4), 737–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kappeler, S. F., & Kappeler, V. E. (1992). Research note on section 1983 claims against the police: Cases before the federal district courts in 1990. American Journal of Police, 11, 65.Google Scholar
  12. Kappeler, V. E., Kappeler, S. F., & del Carmen, R. V. (1993). A content analysis of police civil liability cases: Decisions of the federal district courts, 1978–1990. Journal of Criminal Justice, 21(4), 325–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kappeler, V. E., & Vaughn, M. S. (1997). Law enforcement: When the pursuit becomes criminal-municipal liability for police sexual violence. Criminal Law Bulletin-Boston, 33, 352–376.Google Scholar
  14. Kinnaird, B. A. (2007). Exploring liability profiles: A proximate cause analysis of police misconduct: Part I. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 9(2), 135–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lersch, K. M. (1998). Police misconduct and malpractice: A critical analysis of citizens’ complaints. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 21(1), 80–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 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
  17. McManus, G. E. (1969). Police training and performance study. Washington, DC: National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.Google Scholar
  18. McCoy, C. (1986). Lawsuits against police-What impact do they really have. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 2(1), 30–34Google Scholar
  19. McCoy, C. (1987). Police legal civil liability is “not a crisis” 99 chiefs say. Crime Control Digest, 21, 1.Google Scholar
  20. Schafer, J. A., Martinelli, T. J., & Loper, D. K. (2001). Decision-making patterns in police use-of-force cases before the federal courts of appeal: 1991–1996. The Justice System Journal, 22, 47–60.Google Scholar
  21. Terrill, W., & McCluskey, J. (2002). Citizen complaints and problem officers: Examining officer behavior. Journal of Criminal Justice, 30(2), 143–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois. (2017, January 13). Investigation of the Chicago Police Department. Retrieved June 2, 2017, from
  23. Walker, S., & Bumphus, V. W. (1992). Effectiveness of civilian review: Observations on recent trends and new issues regarding the civilian review of the police. American. Journal of Police, 11, 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations