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Investigation and Prevention of Officer-Involved Deaths

By Cyril H. Wecht, Henry C. Lee, D.P. van Blaricom, Mel Tucker

CRC Press – 2010 – 229 pages

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  • Add to CartHardback: $91.95
    978-1-42-006374-5
    December 8th 2010

Description

Each year, too many law enforcement officers die in the line of duty and too many people are killed by the police. Yet, can any of these deaths be avoided? To answer this we must investigate the nature and causes of these deaths in an unbiased and objective manner to highlight and expose weaknesses in policy that can be amended through more rigorous, enlightened, and culture-sensitive training.

Examining hypothetical cases drawn from the most prevalent and typical officer-involved deaths in recent years, Investigation and Prevention of Officer-Involved Deaths reviews the circumstances, relevant discussions, and critical issues for each case type wherein law enforcement officers have had to respond outside of their usual and trained experience and where the final outcome was the death of either the suspect, an innocent bystander, or the officer.

With a focus on crime scene investigation and the collection and preservation of the relevant forensic evidence, the book outlines appropriate crime scene procedures for each situation and lists potential categories of forensic evidence to be searched for, collected, and submitted to the forensic laboratory for analysis. The authors discuss postmortem protocols, including autopsy reports, toxicological analyses, and other appropriate investigative findings. They then examine policy and training protocols for each, look at the use and potential benefit of less-lethal weapons, and pose the critical question of "what would you do if you were the police officer."

Through the serious study of each of the categories presented in this book, police officers and other groups of law enforcement officials can more fully comprehend and appreciate the societal significance of such cases. The more aware, sensitive, and well-educated are officers of the law, the more dignified, humane, and safe are the communities they are sworn to serve.

Contents

Reducing and Preventing Deaths by Training and Policy Guidance

High-Risk Business

Civil Liability

Negligence

Civil Rights

Law Enforcement Training

Contemporary Law Enforcement Training

Basic Recruit and In-Service Training Programs

The Field Training Officer Program

Job Task Analysis and Training

The Need for Change and Leadership

Training to Prevent Mistakes and Liability

Focused Training on Authority to Use Force

Focused Training on Preemptive Action

Policies Can Reduce Deaths

Supreme Court Decisions on the Use of Force

Policy Guidance and Domestic Violence

The Exercise of Discretion

Prevention of Illegitimate Exercise of Discretion

National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice

Standards and Goals

Variables

Policies and Procedures

The National Law Enforcement Policy Center

Police Policies and Official Immunity

Identification of Areas in Which Policy and Procedure

Guidance Is Needed

Summary

Endnotes

Less-Lethal Weapons

Reducing Injury and Death

Types of Incidents

Less-Lethal Not Required by Law

The Ideal Less-Lethal Weapon

The National Law Enforcement Technology Center

Capture Devices

Impact Weapons (Beanbags)

Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs)

Operational Success of CEDs

Scenario

How Would You Have Handled the above Scenario?

Summary

Endnotes

Officer-Involved Shootings (OISs)

What Would You Have Done?

Best Practices

Crime Scene Investigation

Preliminary Reconstruction

Releasing the Scene

Laboratory Analysis and Reconstruction

Cartridge Cases / Shells

Weapon Examination

Gunshot Residues (GSR)

Examination of Ricochet Bullets

Bloodstain Pattern and Tissue Examination

Reconstruction

Pathology / Medical Examination

Endnotes

Appendix: IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center

Concepts and Issues Paper Titled "Investigation of

Officer-Involved Shootings" (August 1999)

Notes

Emergency Vehicle Operations

What Would You Have Done?

Investigation of Accidents

Crime Scene Investigation

Best Practices

Pathology

Autopsy Report of Police Shooting during Pursuit

Endnotes

Appendix: IACP Vehicular Pursuit Policy

Excited Delirium

What Would You Have Done?

Best Practices Based upon What We Know

Investigation of the Scene

General Crime Scene Procedure

Collection, Preservation, and Packaging of Physical Evidence

Preliminary Reconstruction

Releasing the Scene

TASER and Excited Delirium

Endnotes

Suicide-by-Cop (SbC) Incidents

Indicators of Suicide-by-Cop

A Typical SbC Scenario

What Would You Have Done?

SbC Resolution Tactics

Investigation at the SbC Scene

General SbC Scene Procedures

Crime Scene Search

Assignment of Responsibility

Preliminary Reconstruction

Releasing the Scene

Summary of Crime Scene Procedures

The Future

Endnotes

Positional Asphyxiation

What Would You Have Done?

Best Practices

Crime Scene and Forensic Evidence

General Procedures

Documentation of the Crime Scene

Preliminary Reconstruction

Autopsy Report —Positional Asphyxia Death

Sample Report of Opinions of a Coroner’s Office

Summary

Endnotes

In-Custody Deaths

What Would You Have Done?

Example—Pathological Examination

Gross Description

Medical Treatment of Prisoners

Best Practices

Endnotes

Emotionally Disturbed Persons

What Would You Have Done?

Best Practices

Crises Intervention Teams

Crime Scene and Forensic Evidence

General Scene Procedure

Crime Scene Investigation

Preliminary Reconstruction

Releasing the Scene

Laboratory Analysis

Cartridge Cases/Shells

Weapon Examination

Gunshot Residues

Examination of Ricochet Bullets

Bloodstain Pattern and Tissues Examination

Reconstruction

Endnotes

Index

Name: Investigation and Prevention of Officer-Involved Deaths (Hardback)CRC Press 
Description: By Cyril H. Wecht, Henry C. Lee, D.P. van Blaricom, Mel Tucker. Each year, too many law enforcement officers die in the line of duty and too many people are killed by the police. Yet, can any of these deaths be avoided? To answer this we must investigate the nature and causes of these deaths in an unbiased and...
Categories: Medical & Healthcare Law, Forensic Science