When Police Sabotage Reform by Switching Tactics
17 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2018 Last revised: 16 Oct 2021
Date Written: February 16, 2021
Reforms often restrict the use of specific police tactics. We identify a possible unintended consequence of such reforms: that police will sabotage the new rules by substituting one tactic for another. We show that police in Chicago responded to new restrictions on pedestrian stops by making traffic stops instead, and that police in Venezuela responded to new restrictions on arrests by killing suspects. This evidence of substitution, in two very different contexts, can inform policy as well as longstanding debates about the origins of and remedies for police abuse of power.
Keywords: Police, Delegation, Criminal Justice, Reform, Violence, Conflict, Venezuela, Chicago
JEL Classification: D02, D82, D73, D74, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation