Evaluating Police Uses of Force: Table of Contents & Introduction

NYU Press (forthcoming May 2020)

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See all articles by Seth W. Stoughton

Seth W. Stoughton

University of South Carolina School of Law

Jeffrey J. Noble


Geoffrey Alpert

University of South Carolina

Date Written: April 9, 2020


Police violence has historically played an important role in shaping public attitudes toward the government. Community trust and confidence in policing have been undermined by the perception that officers are using force unnecessarily, too frequently, or in problematic ways. The use of force, or harm suffered by a community as a result of such force, can also serve as a flashpoint, a spark that ignites long-simmering community hostility.

In Evaluating Police Uses of Force, legal scholar Seth W. Stoughton, former deputy chief of police Jeffrey J. Noble, and distinguished criminologist Geoffrey P. Alpert explore a critical but largely overlooked facet of the difficult and controversial issues of police violence and accountability: how does society evaluate individual use-of-force incidents? By leading readers through four different answers to this question—constitutional law, state law, administrative regulation, and community expectations—and by providing critical information about police tactics and force options that are implicated within those frameworks, Evaluating Police Uses of Force helps situate readers within broader conversations about governmental accountability, the role that police play in modern society, and how officers should go about fulfilling their duties.

This book excerpt consists of the Table of Contents and the Introduction.

Keywords: police, use of force, police violence, police shooting, Fourth Amendment,

Suggested Citation

Stoughton, Seth W. and Noble, Jeffrey and Alpert, Geoffrey, Evaluating Police Uses of Force: Table of Contents & Introduction (April 9, 2020). NYU Press (forthcoming May 2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Seth W. Stoughton (Contact Author)

University of South Carolina School of Law ( email )

1525 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
United States
803-777-3055 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/law/faculty_and_staff/directory/stoughton_seth.php

Jeffrey Noble

Independent ( email )

Geoffrey Alpert

University of South Carolina ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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