Detecting the Network Spread of Police Shooting in the Chicago Police Department

14 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2024 Last revised: 20 Mar 2024

See all articles by Thibaut Horel

Thibaut Horel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Lorenzo Masoero

Amazon

Raj Agrawal

Independent

Trevor Campbell

Independent

Daria Roithmayr

University of Colorado at Boulder Law School

Date Written: February 1, 2024

Abstract

Explanations for police violence focus on “bad-apple” officers or problematic department culture. Recent research suggests that violence may also spread via peer influence, transmitting influence through the connections between officers on their professional network. Using data from the Chicago Police Department, we investigate whether police shootings spread via peer influence. We assess whether officer exposure to earlier shootings by officers’ network neighbors affects the relative risk of later officer-involved shootings. We find statistical evidence consistent with the spread of shooting behavior via peer influence, even after controlling for potential observed confounding and accounting for unobserved confounding. Our findings suggest that preventing the spread of shooting behavior on police networks could be essential to reducing police violence.

Keywords: Networks, Criminology, Human Behavior

Suggested Citation

Horel, Thibaut and Masoero, Lorenzo and Agrawal, Raj and Campbell, Trevor and Roithmayr, Daria, Detecting the Network Spread of Police Shooting in the Chicago Police Department (February 1, 2024). U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 24-12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4714130 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4714130

Thibaut Horel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science ( email )

Raj Agrawal

Independent

Trevor Campbell

Independent ( email )

Daria Roithmayr (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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