"Law enforcement officers are authorized to use force in specified circumstances, are trained in the use of force, and typically face numerous circumstances during their careers when use of force is appropriate--for example, in making some arrests, restraining unruly combatants, or controlling a disruptive demonstration. When the level of force exceeds the level considered justifiable under the circumstances, however, the activities of the police come under public scrutiny. [...] This report is one in a series of publications by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) that seek to inform public discussion by examining police use of force from many perspectives. The report provides an overview of the state of research knowledge about police use of force, updates progress on the national BJS Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) and the database project of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, provides the latest findings from NIJ-supported use-of-force research projects in several local jurisdictions, and offers a researcher's suggestions for a future research agenda on police use of force, with special attention given to issues of excessive force."
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: http://www.ncjrs.gov/