Date of Submission


Document Type



Giovanni Circo


De-Policing, Police Use of Force, Crime Rates, Ferguson Effect


Police brutality, Crime analysis


This research study examined the relationship between high-profile police use of force incidents and local violent crime rates. It is important to analyze the impact that police use of force has on the respective community in regard to crime rates. This study analyzed three incidents of police use of force that have received extensive coverage in the media in order to determine if there was a change in the rates of violent crime in that city. The theory of de-policing suggests that in the aftermath of a high-profile incident of police brutality, police departments in the area change their behaviors in response to the incident. The theory explains that police officers will retreat from their work in an attempt to avoid being a part of a controversial situation regarding police misconduct. Part of this theory includes that this behavior by police officers is in part due to the high levels of scrutiny that the media puts onto police officers following controversial incidents. Based on this theory, this research study looked to examine whether or not the change in policing behaviors following high profile incidents impacts the rates of violent crime in the specific area where the incident occurred. The results of this study indicate that there was no statistically significant change in the violent crime rates for the cities during the three-year span.