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date: 20 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines police use of force across a variety of contexts, including the numerous ways coercion has been conceptualized and defined, how often the police resort to coercive means, and the impact of such tactics on society. The primary focus of the essay centers on assessing the varying reasons police officers use coercion, but in a manner that neither adheres to traditional theoretical rubrics nor one that pretends there are neatly packaged theories within which to place such behavior. Along the way, the goal is to illuminate the complexity of force decision making and come out the other side with a greater appreciation for why adequate theories of police behavior in general, and coercion in particular, are so elusive.

Keywords: police coercion, use of force, theory, decision making, behavior

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