BJS Special Report – Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2005

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 29, 2007

Press release: “An estimated 19 percent (43.5 million) of U.S. residents age 16 or older had a face-to-face contact with a police officer in 2005, according to a new report by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). This was a decrease from the 21 percent who had contact with police in 2002. Contact between police and the public was more common among males, whites, and younger residents. Overall, about 9 out of 10 persons who had contact with police officers in 2005 said the police acted properly. An estimated 1.6 percent of those who had contact with law enforcement officers during 2005 said the police used force against them or threatened them during their most recent contact –– 4.4 percent of blacks and 2.3 percent of Hispanics said the police used force, compared to 1.2 percent of whites. Four out of five persons who experienced force felt it was excessive.”

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