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Emerg Med J. 2009 Jan;26(1):20-2. doi: 10.1136/emj.2007.053348.

Excessive use of force by police: a survey of academic emergency physicians.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the clinical experience, management and training of emergency physicians in the suspected use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.

METHODS:

Surveys were mailed to a random sample of academic emergency physicians in the USA.

RESULTS:

Of 393 emergency physicians surveyed, 315 (80.2%) responded. Of the respondents, 99.8% (95% CI 98.2% to 100.0%) believed excessive use of force actually occurs and 97.8% (95% CI 95.5% to 99.1%) replied that they had managed patients with suspected excessive use of force. These incidents were not reported by 71.2% (95% CI 65.6% to 76.4%) of respondents, 96.5% (95% CI 93.8% to 98.2%) had no departmental policies and 93.7% (95% CI 90.4% to 96.1%) had not received training in the management of these cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

Suspected excessive use of force is encountered by academic emergency physicians in the USA. There is only limited training or policies for the management of these cases.

Comment in

PMID:
19104090
DOI:
10.1136/emj.2007.053348
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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