With police abuse cases grabbing headlines nationwide, a new study released by the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Center for Women & Policing documents huge gender differences in the cost of police brutality and misconduct as a result of civil liability lawsuits. The study shows male officers in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) are involved in excessive force and misconduct lawsuits at rates substantially higher than their female counterparts. These lawsuits resulted in the City of Los Angeles paying out $63.4 million in lawsuits involving male officers for use of excessive force, compared to $2.8 million paid out for suits involving females officers and excessive force.
The new study confirms earlier research both in the United States and internationally that shows women police officers rely less on physical force and more on verbal skills in handling altercations than male police officers. As a result, women police officers are less likely to become involved in problems with excessive force and are better at defusing potentially violent confrontations with citizens.
Read the Feminist Majority Foundation’s September 18, 2000 press release.