Cover: When Police Kill, from Harvard University PressCover: When Police Kill in HARDCOVER

When Police Kill

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Product Details


$35.00 • £25.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674972186

Publication: February 2017

Academic Trade

320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

37 graphs, 1 line illustration, 28 tables


Timely…Zimring’s book, When Police Kill, is essentially a 300-page riff on a single statistic: Roughly 1,000 Americans die each year at the hands of the police… The civilian body count does not seem to be declining, even though violent crime generally and the on-duty deaths of police officers are down sharply… Police kill African-Americans at more than double their share of the population, a phenomenon Zimring painstakingly demonstrates is not explained by higher crime rates in black neighborhoods… The average number of those 1,000 deaths per year that result in felony convictions of a police officer: one. Zimring’s most explosive assertion—which leaps out of a work that is mostly policy-wonk nuance—is that police leaders don’t care… To paraphrase the French philosopher Joseph de Maistre, every country gets the police it deserves.—Bill Keller, The New York Times

A remarkable piece of research… Zimring is no stranger to the field of gun violence research, having produced formative efforts in this field for more than forty years. And if you think for one second that the issue of cop killings doesn’t go to the heart of the debate about gun violence, think again. Because what Zimring shows is that not only are most fatalities which occur at the hands of police the result of cops using guns, but the number of such deaths each year is undercounted by more than half!…[A]valuable and important book… It needs to be read.—Mike Weisser, The Huffington Post

Meticulously researched.—Richard Thompson Ford, San Francisco Chronicle

When Police Kill is the most comprehensive, data-driven study of the use of lethal force by police I have read. Professor Zimring’s objective examination provides valuable guideposts for a way forward for both police and communities.—Ray Kelly, former NYC Police Commissioner, and Vice Chairman of K2 Intelligence

This is a superb book, and an urgently needed one. Frank Zimring carefully demonstrates what is known and inexcusably unknown about fatal shooting by American police officers. Even better, he tells us how to fix the problem. This is a book full of sharp insight and wise counsel. It should be read by anyone concerned about the problem of police violence.—David Alan Sklansky, Stanford Law School

Rarely has a public policy book been as necessary as When Police Kill. There is virtually no current literature on the public policy issues of police shootings and this book will fill that void.—Philip Matthew Stinson, Bowling Green State University