Publication Date

Spring 2021

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Nicole Warmington-Granston

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Gaffney

Third Advisor

Dr. Janet K. Brewer


This research aimed to conduct a historical analysis of police use of force in the United States. As numerous high-profile incidents regarding excessive force used by police officers against African Americans have occurred in the last several years, the research sought to highlight the connection of past and present police policies, practices, and behaviors. Qualitative research was used in the form of document analysis. Police use of force policies were analyzed in twenty of the largest city departments in America. Six themes were pre-selected by the researcher to compare the requirements of police officers when involved in use of force incidents. The findings revealed inconsistencies in policies that brought forth the argument of implementing national standards in-force policies.