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Police Misconduct

A Guide to Finding Government and Legal Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • police misconduct
  • job stress
  • discrimination
  • police corruption
  • complaints
  • police brutality
  • law enforcement
  • minorities
  • racial profiling
  • tort liability

Related Topics:
  • militarization of police
  • domestic violence by police

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "police misconduct"
  • site:mil police brutality
Law Review Articles and Annotations

Law reviews are an important resource for legal topics like this one. They can lead you to laws and cases as well as discuss legal theory. A few law journals are indexed in multidisciplinary databases, but the best bang for your buck will be to search Nexis Uni for full-text access to many hundreds of law reviews.

Federal Government Information
Coping with Police Misconduct in West Virginia: Citizen Involvement in Officer Disciplinary Procedures: A Review of Existing Law, Legislative Initiatives, and Disciplinary Models

This report to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights looks at attempts to redress and prevent police misconduct in the state of West Virginia, including minority recruitment, use of force training, and civilian review boards. 2004

Early Intervention Systems for Law Enforcement Agencies: A Planning and Management Guide

This report focuses on identifying and improving the performance of violence-prone police officers. 2003
J 36.8:IN 8

Police Corruption: What Past Scandals Teach About Current Challenges

This report focuses on reducing police corruption in countries in crisis or emerging from conflict. 2011
Y 3.P 31:20/294

Police Discipline: A Case for Change

Likening current police disciplinary procedures to military courts-martial, this report advocates a less prosecutorial response in the disciplinary process. 2011
J 28.27/2:P 75/4

Police Corruption: An Analytical Look into Police Ethics

This article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin discusses corruption in terms of integrity, or lack thereof, within individual officers and departments.

Revisiting Who Is Guarding the Guardians?

Looking back two decades since the publication of the of the original report, this follow-up explores how police departments have evolved since implementing the Civil Rights Commission's recommendations and seeks to further improve police practices. 2000

The Measurement of Police Integrity

This brief research report surveys police officers in 30 agencies to determine their views on eleven hypothetical cases of misconduct: the perceived seriousness of each, the willingness of officers to report each, and their recommendations on discipline in each case. 2000

Investigation of the New Orleans Police Department

This report looks at the numerous problems plaguing the New Orleans Police Department, including the department turning a blind eye to the rule of law and basic civil rights, and offers recommendations to get it back on track. 2011

Illinois Government Information
Citizen Complaint Procedures

This publication tells how a citizen can file a complaint against a police officer. It also explains what happens after the complaint is received. 1999
ILLINOIS 347.05 ILLI 2006

Legal Information
Police Misconduct: Laws and Litigation

This book focuses on current law and legal cases concerning the types of misconduct for which police officers are liable under the Bill of Rights and federal and state civil rights acts: violations of due process, negligence, racial profiling, violations of search and seizure, malicious prosecution, etc. It also describes the circumstances in which government agents are immune to prosecution.
LEGL REF KF 1307.P644 2012-2013

Police Civil Liability

This two-volume set covers tort liability for actions under the color of law (e.g.: misuse of weapons, false arrest, negligence, assault and battery, etc).
LEGL REF KF 1307 .S55 1987 (updated until 2013)

Subject Guides