Suicide by Cop: Committing Suicide by Provoking Police to Shoot You

Suicide by Cop: Committing Suicide by Provoking Police to Shoot You

by Mark Lindsay, David Lester
     
 

The phenomenon of suicide by cop has increased in frequency in recent years, creating great concern in the law enforcement community. In suicide by cop, an individual behaves so as to provoke police officers into attempting to disarm him, sometimes killing him in the process. For example, an individual may hold a gun and advance toward police officers, refusing to

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Overview

The phenomenon of suicide by cop has increased in frequency in recent years, creating great concern in the law enforcement community. In suicide by cop, an individual behaves so as to provoke police officers into attempting to disarm him, sometimes killing him in the process. For example, an individual may hold a gun and advance toward police officers, refusing to stop or drop the weapon. It has proven difficult but important to distinguish these acts from those in which there is no justification for police officers' killing an individual, and from those in which a person is killed during a confrontation with police, but had no suicidal motivation. Criminal penalties for the police officers involved and civil lawsuits by the relatives of the deceased person depend critically on these distinctions. This book examines what we know about the phenomenon of suicide by cop and places this behavior in a broader context. For example, some murder victims (perhaps as many as a quarter) provoke the murderer, to some extent, into killing them-so-called victim-precipitated homicide. In some cases, it has been suspected that murderers kill and act thereafter in such a way as to provoke the state into executing them. The authors then examine some of the issues specific to suicide by cop, such as whether there is a racial bias in these acts and what the legal implications are. Finally, they discuss the process of hostage negotiation (since those involved in suicide by cop often take hostages during the confrontation with police), the need to provide counseling for police officers involved in suicide-by-cop incidents, and how we might reduce the incidence of this behavior.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: To examine the phenomenon of "suicide by cop," the authors present clinical evidence by means of literature review on this and related topics, in an effort to more fully understand this devastating event.
Purpose: The authors suggest this book, "examines what we know about the phenomenon of suicide by cop and places this behavior in a broader context." However, it is likely meant as a precursor to stimulate further research about this method of suicide.
Audience: Primarily focused at those interested in this relatively uncommon (but not universally unknown) phenomenon, those in police organizations (those investigating such incidents or after direct involvement with them), and those in the mental health arena are reasonable audiences for this book.
Features: Separated into four slightly arbitrary sections, each one addresses a different aspect of these events to identify what is known, and what remains to be investigated, about these incidents. Each chapter contains factual information about specific cases and attempts to explain its relation to the global phenomenon. Particularly interesting are the chapters discussing hostage negotiation and assisting police officers after these tragic events.
Assessment: This book looks at a particularly disturbing phenomenon and offers the first compilation of data from those who have studied it. Due to the complex nature of this event, information such as this may provide others with unproved methods to gain further useful data in the hopes of preventing or decreasing the frequency of these incidents. While a reasonable effort, many of the questions for which readers want answers remain open, resulting in an unfinished air to the book. In addition, frequent misspellings (including one on the back cover) and other grammatical errors distract from the overall message. Future editions will prove more valuable as this behavior is studied more vigorously and thoroughly.
3 Stars from Doody

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780895032904
Publisher:
Baywood Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/2004
Series:
Death, Value, and Meaning Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.50(d)

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