Police Responses in Officer-Involved Violent Deaths: Comparison of Suicide by Cop and Non-Suicide by Cop Incidents



Vivian B. Lord

doi: 10.1177/1098611114522040

Police Quarterly March 2014 vol. 17 no. 1 79-100







Officers’ responses in suicide by cop (SbC) situations often include use of deadly force. Given their training and experience, officers’ use of deadly force should mean that they reasonably believe that they or other people are in immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm. Using National Violent Death Reporting System data, the current study compares police responses in SbC and non-SbC cases and the possible influences of the characteristics of the situations and of the subjects on officers’ use-of-force decisions. Multivariate analysis reveals different significant predictors impacting different levels of police actions between and with SbC and non-SbC cases.