The Temporal Relationship Between Police Killings of Civilians and Criminal Homicide: A Refined Version of the Danger-Perception Theory
Crime & Delinquency Vol.47 NO.2, p.155-172
John M. MacDonald, Robert J. Kaminski, Geoffrey P. Alpert, Abraham N. Tennenbaum

The connection between police use of deadly force and the criminiבl homicide rate has long been recognized in the literature. Their temporal re'la.tionship, however, has seldom been examined. The present study suggests that earlier research has underestimated the importance ofthe temporal relationship betweeit the homicides thiגt present the greatest level of public danger and police use of deadly force. This research suggests that police use of deadly force can best be understood through a "ratio-threat" version of the dan­ger-perception theory. Through a time-series analysis of datafrom the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation 's Supplementary Homicide Reports over a 21-year period, the ratio-threat hypoJhesis is confirmed. Tlu! results suggest that, on a national level, there exists a tem­poral connection between predatory crime and police use of deadly force. lmplications for theory and future research are discussed.