The New York Times is well know for its bias, but here is yet another example of the Times making a claim that is clearly false. In an article titled “Rarity of Tulsa Shooting: Female Officers Are Almost Never Involved,” they claim:
Research on the subject has ranged from being inconclusive to showing that the opposite is true — that women are less likely to use force, even controlling for their relatively low representation among police forces.
Dear Letters Editor:
The Times mistakenly claims that there is no research showing female police officers are more likely to shoot suspects than male officers are (Timothy Williams and Caitlin Dickerson, “Rarity of Tulsa Shooting: Female Officers Are Almost Never Involved,” 9/24). For example, when police departments adopt different physical strength standards for women, my own peer-reviewed research shows an association between more female officers and increased rates of police shootings (Economic Inquiry, April 2000, see especially pp. 258-260).
Because female officers are less physically strong, getting into a hand-to-hand altercation with a criminal is riskier. Male officers may be able to take more time before deciding whether it is absolutely necessary to shoot.
Lowering strength standards for female officers also changes departments in other important ways. Namely, it ends single-officer patrol units and makes foot and bicycle patrols significantly less common.Sincerely,John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D.President
Crime Prevention Research Center