What motivates men who kill police?

Who intentionally seeks to kill a policeman and why? In 2014 the rate of policemen purposely killed in the line of duty in the U.S. was nearly 1.5 times greater than in 2013. These incidents and what may have motivated the killers is the focus of an in-depth article in the peer-reviewed journal Violence and Gender.

In the article "Men Who Kill Policemen," Michael Stone, MD, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (New York, NY) and Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (Goshen, NY), reviews details of the intentional killings of police in the line of duty in 2013-2014. All the killers were male, and most used a gun. Dr. Stone describes whether the perpetrators were killed or committed suicide during the incidents, or were actively involved in a crime at the time of the killing. He examines a variety of possible motivations for intentional killing of a policeman, including belonging to a "cop-hating" group, mental illness, or intoxication. He also discusses societal factors that may lead to higher or lower rates of killing in different social or minority groups.

"This unique study by Dr. Michael Stone, an Associate Editor of Violence and Gender, could not be more timely and relevant," says Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Director, Forensic Science Program, George Mason University; Forensic Behavioral Consultant; and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.).

"Dr. Stone looked at all the police officers intentionally killed in the line of duty in the United States between 2013 and 2014," Dr. O'Toole continues. "He found that all of the 66 cop-killers were males, and their choice of weapon was a firearm. Dr. Stone identifies factors that led up to and contributed to these murders, and based on his experience and expertise as a world-renowned psychiatrist he offers the opinion that only a minority of these men likely suffered from a at the time of these murders. In the study of violence it is quite rare that research is so quickly available on contemporary issues, and this study exemplifies Dr. Stone's and the Journal's commitment to bring headline topics to our readers in scholarly and insightful ways."

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Journal information: Violence and Gender

Citation: What motivates men who kill police? (2015, March 18) retrieved 22 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-men-police.html
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