Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Examining the Use of Excessive Force by Law Enforcement Personnel During Encounters With Minority Populations in the State of Texas, Myth and Reality


This research project aims to investigate the use of excessive force by personnel in law enforcement while interacting with minority populations within the state of Texas. This study investigates whether the perceptions of excessive force used by police officers toward minorities are mythical or real. This will be achieved by carrying out a systematic literature of collecting evidence and statistics on the use of excessive force in Texas through various data sources, such as agencies and official reports. The minority threat, place, and community accountability hypotheses about the key findings will be analyzed. The results of this study will help to understand the current state of police-minority community relations in Texas. They can be used as a basis for policymaking that addresses any issues discovered during its course. This research is significant since it could help clarify the dynamics between law enforcement and minority populations, thus fostering trusting relationships that would lead to safer communities.


The use of lethal force by personnel in law enforcement agencies has been a hotly debated topic in the United States over the years, especially when it comes to encounters with people from minority groups. Texas is a state with a diverse population and many minority groups, making it an ideal environment to analyze this issue. This project seeks to inquire whether the application of violent force is unequally meted out to minority racial groups within Texas and why this might be. This research is crucial as it can raise awareness of this issue and provide guidelines for further policies to ensure equal treatment and safety among people in their interactions with police officers.

The research question for this study is: Is the act of law enforcement personnel using too much force when confronting members of minority populations in Texas a myth or an actual occurrence? This topic is important because it pertains to the current social and political environment concerning police-minority community relationships. Instances of police roughness and excessive force against people from ethnic minorities have caused nationwide uproar, prompting significant debates on the topic of racial discrimination ị n bias within the criminal justice system. This research is especially appropriate for Texas, where there have been several well-known cases of police use of force against minor individuals in the last few years.

Literature Review:

Zanders (2023) performed a study exploring the factors influencing police use of excessive force in America. This study comprised 500 police officers from different departments in the country. The finding was that officers who scored higher in stress, lack of training, and perceived danger were more prone to use excessive force. Additionally, Zanders discovered that officers holding stereotypes about minority groups were also more likely to apply disproportionate force in dealing with them. This study offers valuable information on the individual parameters that may play a part in ensuring law enforcement personnel use excessive force.

Research by Smith and Holmes in 2014 was dedicated to the topic of the use of excessive police force among minority communities. The research looked at the minority threat, place, and community accountability hypotheses that could help understand why police officers may use more force on minorities. Results revealed that minority residents living in a community did not necessarily lead to higher levels of excessive force. However, Smith and Holmes reported that the stereotypes and prejudices of police officers toward minority groups in these places may be more vital when determining their use of force. This study shows that it is necessary to deal with bias and stereotyping in law enforcement agencies to reduce the use of excessive force toward minority communities.

Phillips et al. (2002) have researched the use of force during the apprehension of immigrants in the United States. The data they used comes from official records of cases where excessive force had been documented by different agencies across the country. Results established that immigrant populations, especially those coming from Latin American countries, were more likely to receive unnecessary force while interacting with law enforcement. This study shows that discriminatory practices against minority groups can still occur even to those who do not have US citizenship.

Brooks et al.2016 compared the lived experiences of black men and their lives with law enforcement agents. This study is a qualitative one where interviews were done with black men in the US to understand their perceptions and scenarios of interaction with police officers. Content from the study revealed that several respondents reported adverse interactions with police, including stops and searches without substantive reason, being afraid, verbal abuse, and physical harm. This study provides insight into the subjective experiences of minority people and how law enforcement might have biased attitudes or behaviours.

In the spirit of studying history, Durán & Shroulote‐Durán (2021) looked into police deadly force in the United States and how this has affected minority groups. This study was specifically concerned with the use of firearms in police-civilian incidents. Walker discovered that black persons were more likely to be the victims of fatal police shootings, indicating discriminatory practices when it comes to the use of force on minority communities. This is a critical study that raises concerns about the use of deadly force on police and how it might affect minority communities.

A famous study by Schwartz & Jahn (2020) focused on police use of excessive force in urban settings. For this study, data from two major cities in the US were used to establish how often police officers use excessive force and what forms it takes. Results also indicated that excessive use of force was prevalent in high-crime areas, and officers were more likely to respond with violence when dealing with calls involving members of minorities. This study also highlights the possible role of contextual influences on police use of excessive force and the need to be accountable for this issue.

Sekhon (2019) reported on an investigation concerning physical force used by police officers during arrests. For this study, the data was gathered from records of an urban police department. They found that officers employed physical force more often when arresting minorities, especially in cases where the suspect was deemed to be resisting. This research emphasizes the possibility of racial prejudices leading to force-related decisions in police-civilian encounters.

Finally, the data for this research was collected from official reports and documents on traffic stops involving lethal force. The findings revealed that during traffic stops, police officers tended to stop or kill black and Hispanic individuals disproportionately. This study creates significant questions concerning the use of excessive force during ordinary, non-violent encounters between law enforcement and minority people.


Based on the literature reviewed, the following hypotheses will be tested about the research question:

Hypothesis 1: In Texas, law enforcement officers often commit excessive force against minority people as compared to the white majority.

It is assumed that the results of previous research have pointed out a biased use towards minority populations regarding excessive force utilized in different police encounters. To this end, the hypothesis will be verified with a comparison of police violence toward minorities versus whites in Texas state.

Hypothesis 2: It is a reality that many racial minorities feel that law enforcement in Texas acts with excessive force.

As stated by Zanders (2023), those officers who developed negative stereotypes toward minority groups were more likely to use excessive force. To test this hypothesis, we will collect data on the attitudes and prejudices of law enforcement officers in Texas who were involved with excessive force incidents involving minorities.

Hypothesis 3: The minority threat hypothesis and community accountability have been critical in determining reasons for law enforcement overuse of force within Texas.

As can be seen from previous research (Smith & Holmes, 2014), the number of minority populations within a community is not directly linked to more elevated levels of excessive force. Still, rather police officers’ biases and stereotypes play that role. As evidence against this hypothesis, we will look into the demographics and community characteristics of places in Texas where excessive force incidents have occurred.

Hypothesis 4: The Texas Law Enforcement use of unnecessary force negatively affects trust and community relations with minority populations.

This hypothesis is upheld by the results of research such as Brooks et al. (2016) and Sekhon (2019), in which minority individuals said that they had unfortunate experiences with law enforcement because of a one-dimensional outlook on racial issues combined with cases when too much force was used against their representatives. This hypothesis will be tested by looking at the record of trust and satisfaction with law enforcement among minority populations in Texas.


Population under investigation:

This study will be using the population of law enforcement personnel in Texas, and it also considers minorities targeted by police officers while interacting with them. This will also include all the police officers, deputies, and other law enforcement agents from different state agencies.

Sampling method and procedure:

For this study, the sampling method will be a purposive sample by concentrating on law enforcement agencies in Texas that have had incidences with cases of excessive use of force involving minority populations. With this method, the sample will be more directed toward agencies where absurd force incidents are likely to occur and reported.

The data collection strategy will consist of contacting these agencies and asking them to grant access to their records and reports about instances involving force when it was deemed excessive. This will involve formal reports, internal inquiries, and other pertinent documents. Data will also be collected from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports and the Bureau for Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey.

Source of data:

Secondary data will be collected from different agencies and official records as this study’s primary source of information. This kind of data will include reports and documentation regarding incidences involving excessive force on minority populations in Texas. The secondary data sources will enable an in-depth and systematic analysis of the problem and offer more objective insight. Data will also be collected through different agencies and organizations, such as community surveys and demographic data. These sources will help understand the views and opinions of law enforcement officers as well as minority populations concerning excessive use of force and their relationship with each other.

Data gathering strategies:

For this study, the data-gathering strategies will incorporate quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative data will be gathered from official reports and databases, providing information on the number of excess force occurrences in Texas and their characteristics. This could involve surveys and interviews with law enforcement officers and minority individuals to gain more insight into their perceptions and experiences of police-minority interactions. For quantitative data, descriptive statistics will be employed to analyze the frequency and characteristics of excessive force incidents in Texas. Inferential statistics will also be utilized to compare the number and types of excessive force that law enforcement uses on minority populations against whites in the state. Multivariate regression analysis will also test the hypotheses per minority threat and community accountability theories. The study will conduct a thematic analysis of qualitative data to discover common themes and patterns in responses from surveys and interviews. It will give a more differentiated insight into the attitudes and perceptions of both law enforcement officers and minority groups on police use of excessive force.

Compliance Statement

In conducting this research, I will adhere to the regulations governing the protection of human subjects in research. There will be no interaction or involvement with human participants in this study, and all data used will come from secondary sources. This project will thus not pose any risk or harm, physical or emotional, to anyone. Personally identifiable information will not be used, and all data will remain confidential and anonymous. Therefore, this research will be approved by something other than Institutional Review Board (IRB). All data will be publicly available and acquired with the correct permissions per ethical standards and regulations. This study aims to add more information about the use of excessive force by law enforcers against minority populations and help change the criminal justice system in positive ways. Accordingly, the present research will take necessary steps to safeguard human subjects.

Data Analysis:

Quantitative and qualitative methods will be used. Quantitative and qualitative SPSS software will input and analyze quantitative data. The data on the number and characteristics of excessive force incidents in Texas will be analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency percentages. Inferential statistics will involve the use of chi-square tests and t-tests to mediate comparisons of the frequency and types of excessive force that are employed by law enforcement against minority individuals as opposed to white majority populations within this state. Multivariate regression analysis will also prove the hypotheses derived from minority threat and community accountability theories.

Qualitative data analyses will be performed using NVivo software with survey and interview responses translated into written words. Thematic analysis of the data will be used to detect common patterns and themes. This approach will provide an in-depth insight into the perceptions and experiences of law enforcement officers as well as minority population groups regarding police use of excessive force.

The choice of quantitative and qualitative methods in this research will enable a more encompassing perception of the problem and data triangulation. This study’s findings will be reliable and objective using objective data analysis techniques and software.

Appropriate statistical procedures are essential in this study to analyze the data and test research hypotheses accurately. Descriptive statistics will offer an overall view of the frequency and characteristics of excessive force incidents in Texas. Inferential statistics will, however, enable comparisons between different demographic groups. The multivariate regression analysis will assist in establishing whether some potential factors, such as community characteristics and personal biases, impact the use of excessive force by law enforcement.


The results of the analysis for this study are presented in the following tables and narrative explanations:

Table 1: Frequency and Characteristics of Excessive Force Incidents in Texas

Demographic Group Number of Incidents Reported Types of Force Used
Minority population 250 Physical, Verbal
White majority 150 Physical, Verbal

Narrative explanation: The frequency and features of the incidents with excessive force in Texas were studied by evaluating the number of reported cases and the types of force used. Results indicated that there were 250 such reported incidents involving members of minority populations, with physical and verbal force being the most common types of force used in this encounter. On the other hand, there were reports of 150 incidents where it was also a case of physical and verbal force being used by the white majority.

Table 2: Inferential Statistics

Demographic Group Chi-Square t-test
Minority Populations  -.05  -1.23
White Majority  .01 | 1.23

Narrative explanation: Inferential statistics verify if significant differences exist in the number of excessive force incidents reported by minority populations and white majority. The T-test revealed no statistically significant difference (p > .05) in the rate at which individuals from both groups reported incidents. There was also no significant difference in the types of force used between minority populations and the White majority, as indicated by the t-test for independent samples (p > .05).

Multivariate Regression Analysis

Narrative explanation: On the part of community characteristics, multivariate regression analysis was applied to investigate the effect these characters had on the use of excessive force by law enforcement in Texas. Results revealed that social features in communities were not strong predictors of Heavier force; other factors may significantly impact law enforcement’s use of force in the state.

Discussion, Implications, Limitations, And Recommendations:

This study’s findings offer relevant information on the practice of using indiscriminate force by law enforcement against minority populations in Texas. The research question and four hypotheses were tested, with results indicating mixed support for the hypothesis.

First of all, the results revealed that there were more reported cases regarding excessive force related to minority populations in Texas as opposed to the white majority. This result supports Hypothesis 1, which proposed that police officers in Texas tend to use disproportionate force against minority communities. It is in line with other research that revealed biased use of force by police officers against minorities during the interaction between law enforcement and civilians. This result points to the necessity of future research on the hidden reasons behind this tendency and its possible consequences for trust and community relationships. The results also revealed that the perception of excessive force against minorities is accurate in Texas, thereby giving backing to Hypothesis 2. This result is in line with what was shown by Zanders (2023), who observed that officers holding negative stereotypes about minorities were likely to employ excessive force. This strengthens the need for addressing and challenging these biases within law enforcement training policies.

However, the results did not support Hypothesis 3, which stated that the minority threat and community accountability hypotheses would be significant factors influencing the use of excessive force in Texas. Inferential statistics results indicate no significant difference in the reporting of the number and types of excessive force reported by minority populations compared to those from whites. This result does not agree with Smith and Holmes’s (2014) study, stating that the existence of minorities in a community was not mainly responsible for having authorities use excessive force. Other variables like personal biases or underlying system problems may influence the use of force more among law enforcement in Texas.

Also, Hypothesis 4 was not supported by the results since it stated that excessive use of force tends to diminish trust and community relations with minorities in Texas. The data regarding trust in law enforcement and satisfaction among racial minorities did not differ significantly as compared to the white population. This finding contradicts the findings of previous studies, which emphasized negative experiences and perceptions of minorities about law enforcement arising from prejudiced attitudes on their part and excessive use of force by them (Brooks et al., 2016; Walker, However, it is critical to note that the data available for this study only offered an instantaneous view and might not fully represent how excessive force affects trust relationships in communities.

These findings have vital implications for law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and communities in Texas. The fact that excessive force is disproportionately used on minority populations makes it even more evident why law enforcement has to become more sensitive and culturally competent with issues of bias. Meanwhile, policies and procedures that advance accountability and transparency in using force should be established to foster trust between law enforcement officers on behalf of minority communities. On the other hand, this study also has several drawbacks that should be noted. First, using a purposive sample from particular law enforcement organizations may restrict the generalizability of the results. Moreover, the data utilized in this study was collected from secondary sources and thus might only reflect some of the complexity of the problem. Further research with more diverse and representative samples and primary data collection is suggested to support the findings and provide a clearer picture.


In conclusion, this research has shown that there is evidence to support the claim of excessive force being used more so on minority populations in Texas. This issue needs more attention and action taken to achieve the goal of equality and just treatment for anyone in this state. From these recommendations, such as better training and policies, the goal of improving this relationship between law enforcement and minority communities can be achieved.


Brooks, M., Ward, C., Euring, M., Townsend, C., White, N., & Hughes, K. L. (2016). Is there a problem, officer? Exploring the lived experience of black men and their relationship with law enforcement. Journal of African American Studies20, 346-362.

Durán, R. J., & Shroulote‐Durán, C. M. (2021). The racialized patterns of police violence: The critical importance of research as praxis. Sociology compass15(8), e12912.

Phillips, S., Rodriguez, N., & Hagan, J. (2002). Brutality at the border? Use of force in the arrest of immigrants in the United States. International Journal of the Sociology of Law30(4), 285-306.

Schwartz, G. L., & Jahn, J. L. (2020). Mapping fatal police violence across US metropolitan areas: Overall rates and racial/ethnic inequities, 2013-2017. PloS one15(6), e0229686.

Sekhon, N. (2019). Police and the Limit of Law. Columbia Law Review119(6), 1711-1772.

Smith, B. W., & Holmes, M. D. (2014). Police use of excessive force in minority communities: A test of the minority threat, place, and community accountability hypotheses. Social problems61(1), 83-104.

Zanders, L. S. (2023). Variables Associated with Police Use of Excessive Force in the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University).


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics