Context of Police Use of Deadly Force: Statistical Case Study on Officer and Civilian Demographics in Texas


  • DeJante EATON University of the Incarnate Word, United States
  • Hieu PHAN Ed.D., University of the Incarnate Word, United States


The Fourth Amendment authorizes the police to use force or deadly force. This statistical case study examined police officers' demographics and their use of deadly force in Texas. This case study aimed to investigate the number of incidents in Texas between 2020-2023 and compile police-civilian deadly force encounters. The data was collected from the Texas Attorney General's Office. The researchers provided data on the demographics of the deceased and the officers' demographics, including age, race, sex, and years of service in the department. The purpose of the study is two-fold: (1) to determine if there is a link between officers' demographic factors and their use of deadly force and (2) to ascertain the statistical odds of civilians' demographics killed by police during a consensual, investigatory, or arrest encounter. The officer and civilian statistics were compiled in four tables utilizing the odds ratio statistics and the confidence interval percentage. The sampling method employed for this study was convenience sampling. The sample size of the officers' statistics was 1,129 data points, and 727 data points for the civilians involved. The researchers are 95% confident that using deadly force encounters in Texas supports the Odds Ratio between peace officers and civilian demographics as presented in this study. The study's summation recommends that, if needed, police departments in Texas review and objectively evaluate their practices, policies, and procedures regarding police-civilian shooting incidents and their use of deadly force. KEYWORDS: deadly force, officer shooting demographics, excessive force, violence, police use of force, order maintenance policing, police violence, police killings, use of force policy, police shooting, police-civilian shooting