Recent Studies


Police Use of Force and Community Policing During a Pandemic

“This entry focuses on the issue of police use of force and community policing during a pandemic by highlighting the following in subsequent sections: varying perspectives; public fear of the police; broken windows theory; community policing challenges; use of force; standpoint theory; solutions; and a conclusion. Law enforcement practitioners, elected officials, police officers, nongovernmental organizational leaders, clergy leaders, and other community stakeholders continue to call for unity in communities – especially after community/police violence erupts. When community/police violence results in the death of a police officer, very often, the police union representative holds a press conference, talks about the heinous nature of the crime against a public servant, and demands justice. Elected officials and other community stakeholders take similar positions. When the community/police violence results in the death of a Black person, the police practitioner has a preprogrammed response based on the evidence of similar community/police encounters in the past.”

Davis, De Lacy D., “Police Use of Force and Community Policing During a Pandemic” (2020). 


Police Use of Force: Examining the Factors Relating to Police Officers Shooting Unarmed Black Males

The purpose of this study was to examine the factors relating to police officers shooting unarmed Black males and to seek to understand what impact, if any, a police officer’s race, age, years of service, or place of residence has on the decision to shoot an armed or unarmed suspect. The study examined whether or not these factors impacted the decision-making process in shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. Thirty sworn police officers participated in the quantitative study that was conducted using a Ti Lab firearms high-fidelity video simulator and a laser-modified Sig Sauer P380 handgun to engage in four shoot/don’t shoot video scenarios. The findings suggest that the police officers displayed implicit bias, but there was no activation of the bias against the Black male suspects. The participants were able to override their implicit bias. The participants shot armed White males more quickly than armed Black males, and the participants took significantly longer to shoot an armed White female than an armed Black or White male. It is recommended that future studies use a mixed-methods design to understand the pre- and post-decision points of the participants when engaging in different scenarios. Further, consideration should be given to comparing officer behavior in a simulator to an officer’s in-the-field behavior while wearing a body camera.

Davis, De Lacy D., “Police Use of Force: Examining the Factors Relating to Police Officers Shooting Unarmed Black Males” (2019). Education Doctoral. Paper 412.


Examining Traffic Stop Disparities by the Highland Park Borough Police Department

In an effort to examine the relationship between the HPPD and the Highland Park Borough community relative to traffic stops, the Highland Park Borough  provided DeLacy Davis Consultants (DDC) with 5 years of traffic stop data.

In consultation with the Highland Park Mayor and the Public Safety Committee, DDC made several data collection recommendations so that traffic stops could be examined. The investigation was funded solely by DDC as a public service initiative with intentions of contributing to the body of work in this area. The Highland Park Borough provided no financial support for this study.  The researchers analyzed 14,203 HPPD traffic stops. The data fields included officer, incident number, date/time, disposition, location, driver race, driver ethnicity, driver gender, vehicle make, vehicle model, and party age.

De Lacy Davis Consultants, “Examining Traffic Stop Disparities by the Highland Park Borough Police Department” (2019). Report Findings.


Non-Fatal Shootings in New Jersey – July 9, 2013

By De Lacy Davis


From the field: Why I founded Black Cops Against Police Brutality, September 24, 2021

By Dr. De Lacy D. Davis
Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, Volume 19, 2021 – Issue 3-4: Over-policing Black Bodies:The Need for Multidimensional and Transformative Reforms, Guest Editors: Delores Jones-Brown and Jason Williams

Controlling police use of unwarranted force is a recurring problem within police agencies, especially those that operate in urban spaces. Black people are disproportionately the recipients of such force. Using my experiences as a Black police officer as the backdrop, I describe my journey from rookie officer to community activist and founder of Black Cops Against Police Brutality (B-CAP). Readers will come to understand the complex world of policing and the difficult road to police reform, from the inside out. Four recommendations are made for police reform: 1) that it be community-centered; 2) that it utilize appreciative inquiry; 3) that it incorporate “true” community policing; and, 4) that trauma-informed policing be supported for all levels of law enforcement.

Help without Harm, Black Cops as Police Trainers: Chapter – 2022

(Book: Why the Police Should be Trained by Black People)

By Dr. De Lacy D. Davis, Delores Jones-Brown, Tyrone Powers, Leslie Parker Blyther

“This chapter examines policing in the United States from the perspective that Black police officers should contribute to the design, development, and delivery of police training. Drawing on the history of policing in America, we endorse a “do-no-harm” approach administered by Black people who are positioned to understand the delicate balance between police presence that enhances community safety and that which replicates the repressive force exerted by criminals and authoritarians. This is based on our experiences as former members of law enforcement agencies (municipal police, federal agent, and county prosecutor) and as trainers, members of oversight boards, policing researchers, and individuals actively engaged with highly policed communities. We assert that effective modern policing requires training designed, implemented, and delivered by and with Black police officers who: • Are compassionate, empathetic, race- and class-conscious, • Can identify with community viewpoints, in part, because of their own experiences with police as civilians, • Understand the work because of their experiences with the internal workings of police departments and the racialized mindsets that linger from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, • Have an ethical compass that does not prioritize career advancement and self-preservation above constitutional and other legal responsibilities, • Are idealists, willing to teach and learn from race-neutral principles of law enforcement set forth as early as the 1800s, and • Have exercised crime control through the use of compassionate and just practices.

We contend that the “right” Black police officers are uniquely positioned to understand and deliver on these requirements.”

Black Cops Against Police Brutality: Paperback – January 1, 2005

By De Lacy Davis