Accountability is a vital element of policing. Over time, the public has demanded more control over police activities, while policing has attracted a good deal of controversy, such as the discriminatory and violent manner in which police officers treat individuals. In this paper, we explore Italian police accountability when faced with violent actions following the articulation at two levels: a micro-level — the communication strategies adopted by the police unions to account for their actions — and a macro-level — the understanding of the political and social system in which the police act, namely the Italian system. The results of the thematic analysis highlighted the recourse to excuses, justifications, and apologies. In terms of the effects on the audience, the unions divide into two groups: the first made exclusive use of defensive accountability strategies (excuses and justifications) and the second used reconciling accountability strategies (apologies). We discuss these findings regarding the interaction between the police and the public in Italy.

Accountability and Police Violence: a Research on Accounts to Cope with Excessive Use of Force in Italy

ZAMPERINI, ADRIANO;SIRACUSA, VALENTINA;MENEGATTO, MARIALUISA
2017

Abstract

Accountability is a vital element of policing. Over time, the public has demanded more control over police activities, while policing has attracted a good deal of controversy, such as the discriminatory and violent manner in which police officers treat individuals. In this paper, we explore Italian police accountability when faced with violent actions following the articulation at two levels: a micro-level — the communication strategies adopted by the police unions to account for their actions — and a macro-level — the understanding of the political and social system in which the police act, namely the Italian system. The results of the thematic analysis highlighted the recourse to excuses, justifications, and apologies. In terms of the effects on the audience, the unions divide into two groups: the first made exclusive use of defensive accountability strategies (excuses and justifications) and the second used reconciling accountability strategies (apologies). We discuss these findings regarding the interaction between the police and the public in Italy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3236091
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