Year: 2000 Source: Journal of Forensic Sciences, v.45, no.2, (March 2000), p.384-389 SIEC No: 20010556

This paper reviews the literature pertaining to the phenomenon of “suicide by cop” – any incident in which a suicidal individual attempts to get law enforcement to kill him. This article defines the term “suicide by cop”, discusses the various motivations of individuals who engage in this type of behaviour, presents the risk factors & indicators for suicide & violence, & describes specific indicators for suicide by cop. Proper recognition of these events, prior & subsequent to their occurrence, has important implications for prevention, officer safety, equivocal death analysis & psychological autopsy, civil litigation, criminal justice proceedings, & community stability. This paper presents 7 case studies which demonstrate the clinical & forensic indicators of this phenomenon. (28 refs.)