In 1991, after a high-speed chase, four Los Angeles police officers pulled Rodney King, a black man, out of his car, and beat him. In what seems strikingly familiar in 2016, an amateur videographer captured the scene. The next year, in 1992, a mostly white jury acquitted the officers, setting off riots that left over 50 people dead. In response to the attack, an independent commission reviewed the LAPD. In their report, the commission found that one type of officer was much less predisposed to force: No female cops were among the 120 police with the most use-of-forcereports.
Female cops accounted for just 3.4 percent of officers involved in the “83 most serious lawsuits” against the LAPD from 1986 to 1990. While the stats suggested that female cops aren’t reluctant to use force, the commission reasoned, they’re not nearly as likely to use excessive force. “With some exceptions, female officers interviewed believed they were more communicative, more skillful at de-escalating potentially violent situations and less confrontational,” the report reads. “