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Encyclopedia > Suicide by cop

Suicide-by-cop is a suicide method in which someone deliberately acts in a threatening way towards a law enforcement officer, with the main goal of provoking a lethal response (e.g., being shot to death). Such a person typically feels despondent and hopeless, but for whatever reason, doesn't want to take his/her own life directly. The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, 1787 Suicide (from Latin sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the act of willfully ending ones own life; it is sometimes a noun for one who has committed or attempted the act. ... Constables of the Metropolitan Police Royal Canadian Mounted Police Police forces are government organisations charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order. ...

The actual act has been described in news accounts from 1981, and scientific journals since 1985, although this particular phrase did not become common until the early 1990s. The phrase seems to have originated in the United States, but also appears in an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, dated May 10, 2003. The report states that a jury in a police-shooting inquest ruled it a suicide because on the scene, he reportedly stated "better get your guns out lads, I'm coming out" and a suicide note was later found. Some say that the 1976 death of Mal Evans was an example of this phenomenon. Some historians believe that Guiseppe Zangara, the man who attempted to assassination then President-Elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, might have been attempting suicide by police. 1981 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1985 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events and trends The 1990s are generally classified as having moved slightly away from the more conservative 1980s, but otherwise retaining the same mindset. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (131st in leap years). ... 2003 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kurt Cobains alleged suicide note. ... Malcolm Evans (May 27, 1935-January 5, 1976 is best known as the roadie, assistant, and friend to the hugely popular rock band The Beatles. ... assassin, see Assassin (disambiguation) Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald in a very public manner. ... A President-elect is a candidate who has officially been elected President, but who has not yet acceded to his Office, as it is still occupied by the out-going President. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945), the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ...

Indicators include suspects that point an unloaded or non-functioning gun (such as a toy gun or starter's pistol) at officers. Suicide notes are obviously indicators, if present. Many law enforcement training programs have added sections to specifically address handling these situations.

The act has been featured in a number of motion pictures, including the 1993 film Falling Down and episodes of the CBS television drama Without a Trace and NBC drama "Law & Order: Criminal Intent". It was also featured in the novel The Outsiders. 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Falling Down DVD Falling Down is a 1993 film by Joel Schumacher about an unemployed missile engineer played by Michael Douglas making an attempt to go home for his daughters birthday after his car breaks down in traffic on the hottest day of the year. ... This is a list of programs currently, formerly, and soon to be broadcast on CBS. Currently broadcast by CBS 48 Hours (news) (1988-present) 60 Minutes (news) (1968-present) The Amazing Race (reality) (2001-present) As the World Turns (daytime drama) (1956-present) Big Brother (reality) (2000-present) The Bold... This is a list of programs currently, formerly, and soon to be broadcast by NBC. Currently broadcast by NBC The Apprentice (reality) (2004-present) The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (reality) (2005-present) Average Joe (reality) (2003-present) The Biggest Loser (reality) (2004-present) Crossing Jordan (drama) (2001-present) Dateline NBC (news... For the comic book characters, see Outsiders (comics). ...

Similar phrases include suicide-by-police, and officer- (or police-) assisted suicide. A veteran Canadian police officer researching the topic for his Master's thesis used the phrase Victim-Precipitated Homicide.


  • Mark Lindsay and David Lester. Suicide by Cop: Committing Suicide by Provoking Police to Shoot You. ISBN 0-89503-290-2. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, April 2004.

External links

  • SuicideByCop.com—information and support
  • Results of one study of the phenomenon
  • A Rotten.com Timeline

  Results from FactBites:
Suicide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1706 words)
Suicide (from Latin sui caedere, to kill oneself) is the act of willfully ending one's own life; it is sometimes a noun for one who has committed or attempted the act.
According to stricter definitions of suicide, to be considered suicide, the death must be a central component and intention of the act, not just a certain consequence; hence, suicide bombing is considered a kind of bombing rather than a kind of suicide, and martyrdom usually escapes religious or legal proscription.
Suicidal patients in mental hospitals may be temporarily bound, placed in padded rooms, or incapacitated with drugs to limit access to means of suicide.
Suicide by cop: there's always police stress as a result. (3030 words)
I use the phrase "suicide by cop" both in a grammatically correct way, which is as a verb, but also colloquially, as a noun.
For example "John committed suicide by cop" (verb) and "John was a suicide by cop" (noun).
The decedent is a "perpetrator of suicide by cop."
  More results at FactBites »



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