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Preventing Deadly Encounters between Law Enforcement and American Far-rightists

Preventing Deadly Encounters between Law Enforcement and American Far-rightists


This study extends Clarke and Newman's (2006; Newman and Clarke. 2008) work that applied SCP to terrorism. Their analysis focused on international terrorists, particularly suicide attacks, and only briefly discussed domestic American extremists. The American far-right, however, also poses a significant threat to public safety. This paper applies SCP techniques to two case studies of fatal far-right attacks against law enforcement personnel in the United States. The incidents were purposefully selected from Freilich and Chermak's U.S. Extremist Crime Database (ECDB), a relational database of all crimes committed by far-right extremists in the United States from 1990 to the present reported in an open source. Cornish's "script" analysis is applied to the two cases to devise intervention techniques to prevent such acts. One case illustrates the efficacy of traditional “hard” SCP techniques. Importantly, because some of these attacks were unplanned and occurred during routine incidents that escalated, recent innovations in SCP by Wortley and others are applied to a second case to demonstrate the usefulness of "soft" techniques.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Freilich, Joshua, and Steven Chermak. 2009. "Preventing Deadly Encounters between Law Enforcement and American Far-rightists." Crime Prevention Studies (October): 141-172. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=251633

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