Suicide by Cop

davemarc davemarc at PANIX.COM
Mon Feb 6 18:12:29 UTC 2006

I might've mentioned this before...but I think the term might be as old as
the 1951 movie Detective Story or the play that inspired it. I wish I had
more info...but anyone interested might not want to settle for the 1980s.



----- Original Message -----
From: Baker, John <JMB at STRADLEY.COM>
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 9:23 PM
Subject: Suicide by Cop

>         News reports of the death of Jacob Robida, the teenager who died
> today in Arkansas after attacking men in a New Bedford, Massachusetts
> gay bar Wednesday night, quote a New Bedford police captain discussing
> "suicide by cop."  From Reuters:
>         <<We had a feeling he would either commit suicide or try to
> commit suicide by cop," New Bedford police captain Richard Spirlet said.
> "Those who commit suicide by cop want to have a shootout with police and
> know they are going to be killed.">>
>         Despite its informality, the term seems to have secured broad
> acceptance and is discussed, for example, in a number of legal opinions.
> Here's the earliest example I saw on Westlaw, from the 9/6/1988 issue of
> the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Haug was a member of the St. Louis Police
> Department's hostage response team:
>         <<Haug was also worried about "suicide by cop" - the term used
> when a person intent on suicide intentionally starts a shoot-out that he
> knows he will lose.>>
>         Two books, both published in 2004 (according to Amazon), are
> entitled Suicide by Cop.
> John Baker
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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