Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Administration of Justice

Committee Chairperson

Declan Onwudiwe

Committee Member 1

David Baker

Committee Member 2

Robert Mupier

Committee Member 3

Emmanuel Nwagwu


Brutality, Corruption, Nigeria, Police, Racial Bias, United States


The recent spate of incidents regarding excessive use of force by law enforcement in the United States against mostly unarmed African Americans has elicited protests across the country. The ensuing outrage about police brutality brought to national attention the discriminatory practices in the criminal justice system. It also demonstrated that human rights violations by law enforcement are not an exclusive experience of developing nations, which are expected to look up to countries like the United States as a model for standard policing. Extant research, however, indicates excessive use of force is a common phenomenon in every country, including the United States of America. This comparative study examines the motive, cause, police culture, and effects of police brutality in Nigeria and the United States. This study looks at the history and structure of policing in the two countries, against a background of agitation for police reforms in Nigeria by scholars who look to the United States as a model of policing. This qualitative approach study relies on secondary data from articles, journals, agencies, news posts, and media and compares cases of police brutality in both countries from 2010 to 2020. Preliminary findings indicate lack of accountability is a common factor in law enforcement in the two countries, despite their different standings in the comity of nations. Other predictive factors evident in the police forces of the two countries, including the leadership problem and weakness in recruitment policy, are also outlined in the study. Finally, policy recommendations and suggestions for future research are outlined


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