Cops More Forgetful After Chases or Altercations

Cops More Forgetful After Chases or Altercations

Combative encounters and chases cause memory loss

by #teamEBONY, March 21, 2012

Cops More Forgetful After Chases or Altercations

In an eye-opening study, Canadian researchers found that police officers who engaged in at least 60 seconds of intense physical energy while involved in a combative encounter may suffer memory loss. The testing broke up a group of 52 officers and asked them to recall a lineup of suspects after one of the groups rigorously assaulted a punching bag and went through a mock hostile environment. Researchers found that the group that physically exerted themselves remembered less information from the original briefing and the encounter with the target individual. In fact, more than 90 percent of the officers in the non-exertion group could recall at least one detail about the target, but barely a third of the officers who were involved in the physical activity remembered seeing the suspect.

"Police officers are often expected to remember in detail who said what and how many blows were received in the midst of physical struggle or shortly afterwards," said the study's lead author, Dr. Lorraine Hope of the University of Portsmouth. "The results of our tests indicate it may be very difficult for them to do this."

How will this knowledge impact the legal system? It is possible that any court cases and arrest records may be affected by this news?

Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter