Despite over 85,000 US law enforcement officers being investigated for misconduct over the past decade, there have been no academic studies that I know of on the discourse of interviews of police officers conducted as part of such investigations. This research is particularly vital because of the US public’s record low confidence in the police. The current study therefore aims to address societal concerns in relation to the perceived ‘blue wall of silence’, by adding greater transparency regarding the procedures in place during investigations of police officers.
Specifically, this project aims to develop an understanding of how identity, narrative and power are discursively managed during investigative interviews of police officers following their use of deadly force in the line of duty. This qualitative study will employ thematic analysis in order to identify themes of interest, with a pragmatic approach to analysis then being used to analyze key stretches of discourse.