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Focus on Force: A Fox 4 Special Report

Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 12:00:06-05

A southern Arizona police officer kicks a suspect's teeth out.  A Denver gas station owner is suing two cops, saying they punched him while he was handcuffed.  Video shows a Buffalo police officer hitting a man with his baton.

The images are powerful, but by themselves, do they distort the big picture?

Fox 4, along with 21 Scripps investigative teams and our national bureau in Washington, D.C., requested raw numbers from law enforcement agencies across the country.  Our five-month investigation found use of force by police is not necessarily on the rise nationwide.

In the videos above, you will hear from our team of reporters in a special half hour program.  And what we've discovered shows there is a critical need for a standardized 'use of force' tracking system.  At stake: the fragile relationship between citizens and police officers sworn to serve and protect. 

MORE: SWFL police use of force, national investigation focuses on decline in excessive force