The ambiguity of the phrase, "failure to comply," creates tensions between those who exercise official authority and the citizens of society that must adhere to the system. Failure to comply in general means a failure, refusal, or neglect to obey an official order. Another ambiguous concept, official order, creates further miscommunication between the criminal justice system and citizens. The claim by the Force Science Institute describes the truth that excessive force follows detainees "failing to comply". Law enforcement officer's rarely use force on detainees that cooperate with every command or answers every questioned asked but once authority is questioned, the situation becomes highly strained and conducive for aggressive behavior.
Failure to comply arrests are detainees being arrested for failure, refusal, or neglect obey an order, in general, from a law enforcement officer. The legitimacy of failure to comply arrests is questioned by the Justice Department. As reported in investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, "officers rely heavily on this charge to arrest individuals who do not do what they ask, even when refusal is not a crime (p. 19). Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that Africa Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson's population (p. 4). The Justice Department clearly indicates the Ferguson Police Department has racial bias further alienating the African American population as well as diminishing the legitimacy of law enforcement agencies in the United States.
The Pew Research Center reported, "about three-quarters (76%) of blacks expressed not too much or no confidence at all, while about half (52%) of whites said they did have confidence in whatever investigations would follow" (Drake, 2014).