The act of traumatising a person’s patella (kneecap) using a baseball bat, cricket bat, lead pipe or other blunt instrument, discharging a firearm–including a shotgun, or using a power tool–with a countersunk drill bit, as punishment or torture.
The patella is not always injured in these incidents, but damage to soft tissues–nerves and arteries can be significant. The practice is used by crime syndicates, paramilitaries and others in Italy, Northern Ireland, Gaza and elsewhere. Kneecapping is the most common type of punishment shooting by sectarian societies–e.g., Irish Republican Army, for transgressions against the group’s philosophies
Note: Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital’s emergency department has become the world’s expert in kneecapping.