“The police must obey the law by enforcing the law” (Earl Warren). All police officers are given the authority to use force. When force may be applied and how much should be applied vary on the situation or circumstance. Force is defined as physical power or coercion used upon or directed toward another person (RioLearn, 2017). Force must be deemed reasonable and justified based on the circumstances than an officer must use it such as for self-defense, making arrests, preventing escape, or in protecting others. There are many cases when force has been used in a positive way for the police force and situations where officers abuse their power of force and take advantage of the law. Police officers have been involved in numerous cases involving force being handled lawfully. There are elements of force such as does an individual have the ability to carry out an action, was there opportunity, and is the officer’s life in peril? Each law enforcement officer is different and so are their decisions about handling various situations. Back in March of 2015 a young woman reported her husband was threatening to kill her and her landlady. Later that evening four patrolmen went to the residence of the suspect Theodore Johnson’s to investigate the claim. Upon arrival while climbing the stairs Officer David Muniz walked around the corner and was hit by a bullet from Mr. Johnson’s weapon. The officer exclaimed that he had been hit and the others now preceded with caution. At this point
Since their has been policing entities, it is understood by most that law enforcement officers have been performing a public service that is not easy to carry out. To assist law enforcement officers in diffusing situations, apprehending alleged criminals, and protecting themselves and others, officers are legally entitled to use appropriate means, including force. In discussing police misconduct, this report acknowledges not only the legal grant of such authority,
Police officers have the California Penal code 835a under their disposal. 835a lets officers use reasonable force to effect the arrest, prevent escape and overcome resistance. Police officers are never fully informed of each call they receive. Many officers are trained to quickly respond and modify their approach whenever a call gets picked up. Officers are trained to assess the situation and adapt. Citizens at home on the other hand, are being informed of the details after facts are released. Officers are trained to protect themselves as well as the greater public. Whenever a police officer exercises use “force”, officers are mandated to file paperwork and provide statements of what occurs. Citizens may believe that because officers have a position of power, officers are able to do what
There are several different types of force. These types of force include verbal commands or persuasion, physical force (unarmed), force using weapons that are non lethal, force that involves using weapons such as the bean bag gun or taser, and lastly, deadly force. All officers have to give way to each force option before last resorting to the use of deadly force, unless of course if the officer is in a life or death situation. This may be the only way to use deadly force in the first and last resort. They have a couple of weapons that they carry in case the need to use them arises. They carry a baton, tasers, handcuffs, guns and they also have police dogs. Some police do follow the guidelines for using force. Others may abuse their authority and not use force properly. It is really only up to the officers to do the right thing. Some cops are great and live to protect our communities while others abuse their authority.
Police brutality is seen as a real problem in America today. What people do not seem to realize is that the police carry a massive burden each day. The work that officers do has the potential to be very demanding and sometimes involves dangerous situations. In these situations the officers are in the position where they may be required to use force to gain control. The continuum of force dictates the level that is most appropriate for the situation. Most people do not realize that is not the officers job the meet the force. However, it is their job to overcome the force. Police departments have very strict standard operating procedures about officer use force and how force is applied. With this paper, I will attempt to explain the continuum of force, police discretion, and why the police can do some of the things they do.
Law enforcement officers are given much power and authority over one’s civil liberties. Not only do they have a duty but also a responsibility to enforce laws and ordinances in their jurisdiction, maintain order and protect its people. In some cases, the only way to accomplish this is through legitimized use of force. Use of force can best be described as "the amount of effort required by a law enforcement officer to induce compliance of an unwilling subject" (nij.gov, 2012). With that said, law enforcement officers have been given the right to apply only enough force necessary to control a situation, while defending others, preventing escape, during self-defense and while a subject is resisting arrest (Pollock, pp. 234). It is not until that force becomes excessive that it becomes say an issue.
There were boycotts of the malls in Baton Rouge, people were marching even holding up traffic. This didn’t only occur in Baton Rouge, but across the U.S. people were standing up for this injustice. Alton Sterling was selling cd in front of a convenience store when two officers approached him, the situation escalated Mr. Sterling was shot several times resulting in his death. Baton Rouge police did not provide much information about what escalated the incident between the officers and Sterling or what prompted an officer to fire his weapon. A witness, however, described police as “aggressive” and said Sterling was armed but was not holding his gun or touching his pockets during the incident. The level of force an officer uses varies based on the situation. Because of this variation, guidelines for the use of force are based on many factors, including the officer’s level of training or experience.
While racing down the freeway on March 3, 1991, driver Rodney King and friends were leading the Los Angeles Police Department on a high speed chase making it up to 115 miles per hour. When King was eventually caught, officers pulled him from his car and began to beat King with their batons hitting and kicking him more than 50 times and shocking him with stun guns in a period of two minutes as he struggled helplessly on the ground outside of his car. King suffered 11 skull fractures, kidney damage, and brain damage. This was one of America’s first viral video of what excessive force is, and it changed the way police interacted with communities forever. The use of police force is an obligation, but unfortunately some officers may misuse, or abuse
Police officers are authorized to use force under certain circumstances, for instance; controlling a disruptive, aggressive and disturbing demonstration, undergoing arrest of an accused person or controlling a combative individual. These officers are trained properly regarding use of force while fulfilling their duties. However, the use of force by police is a subject of hot discussion amongst public, as many times law enforcement agencies, televisions, newspapers, and civil as well as criminal courts have taken serious actions against excessive use of force by police-officers under a given situation (U.S department of Justice, 1999). The aim of this paper is to study national as well as international
The police shootings over the years have raised troubling questions about when, if ever, police are justified in using deadly force against a suspect. Many of police shootings may just represent a difference form of violence. Others law-enforcement officers may be physically incapable of taking a suspect into custody. For example, Peck (2016) writes about a $500.000 judgment against the District of Columbia when a police officer who was not in suitable physical shape used his weapon in the course of the arrest. How do we decide when a police officer can not only use force but shoot at a suspect even shoot to kill? The protection of life should be the primary value and guiding principle of the Police Department. As such, all levels of staffs
The use of force policy is that law enforcement officers should use only the amount of force necessary to mitigate an incident, make an arrest, or protect themselves or others from harm. The levels, or continuum, of force police use include basic verbal and physical restraint, less-lethal force, and lethal force. In the city of Bustout, Mississippi the population is ⅓ white, ⅓ black, ⅙ hispanic, and ⅙ asian in Bustout city, and in the police department there are one thousand police officers. My policy for the use of force in my city is that law enforcement officers should use the force depending on the situation at hand, and to never over step the necessary force in situations. There are three types of force the first is verbal and physical restraint, less-lethal force, and lethal force in the law enforcement. The use of force by law enforcement officers becomes necessary when the situation calls for it, and is self-defense for the officer or the officer was defending another individual or a group of people. When new officers or older officers receive training from the police academy or guidance from another agency, they have no idea the rules for when the officers should use force or how much force is needed. However, in situations it would not be the same every time, nor in officers because in potentially threatening or dangerous situations, an officer will react quickly to the response and use force if it requires it. Having situational awareness is very important, and
When debating the issue of police use of force, the issue of what actions constitute too much force must also be addressed. Another concern is the possibility of corruption amount officers. When given such great power, the probability of corruption is high. Officers generally do not start out as corrupt, but years of work on the force can create animosity between officers and suspects and lead them to decide to use force more quickly (McEwen, 1996). Many times, officers patrol the streets alone which creates the opportunity for potential abuse of power (McEwen, 1996). Although police officers need to be permitted to exercise some discretion, they also need limits and guidelines to follow when using their powers of discretion (Manning, 1997). The decision to use force should not be taken lightly in that citizen’s lives are at stake. Police should be allowed discretion in decisions to use force; however, this discretion should be limited. In several cases in Arizona, officers have used deadly means of force. In all cases, the officers
On the other hand, if a police officer decides to shoot their weapon when the suspect is unarmed, is very unnecessary and unethical (USDOJ, 1999). The use of force is almost always up to the officer that is dealing with the suspect at hand; though an officer’s interpretation of the law and any personal bias’ towards a certain group are individual factors that can influence an officer’s decision. Although the description given to police officers regarding the extent of the use of force is that which is only necessary and reasonable in a present situation, but factors such as officers' rights to protect themselves and precedent set by the past behaviour of police officers are also worthy of consideration in regards to the amount of force to be used. The use of force must be controlled and confined though is unquestionable (USDOJ, 1999).
Officers may use force when they need to get and continue control over an individual. So, the officer may use force to stop an attack on the officer or others, or stop a struggle to lawful duties and responsibilities.
It is often said that no one is above the law not even the police, although it seems that they appear to be at times. The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect the people from police brutality. “Police use of force is defined as the use of physical restraint by a police officer when dealing with a member of the public. Law enforcement officers are authorized to use the amount of force that is reasonable and necessary given the circumstances. Most officers are trained in the use of force and typically encounter numerous situations during their careers when the use of force is appropriate-for example, when making some arrests, restraining unruly combatants, or controlling a disruptive demonstration. Force may involve hitting: holding or restraining, pushing, choking threatening with a flashlight, baton, or chemical or pepper spray; restraining with a police dog, or threatening with a gun and some police use of force include handcuffing ”, according to Schmalleger, (2008).
There have been innumerable accounts of excessive use of force in America. The law has changed after certain cases Graham v. Connor 1989. A diabetic man named Graham, believed an insulin reaction forthcoming and he rushed to the store with a friend to get some orange juice. The store was too crowded, he decided to go to another friend's house. Unbeknownst to Graham, he was being watched by an officer named Connor. The officer stopped Graham and his friend and called for backup. Numerous officers arrived at the scene, Graham was handcuffed. Officer Connor was under the impression that Graham had committed a