Police and Excessive Force

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Amicus Brief IV: Police and Excessive Force

It is hard to define what excessive force is. There’s no concrete definition of excessive force. Police have to subdue suspects every day. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to use force. The reasonable levels of force are presumed by law enforcement officers on the street, second-guessed by police review boards and sometimes tested in civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions on a case-by-case basis. When cops use more force than there is necessary to carry out their assignment, it is excessive force (What Is Excessive Force).Excessive force by a law enforcement officer is a violation of a person's rights. It is generally beyond the force that a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under certain circumstances. The force used to subdue should only involve the minimum amount needed to achieve the purpose. Police brutality directly violates the laws within the police force. When excessive force is involved, it is in direct violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S Constitution regarding cruelty and protection of the laws (Excessive Force Law & Legal Definition).

There are thousands of reports each year of both assault and ill treatment against officers who use excessive force and violate the human rights of their victims. Through excessive force and brutal treatment, police officers are injuring and even killing people. In many cases police go too far when they excessively punch, kick, beat, and shoot people who may pose a threat. Injuries and sometimes death result from the police use of restraints, chemical sprays, electro-shock weapons, batons, dogs, flashlights, radios, and guns (Police Brutality). Police brutality cases have received more attention due to some of the high profile cases that have reached the media, for example, The Rodney King case. Rodney, a 25 year old, unemployed construction worker from Altadena, on parole after serving a one-year...
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