Police and Negligence and Liability

Topics: Police, Tort, Tort law Pages: 5 (1616 words) Published: March 24, 2012
Police Negligence and Liability 1

Running Head: Police Neglect/Liability

Police Negligence and Liability

Police Negligence and Liability 2
The purpose of this paper is to examine factors involved in police negligence and the extent of liability the officers hold. Are police officers held accountable for their misjudgments or reckless behavior when they are at fault? This paper exams relevant cases in which police officers have been penalized or relinquished from negligent allegations. Additionally, details on the penalties of negligence from police officers will be provided in this essay.

Police Negligence and Liability 3
Many law enforcement agencies have come under intense scrutiny concerning their actions against suspects/criminals. Most of the complaints are against Caucasian police officers and the excessive and sometimes very brutal force they use against minorities. This type of force has caused suspects/criminals death in many case in which Caucasian police officers have acted recklessly. Several police agencies have taken severe actions against officers that are found liable for the injury or sometimes death to suspects/criminals. In an effort to protect those wrongfully abused by police officers, several police departments seek to establish terms that would fall under negligence and the liability that follows. The Encarta Dictionary defines negligence as “Law a civil wrong (tort) causing injury or harm to another person or to property as the result of doing something or failing to provide a proper or reasonable level of care” (Encarta Dictionary). Additionally, the Encarta Dictionary defines liability as “Law legal responsibility for something especially costs or damages and anything for which somebody is responsible especially debt” (Encarta Dictionary). Police Negligence and Liability

In the mid ninety’s, many practitioners affiliated with law believed that police officers should not be held responsible for any hurt done to anyone if they were encountered in the process of crime suppression. According to the internet article entitled “Crimes by the Government,” an incident has to be very serious in order for actions to be taken against an officer. The purpose of this variable was so that police officers would not be caught up in legal issues when they could be focusing their attention on crime being committed in the community. The article suggests that there are many forms of state crimes however, police crimes are the Police Negligence and Liability 4

most common cases handled by civil law. Additionally, it is believed that suing the government is the second most popular sport and police officers are the number one targets. The number of cases exceeds over thirty-thousand a year when it comes to police suits do to negligence. Furthermore, the average payout in police negligence cases is around two million dollars. There are hundreds of cases involving police negligence and the total amount settled out of court is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. A police officers job is very dangerous therefore they a required to be able to make quick and accurate decisions based on the threat at hand. The high-risk environment adds to the potential complaints, investigations, and legal actions against many officers. A police officer can be found negligent and liable for their actions when they fail to perform the duties. In addition, a police officer can also be found negligent if they perform their duties but do so negligently. All cases involving police liability are carried out in civil court. In most cases, the accusers are allowed to involve anyone associated with their case including, officers, supervisors, agencies, and government entities. There are state laws in place also known as “Torts” which is used to determine the type of proof, injury, and damage....
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