Use of Force

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  • Topic: Police, Arrest, Law enforcement agency powers
  • Pages : 4 (1723 words )
  • Download(s) : 359
  • Published : April 6, 2011
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Running head: Use of Force

Criminal Justice Topic

Whenever a law enforcement officer places an individual under arrest or is involved in a deadly force scenario the officer has used some degree of force. The incidents where an office has to make a split second decision and use physical force to control a situation is known as “Use of Force.” The use of force varies as situations present themselves to the officer and they must decide what level of force is necessary to control the situation. Often the use of force is subject to much debate and not a year goes by without some media coverage of some law enforcement officer accused of using excessive force. In dozens of studies of police use of force there is no single, accepted definition among the researchers, analysts, or the police. (Department of Justice) While there is no single definition of the use of force there is a legal test that must be passed to rule out the possibility of excessive force. The use of force must be reasonable and necessary in order for the lawful application of the use of force. There have been many cases of law enforcement officers being accused of using excessive force with high profile cases such as, Rodney King and the recent subway shooting in Oakland California. These excessive force complaints occur in all facets of law enforcement from small municipalities to large scale cities. Law enforcement officer have to undergo many hours of training in both the recruit academy and while on the job in order to ensure proper use of force. Officers must make use of force decisions whenever apprehending fugitive, at a minimum they will have to handcuff the accused. Often times the use of force complaints come whenever on officer has to go “hands on” with a criminal and are forced to literally fight the perpetrator into submission. This becomes difficult to do whenever the person being arrested is under the influence of drugs, becoming very strong and difficult to...
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