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, …show more content…
Its use may be justified only under condition of extreme necessity, when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed. In determining when the use of deadly force is appropriate, officers must consider the totality of the circumstances to include evidence of hostile intent versus unintentional act, the seriousness of the incident, and other factors associated with the incident. When appropriate (without endangering the lives), officers must attempt to stop or control unauthorized acts using lesser means of force such as presence, verbal warnings, or physical constraint.
Advocates for the use of force argue that using an element of force reduces the chance of injury to both the officer and the suspect. The use of the taser as an intermediate use force over the baton has been said to have greatly reduced injuries. "There has been a big impact on the community since we started using them. It’s prevented several deadly force encounters," Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Kelly said. "They (Tasers) have saved the lives of officers and suspects." (Ward, 2009) Another form of the use of force is handcuffing, which is used in almost all cases where an officer places and individual under arrest. Placing a suspect in handcuffs helps an officer deescalate a situation by reducing the suspects ability fight, this helps prevent injury to the officer and the suspect. Pepper spray is another commonly used device used by officers and is considered a less