Essay On Justifiable Use Of Force

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The justifiable use of force by law enforcement personnel in the United States has its roots in English Common Law. In its original stages, force was permitted by all citizens, at the minimum, to detain a recognized criminal violator, and physical punishment, exile and death were common and acceptable penalties for alleged criminal conduct. When taken to the extreme, any convicted felon could (and would likely) be put to death. A person who opted to flee the scene of a serious crime became a “fleeing felon,” and since death was the likely punishment, it became common practice for those tasked with law enforcement to merely kill the perpetrator before he could completely escape. This practice was transported to the thirteen colonies in North…show more content…
had instituted more restrictive guidelines into its “Use of Deadly Force” policy than was legally permitted. Which emphasized the value of human life and the use of the minimum amount of force necessary to accomplish the mission as the preferable practical options for agency personnel faced with that undesirable situation. Officers could only use deadly physical force (discharge their firearm) in situations in which deadly physical force was used or threatened against them or another person . Warning shots and putting a disabled or injured animal out of its misery were no longer viable options. In 1985, the United States Supreme Court acknowledged the changing times and evolving standards of decency and decided the famous Tennessee v. Garner case . The Supreme Court specifically held that a police officer may not use deadly physical force to apprehend a fleeing felon who does not pose a “significant threat of death or serious physical injury” to the police officer or to others at the scene. In essence, the United States Supreme Court not only created new legislation, but also law enforcement agency

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