Police Use Of Force

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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has stated that “in diffusing situations, apprehending alleged criminals, and protecting themselves and others, officers are legally entitled to use appropriate means, including force." Use of Force has no single agreed upon definition. The International Association of Chiefs of Police describes use of force as the "amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject". Police officers are trained regarding the use of force while fulfilling their duties. However, the use of force by police is a subject of hot discussion in the media right now. The media has waged a war on the police in its aggressive reporting of police using force. It seems that almost every week there is another…show more content…
Police officers may be asked to not only protect the public and themselves, but they also are required to protect the offender attempting to harm others. Law enforcement agencies have created policies according to which a police officer can utilize force. Juries and courts know that the right to make a physical arrest gives a right to the officer to utilize some degree of force, so that the situation can be resolved and the officers can protect themselves in the process. A police officer must be in an objectively reasonable situation to apply use of force. Most police departments apply the Graves model to aid in the use of force. The Graves model recommends an equal type of response based on a subjects actions. This is commonly referred to as the use of force continuum, it generally has many levels, and officers are instructed to respond with a level of force appropriate to the actions of an offender. A police officer at the scene may move from one part of the continuum to another in a matter of seconds. If an offender poses any kind of threat to the police officer or any other person, then the use of force can be justified. A tense and uncontrollable situation can require an officer to use force. If a suspect actively resists arrest, then force can be used to subdue him. If the offender tries to flee from an officer then force can be used.…show more content…
However over the past decade these threats have changed dramatically. There was a time when the main threats a police officer encountered were violent criminals, drug dealers and gangs. These remain, however today we add international terror groups and fanatics intent on destroying our citizens and nations fabric as a whole. In the past year or two a new threat has immerged and that is a crowd of protestors or group of unruly citizens. This year alone in Baltimore, Ferguson, and McKinney, Texas officers have been involved in unruly crowd situations that have required them to use force. These new threats pose a most difficult task for the police as it is more difficult to differentiate an actual threat from a vehement protestor or simply a distraught citizen. The police officers still have the same ultimate goal and that is to protect the public. Unruly situations on the street where the number of offenders in most cases outnumber the police officers have the potential to require the officers to use force in order to not only protect the public, but also protect themselves. A report released by US department of justice reveals many facts and figures about the use of force by police officers in different situations such as, arresting a suspect, controlling a confrontational person and stopping an aggressive demonstration. The report states that the use of force by police occurs typically in the form of grabbing,

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