Amicus Brief IV: Police and Excessive Force It is hard to define what excessive force is. There’s no concrete definition of excessive force. Police have to subdue suspects every day. Under certain circumstances it may be necessary to use force. The reasonable levels of force are presumed by law enforcement officers on the street, second-guessed by police review boards and sometimes tested in civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions on a case-by-case basis. When cops use more force than there is necessary to carry out their assignment, it is excessive force (What Is Excessive Force).
Excessive force by a law enforcement officer is a violation of a person’s rights. It is generally beyond the force that a reasonable and prudent law enforcement officer would use under certain circumstances. The force used to subdue should only involve the minimum amount needed to achieve the purpose. Police brutality directly violates the laws within the police force. When excessive force is involved, it is in direct violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U. S Constitution regarding cruelty and protection of the laws (Excessive Force Law & Legal Definition).
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
There are thousands of reports each year of both assault and ill treatment against officers who use excessive force and violate the human rights of their victims. Through excessive force and brutal treatment, police officers are injuring and even killing people. In many cases police go too far when they excessively punch, kick, beat, and shoot people who may pose a threat. Injuries and sometimes death result from the police use of restraints, chemical sprays, electro-shock weapons, batons, dogs, flashlights, radios, and guns (Police Brutality).
Police brutality cases have received more attention due to some of the high profile cases that have reached the media, for example, The Rodney King case. Rodney, a 25 year old, unemployed construction worker from Altadena, on parole after serving a one-year sentence for armed robbery was pulled over by police on March 3 after allegedly leading them on a high-speed chase that ended in Lake View Terrace. He suffered numerous injuries in subsequent videotaped beating, including fractured cheekbone, 11 broken bones at the base of his skull, and a broken leg.
Held for three days at the Los Angeles County Jail before being released. Police are sensitive to their image and try to avoid incidents that may damage them like this one. The cases of misuse may be easily prevented. Excessive force is learned by the department’s failure to properly train officers on the importance of controlling situations by using minimal force . Police officers should be educated to learn to better understand, prevent, and remediate police abuse of force.
There needs to be a better understanding of when it is reasonably necessary to use force and in what ways to use it. The use of force should be monitored and evaluation on the uses of force should be applied. The use should be reported when utilized. The reduction of excessive can be helped though the use of psychological resources. Better training may be applied (Scrivner, E. M. ). Psychologists can help by identifying causes of or likely perpetrators of police brutality. The justice system should also actively pursue and punish offenders within the police system.
Police must do more on their part to change the police structure in order to sanction officers who abuse their power and to prevent new officers from learning behaviors which are not acceptable within human rights (Police Brutality). How often have you encountered a conviction of the use of excessive force? What kind of training is involved on assessing force on offenders? References Excessive Force Law ; Legal Definition. (n. d. ). Legal Definitions Legal Terms Dictionary. Retrieved October 3, 2011, from http://definitions. uslegal. om/e/excessive-force/ Police Brutality: The Use of Excessive Force”. (n. d. ). Drury University, Springfield, Missouri. Retrieved October 3, 2011, from http://www. drury. edu/ess/irconf/DMangan. html Scrivner, E. M. (n. d. ). The Role of Police Psychology in … – Ellen M. Scrivner, National Institute of Justice (U. S. ) – Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved October 3, 2011, from http://books. google. com/books? hl=en&lr=&id=_VJF9QyA5SsC&oi=fnd&pg=PP4&dq=police+using+excessive+force&ots=_yv4kmTblW&sig=hXT2z3hYEiYRs013baUAIw3v3gg#v=onepage&q=police%2