There have been many high profile cases in the media in recent years about police using unreasonable or excessive force. Many continue to be confused about what type of behavior is considered unreasonable, and when victims should think about taking action against law enforcement for the way they were treated by police officers.
The good news is that many police officers are now required to carry body cameras so that incidents are recorded on camera. This can be very helpful to victims of police brutality when they want to take their cases to court. If you were arrested by police or you had an encounter with police and you believe that they used excessive force, it is important that you take action so that justice can be done.
What type of behavior is considered to be unreasonable force?
When a person is being arrested, the police are allowed to legally use force in order to ensure two things. Firstly, they will want to ensure that the person does not escape. Secondly, they will want to make themselves and the public safe from the danger that the person being arrested imposes.
The force used by police officers must be appropriate for the situation. For example, actions used to prevent a person escaping would be strong if they are believed to have committed a murder. However if a person is attempting to flee after they were believed to have committed petty theft, for example, force should not be exercised to the same extent. Action taken by law enforcement should be proportionate to the situation.
In addition, police should never use lethal force if they are able to achieve the same result from using non-lethal methods. For example, police officers should not resort to using a firearm if they are able to prevent the escape of the person by using police dogs or tasers.
If you believe that excessive force was used in an encounter with law enforcement, you should consider what you believe would have been an appropriate use of force given the situation. It’s always best to not delay in taking action so that the situation can be assessed.