Police must make sure that peace is maintained across the country and that people are protected by any type of criminal activity. When doing their duty, it is sometimes necessary for them to use force to protect themselves or others.
While force is appropriate in certain situations, there is, unfortunately, a worrying trend of the use of excessive force by police. This leads to people becoming victims of police brutality, which has led to many unnecessary injuries, and it has also, tragically, led to many deaths. If you have been subject to police violence and you believe that you were treated unfairly, take the time to understand the definition of police brutality. The following are the different levels of force used by police, and an overview of when they are considered to be reasonable.
Different types of force
Police officers have the right to use force when it is necessary. But the type and amount of force must be proportional to the threat. The lowest form of force is considered to be using mere police presence to try to maintain order.
When mere police presence is not enough to reduce the threat, and the threat has escalated, a police officer can use verbal statements such as direct requests and orders.
If the person being addressed is not complying with the requests or is resisting arrest, the police officer can then use physical bodily force that is appropriate to the situation. This could include grabs, kicks or holds.
If the person is still resisting arrest or is fighting back, non-lethal weapons may be used to gain control of the situation. This could include tasers, police dogs or chemical sprays.
If the person is deemed to have a lethal weapon on their person and poses a realistic threat, or if they are otherwise deemed to be a high risk to others, a lethal weapon can be used by police.
Unfortunately, racial discrimination can lead police to use excessive force when it is not appropriate. If you believe that you have been a victim of police brutality or excessive force, you should stand up for your rights. Police brutality is a breach of a person’s civil rights, and it should never be tolerated.