Police Use Of Force Essay

1013 Words5 Pages
Every day law enforcement officials are faced with the possibility of being assaulted or killed while in the line of duty and when off duty. Officers are faced with the harsh reality that today may be their last day alive. This leads to a rush of adrenaline when responding to crimes or when they encounter various situations. Often this rush of adrenaline can cloud an officer’s judgment. Officers are then faced with the possibility of being accused of excessive force. Citizens often call an officers use of excessive force “police brutality” (Petrowski, 2005). Citizen’s opinion of law enforcement has often been linked to the media’s tactics of displaying officers using what appears to be excessive force during an arrest. This typically leads to citizens becoming outraged and creates an issue for the force. The question then arises as to what exactly is excessive force? While many citizens may characterize force as excessive, the law reflects the realities that officer’s face in making decisions to use force (Petrowski, 2005). Each complaint of excessive force has to be examined and a decision made based on the evidence and circumstances surrounding the case. It is the agency’s duty to gain control of police officers use of force in order…show more content…
Yet, there has been an alarming disconnect between how the police, the public, and the courts view the use of force (Atherley & Hickman, 2014). Previous research on the issue of abusive or excessive force has not established a clear baseline for evaluating the use of excessive force. There has been a struggle in quantifying the use of excessive force by police and academic practitioners. This creates an issue considering the federal government is required by congress to establish a report on this issue. This holds law enforcement agencies to a certain standard that has not been thoroughly established (Atherley & Hickman,
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