The public’s perception of how necessary police actions are varies. In the book, The Police and the Community (2002) the author discusses the difference between violence and force. When hearing the word force people often think violence, but this is not always the case. Force usually pertains to enforcement of the law; so for example pulling a gun out to show enforcement. Violence is might, and force is having power. Force is pulling out a gun, and the violent part of this scenario would be using the gun to kill someone. Determining whether using deadly physical force is done justifiably has been an ongoing endemic in this country for many decades, and today it is still an unresolved issue. Officers usually make the decision to use deadly physical force based on what society would think would be moral and just. The question isn’t whether or not the actions taken by police officers are justifiable, the question is how we judge what a justifiable action is. Justifiable, in terms of policing, means that an action pursued can be shown to be reasonable. Police officers have different views on how they justify their actions, but it comes down to feeling like their lives are in danger or people not complying with them. The way the police handle these kinds of situations affects how the community sees not just the police but the criminal justice system itself.
An example of using deadly physical force not justifiably would be the Rodney King case that occurred in Los Angeles in 1991. A newspaper article in the New York Times, “The Police Verdict; Los Angeles Policeman Acquitted in Taped Beating,” (1992) raised a lot of chaos for the city and the minority population. Rodney King was stopped after the cops went after ...
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...t of their ability to protect themselves and other people from harm.
Carter, D. (2002). The police and the community (7th ed.): Upper Saddle, NJ
Leonnig, C. ( 2014, August 28). Ferguson shooting case renews debate over whether officers have too much leeway, too little accountability. Retrieved from https:// www.washingtonpost.com/ politics/ current-law-gives-police-wide-latitude-to-use-deadly-force/2014/08/28/768090c4-2d64-11e4-994d-202962a9150c_story.html
Pogue, D. (2009-2010). Constitutional law: cases and materials. Rochester, NY
THE POLICE VERDICT; Los Angeles Policemen Acquitted in Taped Beating. (1992, April 30).
Williams, T., & Smith, M. (2015, December 28). Cleveland officer will not face charges in Tamir Rice shooting death. The New York Times.
What happened in Ferguson? (2015, August 10). The New York Times.
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