The use of force by law enforcement officers is necessary and permitted under specific circumstances, for example self-defense or in defense of another individual or group. Police Officers should only use the necessary amount of force needed. An officer’s goal is to regain control as soon as possible while protecting the community. In the United States, this is governed by Tennessee v. Garner, (U.S. Supreme Court 1985) which said that "deadly force...may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or others." The excessive use of force by police officers is an epidemic running rampant through the American culture. Excessive force has so many variables that contribute to its use. They include race of both the officers and suspects, the stereotypes of the perceived suspect, the neighborhood policed and many others.
All police officers should be aware of the Fourth Amendment of The U.S. Constitution that clearly states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.
Today’s quickly changing technology in the fight against offense is a cause in tension by itself for the police man. A few of these technologies are the less-than-lethal firearms being produced and authorized for use in the field to generate the police officers job a lesser lethal option, than killing the suspe...
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...ination and prejudice held on behalf of that particular officer comes into play.
This paper has shown an analysis of the controversial issue of police use of force and discretion within the criminal justice field. Definitions of this action, along with detailed exploration of its history and discovery were also explored. Furthermore, an in-depth discussion of the main factors making-up the two crucial arguments; for and against the use of discretion in law enforcement, were examined. From this, it can be seen that both police discretion and use of force is an unavoidable part of policing because it is used in every facet of police work. Its success and potential for abuse rests upon internal and external policies set in place, to provide a stronger and more stringent control over limiting the amount of discretionary decision-making power an officer has.
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- Police use of Force and Discretion The use of force by law enforcement officers is necessary and permitted under specific circumstances, for example self-defense or in defense of another individual or group. Police Officers should only use the necessary amount of force needed. An officer’s goal is to regain control as soon as possible while protecting the community. In the United States, this is governed by Tennessee v. Garner, (U.S. Supreme Court 1985) which said that "deadly force...may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or others." The ex... [tags: Police, Crime, Criminal justice, Deadly force]
1258 words (3.6 pages)
- The degree of force that officers use is heavily influenced by police discretion in real-world situations rather than espoused by a certain agenda. Discretion can be classified into four different categories where administrators, the community, and the individual police officer exercise differing degrees of influence in decision-making. What is needed to help officer discretion is a central ethos that will guide discretion when all other rules fail to help. Normal force is distinct from legal and brutal force (Hunt, 1985).... [tags: Public Safety, Police Discretion]
758 words (2.2 pages)
- Introduction Police use-of-force has become a hotly debated issue among scholars, policed administrators and civil rights activists. Police are granted a mandate to use force to protect the greater good of their citizens and serve to enforce peace in their communities. However, that mandate is not beyond reproach, especially when the actions of the police appear to blatantly disregard their duties to protect and serve. Conducted Energy Devices’ (CED’s) as a less-than lethal weapon for police has created a conundrum for police administrators.... [tags: Police, Constable, Police officer, Use of force]
1218 words (3.5 pages)
- "Proper use of discretion is probably the most important measure of a police officer or department." -- Rich Kinsey (retired police detective) Police officers are faced each day with a vast array of situations with which they must deal. No two situations they encounter are ever the same, even when examines a large number of situations over an extended period of time. The officers are usually in the position of having to make decisions on how to handle a specific matter alone, or with little additional advice and without immediate supervision.... [tags: Understanding discretion in policing]
2109 words (6 pages)
- In this essay a discussion will be explored about the benefits and problems associated with police use of discretion. Which current policing strategies have the most potential for controlling officer discretion and providing accountability, and which have the least, and why is that the case. And finally, how might these issues impact the various concerns facing law enforcement today. Police behavior is different across all communities. In fact, how police react to combat crime is affected by the management style of the various police administrators.... [tags: Law Enforcement, The Use of Force]
1474 words (4.2 pages)
- Abstract Police have the duty and responsibility to enforce the laws and ordinances within their jurisdiction, maintain order, and assist those within the community. Police officers protect property and lives (Duties & Responsibilities of Police Officers, 1975). In the course of duty, a police officer may use force when necessary. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has defined force as “that amount of effort required by police to compel compliance from an unwilling subject” (Police Use of Force in America 2001, 2001).... [tags: Use of Force Continuum]
1983 words (5.7 pages)
- The use of force by police officers is under scrutiny from both individuals and other police officers. Many people wonder how much force law enforcement officers should use, and at what point does the use of force become excessive. The major research question within the studies provided is: What contributes to the use of excessive force. What causes police officers to go to the extreme when using force. Research has examined the use of force used by some police officers when it comes to arresting, obtaining, and securing the streets for public safety.... [tags: use of force lawsuits, police brutality]
1466 words (4.2 pages)
- When it comes to the criminal justice system, legal rulings only provide a systematic method of dealing with the problem of crime and, especially, the problem surrounding the police use of force. In Graham vs. Conner, for example, the courts established the four-factor test to evaluate police use of excessive force but left other, underlying social and moral dilemmas untouched. Furthermore, the influence money has in negotiating punishment via lawyers and bail, have made the courts a perfect playing field for the political and social elite to rule.... [tags: Police Use of Force]
1562 words (4.5 pages)
- Use of Excessive Force by Police Introduction: Police officers are given a significant amount of discretion simply due to the nature of the job. Officers are faced with many threatening situations forcing them to react quickly yet appropriately. They have the power to infringe upon any citizen's rights to freedom and therefore they must use this power effectively. One major concern with the amount of discretion officers have is their power to decide when to use force or when to use lethal force.... [tags: Police Law Legal Force Essays]
3661 words (10.5 pages)
- Police Discretion Discretion, uncertainly, and inefficiently are rampant and essential in criminal justice. Nobody expects perfection. That would neither be good nor fair. Justice is a sporting event in which playing fair is more important than winning. Law enactment, enforcement, and administration all involve trading off the possibility of perfect outcomes for security against the worst outcomes. Policing is the most visible part of this: employees on the bottom have more discretion than employees on the top.... [tags: Law Enforcement Discretion Psychology Essays]
1423 words (4.1 pages)