The use of force has been around since policing began, although the rules for its use have changed overtime. In a 1964 survey, the majority of police reported they were to use “good judgement” when deciding whether or not to shoot (Walker 1993, 26). Back then, police also used force for any fleeing felon, which basically meant whenever. Now that rules have changed, the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code, established in 1962, states that police are to only use force when they feel their life or someone else’s life is in danger (Walker 1993, 27). Later on, the Omaha Police Department policy added to the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code, by saying police cannot fire warning shots (Walker 1993, 28). Although there are restrictions on the use of force, there are still flaws with the police departments and how they decide when and how much force to use.
The use of force is used by police officers to control a suspected criminal who does not obey the officer 's commands and becomes violent with the officer(s) or others around the scene. It is also used on those who may cause deadly harm to the officer(s) or others around the scene. This is one of the methods police use to control a person who has committed a crime or violation. The use of force is usually the last resort for police officers, however not always. Some police officers will encounter a situation where their life or others is immediately in danger and the use of force will be used then. The use of force includes empty-handed control, restraining a person, and deadly force. Deadly force is when a police officer cannot control the person with just physical force, so they have to resort to using ...
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...some police officers choose not to follow them. This makes up part of the ratio of police officers who do not make good decisions when dealing with cases.
The American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code and the Omaha Police Department policy have limited the police use of force to use only when a life is in danger. Since these rules have been implemented, the number of people shot and killed by police has dramatically decreased by 30% from the early 1970s to the late 1980s (Walker 1993, 26). Data collected has also shown that the number of blacks shot to whites has changed from a six to one ratio of blacks to whites to a three to one ratio (Walker 1993, 26). There is still room for improvement in all the police department systems to further control the use of force, however, there will always be conflicts that occur and the use of force will never be eliminated.
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