-When an officer clearly uses too much force in a situation
-Must be decided whether the
officer acted with
malicious intent to harm
or out of a perceived
threat of danger to
himself and others.
Difficult if not impossible
No national databases
Dean v. City of Worcester
Officers had an active warrant for a man with a history of known violence.
Officers encountered a man resembling the suspect in an known area for where the suspect might be.
Police immediately threw him on the ground, face first, and cuffed him.
Gerard Dean was the wrong man.
After leaving a night club, Bell and two other individuals drove down the block and struck an unmarked undercover police van.
Bell put the car in reverse and struck the van again, missing an undercover police officer.
Five officers shot over 50 rounds into the car. Over 21 rounds hit the car and killed Sean Bell, severely injuring the other two individuals.
Sean Bell was to be married the following day to the mother of his two young daughters.
Pro’s of Use of Force
Gives officer’s an outline to use certain amounts of force for certain situations.
Keeps officers safe and as well as the offender.
In court it helps to determine if officers are in the wrong.
Con’s of Use of Force
There is no universal continuum of force for officers to abide by.
Individual agencies teach different ways of dealing with certain situations.
It is very broad and does not account for the adrenalin that an officer might experience during a certain confrontation.
The Greater Good
-Conduct should benefit the happiness of the greatest number of people, even at the expense of the few.
-Police officers are responsible for public safety
-In some cases that means using force to stop one person from doing damage to others.
Egoism -Definition- Egoism maintains that each man should seek his own good and ignore that of others, except when this would be to his disadvantage. -Example- -Loaning money to a friend.
Explaining Egoism and Excessive Force
Knowledge of Interests
Everybody knows what is in our own interests.
We know other people’s interests, imperfectly.
Devaluation of the Individual
One life to live.
One opportunity to gain happiness.
Egoism and Excessive Force
Protecting the Self
Results from 1 study looking at use of force.
30 out of 113 cases resulted in excessive force.
Situations explained a gun or physical confrontation took place
Not only protecting the self, but protecting others.
Can compare to loaning money to a friend.
Egoism and Excessive Force cont.
Training compared to “tips” from veteran officers.
Excessive force encouraged/learned
New officers earn “shaky” reputation
Pressured to use excessive force
Isolated from other officers if they don’t.
Everything is predetermined to happen as it actually does happen. Every event has a cause.
Nothing happens that is not caused to happen by some other event, condition, or set of events and/or conditions.
Every event is connected to the preceding events in such a way that if the first events had not occurred, the second would not have occurred.
4 Casual Factors
High crime areas
Low crime areas
Drunk, poor, Afro-American male
Sober, working class Caucasian male
Saving face & saving money
Crime control models and military control models
Ways to Prevent Excessive Force: Training
More effective training
On the job training
Swat team training
Ways to PreventExcessive Force: Leadership
Hold Leaders Accountable
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