Excessive Use of Force by Police
In most cases the Police officers are legally allowed to partially use force. The police
superior and the public at large expect this due to the nature of the police duties that requires
them to do so when appropriate. In order to deal with the disorderly elements of the society,
people who work in the law enforcement agencies may gradually develop the attitude or the
sense of commanding authority over the society, this is evident in the traditional reaction-based
policing models; in most cases the police hold the believe that they are supposed to be above the
law. (Merle, 2004)
Reports link the Police with the causes of misconduct as result of the systematic factors
that originates from the police force itself. These are as follows; the Pressures to conform to the
aspects of the police culture which are designed to sustain a substantial opposition to the criminal
subculture while protecting the police force interests, this goes to the extent of violating the law
while at the same time the outsiders are viewed in a suspicious perspective or with a lot of
Secondly, there is the command and the control structures that have a very rigid
hierarchical foundation, with law enforcement the more rigid the hierarchy is, then the lower the
scores when measured on the scale of ethical decision-making thirdly, the deficiencies that are
created in the internal accountability the mechanisms especially in the internal investigation
Police Use of Force
The Police officers use of the excessive force is always kept in check by many
jurisdictions through the issuance of the force continuum that allows use of force to certain
extent. The force continuum sets relevant levels of force that are considered appropriate in the
direct response to a subject's behavior. This power is only granted by the civil government, and
has the limits that have been set out under the statutory law as well as the common law. (Stetser,
The members of the public sometimes perceive the use of excessive force by the police as
an offence even when the force used is lawful. In the daily duties, the law enforcement officers
are faced with danger as they carry out their duties. In dealing with a dangerous or the
unpredictable situations, the police officers have very little time to organize themselves
psychologically and assess the ability to determine a proper response. Therefore, a good training
given to the police can enhance the chances of the officers to react properly to the situations or
the possible threats. The response that is accompanied with the appropriate tactics for addressing
the situations that possibly including some levels of force under the given circumstances.
The Police are charged with the mandate to enforce the social order through the
legitimization of the use of force. The use of force describes the amount of efforts that is required
by police in compelling the compliance by the unwilling subjects. The levels, or the continuum,
of force that the police officer use include the basic verbal and the physical restraint, the less-
lethal force and the lethal forces.
The amount of force that the police use should be the minimized to a point that is needed
for elimination of the threat that has been presented, in this way the risks are minimized and also
the severity of any kind of injury that may occur.
Remedies to the police brutality
Police should do the following to remedy the situation;
Make sure that those people injured receive immediate medical aid.
Notify the family of any injured person.
The officers should be given supplementary guidance from the individual agencies, there should
be no universal set of the rules to govern the officers as to when to use force and how much.
The level of force that the police officer use vary basing on the situation, due to of variation, the
guidelines for the use of force can be based on many factors, these include;
The experience of the police department.
The Federal and the state mandates.
Availability of the law enforcement technologies.
The relationships that exist between the police and the citizens in a given jurisdiction.
The controversy that exists over firearms policy and the use of excessive force by the police
is tied to the overall quality of the relations between the community and the police. In the
situations where the police and all the general community develop good relations, then the
friction is generally minimized. The perception of the police to the civilians should be that of a
concerned professional. This leads to greater respect in all the segments of the community. The
confidence of the police officers to count on the support of all the community in the performance
of their duties gives them a greater sense of responsibility in doing their job (Justice.gov, par 6).
A very effective police-minority relationship can immensely contribute to the reduction in the
incidents of excessive police force. However, if an incident of a police officer excessive force
does occur, then the public is likely to give a response with a very open mind due to the positive
relationships and the trust that has been built up with the police through their daily experience.
The community organizations on the other hand might consider the possibilities which may act
as an aid for the improvement of the relations with the police. Another way is through the
Exploration and the establishment of communications links to the professional police
associations as well as the linkage with the police union.
Most people have a crude understanding that if the police officers use excessive force on
a civilian then that is a criminal offense. That is not the case but it is an occupational crime since
it is committed while the police officers are operating in their legitimate occupations. If a police
officer Abuses a citizen then that is the violation of the trust that has been implied to the position
officer’s position and the power bestowed upon the officer (Social.jrank.org, par 5). The
Excessive abuse of force tends to violate the state laws, federal laws, and the constitutional
rights. By considering all these violations, it is assumed that the conviction of an officer in
relation to violence is revered with much fervor. From my research I made the conclusion that
the general public prefers that the police officers involved in violence should be punished, but
the police the police on the other hand cannot accept such an action. The offenders learn this acts
of brutality through the organization’s failure to give them proper training especially on the
importance of controlling of some situations through the use of minimal force. In the practical
contexts the excessive force users are rarely punished. The manner in which the police force
organizes its departments are tends to encourage the police to use force through their approach.
The Police have the right to use force in protecting themselves, however the extent
beating up a suspect who has been restrained or one who has surrendered is not justified for self
defense. Therefore actions need to be taken in order to diminish the crime of caused by the police
brutality. Good utilization of the interdisciplinary police units, the justice system, and the police
officers trainers can work together to deter the police brutality. The justice system needs to
actively pursue and punish the offenders within the police system. On the other hand the Police
must do more on their part to change the structure of the police force in order to sanction the
officers who abuse their power thereby preventing the new officers from learning the bad
Johnson, Merle. Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City. Beacon Press.
Justice.gov. 2010 Police Use Of Excessive Force; A Conciliation Handbook For The Police And
The Community. http://www.justice.gov/crs/pubs/pdexcess.htm (Accessed Feb 22, 2011).
Stetser, Merle. The Use of Force in Police Control of Violence: Incidents Resulting in Assaults
on Officers. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing L.L.C.2001
Social.jrank.org. Law Enforcement - Use Of Force. <http://social.jrank.org/pages/1332/Law-
Enforcement-Use-Force.html> (Accessed Feb 22, 2011).