Thursday, November 21, 2019

Police Use of Deadly Force Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 words

Police Use of Deadly Force - Research Paper Example Deadly force may also be used when a law enforcement officer is significantly threatened by a person particularly when the officer may be caused serious bodily harm to. This is governed in the US by Tennessee v. Garner according to which, â€Å"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 physical injury to the officer or others† (â€Å"TENNESSEE, Appellant†). The exception of the Fleeing felon rule to the deadly force’s use was established with this case. In spite of the legal authorization to use the deadly force, thousands of officers prefer to adopt alternative approaches even when they have deadly force encounters. The attitude of police officers toward the use of deadly force is partly shaped by their work environment. Officers respond accordingly when their beat has a dangerous reputation by being ready to use the deadly fo rce. Use of deadly force is an issue that attracts a lot of controversy particularly when the firearm is discharged by a police officer. The reason for that is that on one hand, the police officers are given the right to use deadly force and on the other hand, police officers are questioned for the appropriateness of their action when they use this right. Another reason that makes it controversial is the subjectivity associated with the term â€Å"excessive† use of force since the criteria of measuring or evaluating the excess varies from one person to another depending upon his qualification, skills, and experience. â€Å"The term â€Å"excessive† is problematic, and defining it involves value judgments. Various criteria could be applied to an instance of use of force depending upon who is making this judgment† (Belur 3). According to the statistics noted by (Dwyer), police annually shot and killed 283 individuals by average between 1949 and 1976. There was a v ariation in the yearly range from 184 in the year 1962 to 409 in the year 1971. The yearly variation up to the year 1976 was 250 to 300. The yearly average number of justifiable homicides between 1977 and 1990 was 358 with the high occurring in the year 1980 at 457. The average number of justifiable homicides from 1991 to 2008 was 358 each year with the high of 386 in the year 2006 and another high of 398 in the year 2007. The study carried out by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded that 55 per cent of the deaths related to arrest between 2003 and 2005 happened because of homicide by the law enforcement officers (â€Å"Study Examines Police†). Over a period of three years, the number of criminal suspects that lost their lives in police custody is over 2000 and almost half of them were assassinated by officers while they were attempting to flee. The author of the report, Christopher J. Mumola said, â€Å"Keep in mind we have 2,000 deaths out of alm ost 40 million arrests over three years, so that tells you by their nature they are very unusual cases†¦ Still, they do need to be looked at to determine whether police training can be better or practices can be better† (Mumola cited in â€Å"Study Examines Police†). The unusually high percentage of men i.e. 96 per cent compared to women who died in the custody according to this research’s findings is suggestive of the excessively high vulnerability of men for being the cause and victim of use of deadly force by policy

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