Quick Guide to Excessive Use of Force and Citizen Rights

Quick Guide to Excessive Use of Force and Citizen Rights

A lot of our society is based around restrictions on when you can and can’t use force against another person. In most situations, only state representatives, such as police officers, are permitted to use force. In certain situations, citizens might also be permitted to use force. 

Sadly, excessive use of force is a problem. This is when individuals use more force than is legally permissible in a situation. If you’re a victim of excessive force, you might have a legal case against your assailant. 

This article tells you everything you need to know about excessive use of force.

The Police and Excessive Use of Force

While the police are authorized to use deadly force, they can only use it in certain situations. Police officers are trained to only use as much force as they need to de-escalate a situation. 

Essentially, police officers are only permitted to use force if it matches the level of the threat they’re facing. The Police misconduct provision found in 34 USC Section 12601 says that a police officer is not allowed to act so that they deprive people of their constitutional rights. Using excessive force against people is a violation of that provision. 

Excessive use of force is one of the most clear-cut civil rights violations that an officer can commit. If you’re a victim of such a violation, you could have a legal case against the state. 

Use of Excessive Force in Self Defense

Police officers are not the only ones who can be guilty of excessive force. While civilians are entitled to defend themselves, they can also be guilty of excessive use of force. 

Different states have different laws regarding the acceptable use of self-defense. For example, in some states, it might be permissible to use lethal force if someone breaks into your house. In other states, this might be excessive. 

It makes sense to familiarize yourself with what the self-defense laws are in your own state to make sure you’re never found guilty of using excessive force. 

Excessive Use of Force Example

Excessive use of force example could go as follow: a police officer notices a man trespassing in a private area. Instead of engaging with the man verbally, the police officer takes out his sidearm and opens fire. 

On the other hand, if the man had aggressively approached the police officer while appearing to be reaching into his pockets. Opening fire could arguably be an appropriate use of force, as the officer had reasonable grounds to believe a deadly attack was imminent.

If You’re a Victim of Excessive Use of Force, Seek Legal Assistance

If you believe you’re a victim of excessive use of force by either a civilian or a police officer, you should contact a lawyer. If you’ve been unlawfully harmed by a state representative, you could have a strong case for a civil lawsuit. 

If you want to read more about other legal topics, check out some of our other articles. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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