Rules that Can be Used to Avoid Accusations Related to Excessive Use-of-Force
Police officers have the mandate of service to the people. In fact, the main job of an officer is to help keep citizens safe. Unfortunately, as an officer, there may come a time when you need to enforce the very law in order to safeguard others. All officers of the law need to know how to do their work efficiently. If you want to avoid lawsuits related to using force, here are some things you need to know about excess use-of-force.
Only Use Legal Force
It is allowed for you to use force as permitted by the law. It is essential for you to do the best in your capacity when a situation calls for use-of-force. The best thing to do is try solving the problem as fast as possible. You also need to remember everything taught to you during training on how to handle situations. Nevertheless, it is possible to come across specific instances, which will need you to think fast. Whenever you have to do this, it is essential that you use legal force to the best of your capacity.
Write a Good and Concise Report as Soon as an Instance Occurs
If you use force at any time, you should always assume that you may be accused of using excessive force. Thus, it is necessary for you to write a clear report detailing the events immediately afterward. This is something you should not wait days to do.
Understand the Law
As a police officer, it is always vital that you know the law in your state or country before you use any force on a suspect. You should never act using force if you do not understand what the law says about the situation at hand. By doing this you can prevent unnecessary accusations that may complicate things further. You should always make sure that you have assessed the situation before you act. You need to assess the nature of the crime and look at what has caused the officer and the suspect to meet. Moreover, you also need to think about whether the suspect is evading arrest and whether there is any immediate threat being caused. These factors can be used at deciding whether the use of force was required in a particular situation.
Get to Know the Use of Force Policy in Your department
There are policies that are meant to be followed in each department in the law enforcement industry. Each department has policies related to the use of force. It is always important to first understand what your departmental policies have to say about using force. The jury in a court of law will always consider whether you followed the required policies if you find yourself faced with a lawsuit.