The law has given police officers’ power over the common citizens. However, it is evident that the police officers have continued to misuse these powers, and hence violating the rights of the citizens. Besides this, use of deadly force has cost some citizens their lives, and in some instances permanent injuries. The use of deadly force by the police officers is often seen in many forms, including mistreatment during arrests, use of guns to threaten or to fire, handcuffs, tear gases, arm locks, dogs, high speed pursuits and many more.
This problem is serious because those who are violated are normally not in the position to accuse the police officers of using deadly force on them. The officers are quick to cover for their mistakes or to defend themselves. Use of deadly force by police officers has drawn a lot of attention today, where deadly force is especially used when making arrests. It has also been reported that despite the lack of national reporting system, there is a good reason to believe that this is a problem that varies greatly from department to department.
Use of force incidents accumulate over time, and a sizable minority of citizens will experience police misconduct at one time of another. There are no clear cut standards that exist that guide the police officers on when to use deadly force when subduing suspects. There also exist no consequences regarding which variables are important when using excessive force. Statistics show that police offices who have been cited to use for the use of excessive force say that they tend to have personality disorders, previous job related experiences like justifiable shootings, a heavy patrol style and sensitivity to challenge and other personal problems.
I choose this topic because use of deadly force by the police officers is a serious issue that has been given very little attention. Heads of various police departments that exist should be concerned with this issue, and engage themselves in searching for solutions to stop this vice. The aim of this paper is to research on the use of deadly force by the police force. The problem raises several questions like: When is the use of deadly force by police officers justified? What can be done to minimize use of deadly force by the police?
The purpose of this essay is to find out whether there are ways or policies that can be used by the police officers to stop use of excessive deadly force. It is also aimed at finding out what several police departments are doing to minimize use of deadly force. Literature review In 1999, the police used or threatened to use force against nearly 1% of nearly 44 million people reporting face to face police contact with the police. This represented a total of 422,000 people during that year. With respect to racial and ethic differences, about 59% of those experiencing force were white, 15.
5% Hispanic and 22. 6% black. When respondents were asked to describe the kind of force used against them, 72% of the victims said that the police pushed or grabbed them, while 15. 3% said that the police pointed a gun at them. Others reported the use of chemical spray (9. 8) and threat to fire a gun (5. 4%). Previous studies also show that variations in the rate of police shootings between various jurisdictions that cannot be explained as a result of differences in the crime rate or the arrest rate.
In some instances, use of deadly force results to the death of the victims. Police officers may fire their guns, without thinking first, whether the person being shot at was actually committing a crime or not. In some countries, police departments allow shooting and killing of criminal suspects. This will most likely result to high percentages of missed shots. Just as the non-selective shootings are extremely dangerous for the officers involved, they are also very dangerous for their opponents.
It is far much easier to shoot at someone who is standing eight of ten feet away with a short gun in his hand than some one who is running in the dark. Walker says that a key element in restricting the use of force is to specify the circumstances when it may be used. The prevailing standard is that an officer may use the minimum amount of force for achieving a lawful purpose. However, there is no clear consensus on exactly what these purposes are.
The Kansas City Department reflects the prevailing national standard by specifying that force may be used on our basic purposes. “Members may use department approved non-lethal force techniques and issued equipment to: effect an arrest, protect themselves and others from physical injury, restraint or subdue a resistant individual, bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control. Unstated but clearly implicit in this policy is the prohibition on the use of force in response to an officer and his or her authority, or what if often called “contempt of cop. ”