Under what circumstances police officers are allowed to use excessive force?

Police brutality is and has been pervasive in our society. Gratefully, society has begun to stand against such actions, and the law is on their side, along with many talented San Diego Police Brutality Lawyers. Sometimes excessive force is legal. To effectively better our interactions with the police, we should clearly understand our rights.

The proper standard to assess police brutality is under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Section 1983 of the U.S. Code. The 4th Amendment standard is a test that weighs the government’s objectives with the citizen’s rights. This is the standard applied by San Diego Police Brutality Lawyers. 42 U.S.C. SS 1983 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/1983).

Excessive force is allowable if the officer reasonably fears for their safety at the moment they shoot an individual, or they perceive obvious intent on the injured party’s part to harm someone. To shoot an unarmed individual who is running away is not generally considered to be a legal use of excessive force; however, an individual that is a perceived threat to the safety of the office or others may have excessive force legally used against them.

Case law was established in Graham v. Connor regarding the standard of review for situations of excessive force and whether the force was legal. The factors making up the standard have been called the “Graham factors”. Essentially, we must look at the moment the altercation happened, and not look on the situation with hindsight. We must consider if the force was reasonable in that moment. Understanding Graham v. Connor, Clark. 2014. (http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2014/10/understanding-graham-v-connor.aspx); Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

If you or someone you know have encountered the police and were subsequently injured, the Mova Law Group in San Diego, California is waiting for your call. Let us advocate for you today!

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