Miami Excessive Force Attorneys

Improper Shooting and Excessive Use of Force

There are laws that describe when a police officer can use physical force. According to the National Institute of Justice,”Police enforce social order through the legitimized use of force. Use of force describes ‘the amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.'”

Levels of force range from basic verbal and physical restraint to less-than-lethal force and lethal force. A police officer should only use the amount of force necessary to control a situation, arrest someone or protect themselves or others from harm or death.

A Blurred Line

When and how the use of force is justified, however, cannot be specifically described because of the various definitions and measures of force. In addition, justification for a police officer using force varies from agency to agency. The following are taken into account when considering how much force should be used:

  • How much experience does the police department have?
  • What do federal and state laws require?
  • How do police in certain jurisdictions relate to the surrounding population?

Police are expected to use non-lethal means of force to make an unwilling subject comply, such as using batons, pepper spray or Tasers. Using guns elevates lethality to a whole new level. However, it is up to the police officer to weigh:

  • Whether the officer is being threatened
  • Whether bystanders are being threatened
  • And the amount of force the suspect is using to resist arrest

The goal of any level of force is to get a suspect to “comply” and not to resist arrest. Once he or she is compliant, any physical force beyond that is considered excessive.

Difficult to Prove

Proving excessive force can be very difficult to prove. If you believe that you or someone you love was the victim of excessive use of force or suffered from an improper shooting, you will need the help of an attorney who has experience in the specific area of law. The civil rights lawyers of Baron & Herskowitz have an in-depth breadth of knowledge in this area of law and can help prove that you were wronged.

It is important to contact our law office as soon as possible, as a prompt investigation is crucial in this type of case. To find out if you qualify for a lawsuit, contact our Miami law office today.