Flashcards in Chapter 15-Use of force Deck (15)
two types of force
non-deadly and deadly force
likely to produce death or serious bodily injury
deadly force cases, safest rule is
follow department policy strictly
non-deadly force cases, the rule is
use only reasonable force, meaning only as much force as is needed to accomplish a legitimate goal.
regardless of circumstances, the rule is that police must never
use punitive force
Tennessee v Garner, 1985
Court held police may not use deadly force to prevent the escape of a suspect unless it is necessary and officer has probable cause to believe that suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to officer or others
Graham v Conner, 1989
set the liability in police use of excessive force cases.
Court held that the test for liability under Section 1983 cases is
rather than substantive due process.
judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.
Suspect must first be warned when
police may be held liable under the Constitution for using excessive force. The test is liability is "objective reasonableness"
Graham v Conner
The old "substantive due process" test used by many courts prior to Graham, required the courts to consider whether the officer acted in
Good faith or maliciously and sadistically for purpose of causing harm
police attempt to terminate a dangerous high-speed car chase that threatens lives of innocent bystanders does not violate the 4th, even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death
Scott v Harris, 2007
scott performed a pit manuveur to end a high speed chase that was dangerous for citizens. Harris lost control of his car and wrecked. Harris badly injured and is a quadriplegic.
no violations of Constitution, using deadly force to stop a chase.
Court argued that it is reasonable for officers to use deadly force to prevent harm to innocent bystanders, even if such use of deadly force puts the fleeing motorist at serious risk to injury or death.
officers are not civilly liable under federal law.