There is No Concrete Definition for Excessive Force.
The Black’s Law dictionary defines excessive force as “Unreasonable or unnecessary force under the circumstances.” USLegal defines this as a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. The Lectric Law Library defines it as an……………….
The rationale for determining the degree of force to be either unreasonable or reasonable, entirely lies on the force a prudent and reasonable law enforcement officer would use if in such a situation in question. It can only be determined by the evaluation of the circumstances that led to the use of force. At one instance………..
- Even previous definitions given are substandard
Apparently, every definition given for excessive force is not convincing. Relying entirely on reasonability, necessity, constitutional rights and justice in the definition of excessive force is misleading. The fact that the constitution does not prohibit a law enforcing officer from using unnecessary force, as it may later be determined………
- Each variable in excessive force is interpreted differently
The police officers may respond differently to an issue and thus the variables, which range from a mere request to lethal force………….
The manner in which one acquires information from another makes a distinction in the amount of force used to acquire the information. Acquisition of information can be gently done through asking or harshly through demand. However, whether the demand is a necessity and reasonable will determine the verdict as whether excessive force has been used. Courts have taken into account duress and undue………..
- Courts have set a rational in determining the standard of excessive force
The manner in which the courts have tackled cases of excessive force prove that indeed there is no concrete definition of excessive force. A well noted precedent by most judges is the four-factor test established in the case of Johnson V Glick (1973). The rationale behind these factors was to determine when excessive force was used by an officer in duty. Judge Friendly called it the conscience shocking standard. He stated, “in determining whether there has been a breach in constitutional rights of the complainant, the court………………
The definition of excessive force is relative. In one aspect, the force used to undertake a particular act may be reasonable, in another, the same force would be considered unreasonable. The variation in the use of force should always depend in the situation at hand. However, if a dispute arises on the manner one…………