Police Brutality and Excessive Force

by | Dec 26, 2017 | Civil Rights | 0 comments

Police officers are required to use the least amount of force necessary to protect themselves and diffuse a situation. Anything above the minimum required force can be considered excessive. When law enforcement officials use excess force, it sometimes constitutes police brutality. In some cases, it is possible to hold the be liable for injuries sustained due to their overzealous attempt to contain a suspect.

Unreasonable or Excessive Force

Here is an example of unreasonable force. An unarmed teenager was shot while he was running from the police. He had been fleeing a house that he had burglarized. State law stated that force could be used to arrest a fleeing suspect; yet, in this particular case, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of excessive force was not justified. The court ruled that excessive force can only be used in one of the following situations:

  • When the use of force is necessary to prevent the escape, or
  • When the officer has a reason to believe that the suspect can cause them or others serious injury or death.

It is important to note that even if the officer did not use deadly force, the force can still be considered excessive. If a person has suffered minor injuries due to unreasonable force, then an officer can be charged with police brutality.

The Use of Force

The Supreme Court has stated that police can use some degree of threat or physical coercion to arrest someone. The degree of force or coercion must be proportional to the perceived threat. An officer is supposed to use the following methods to diffuse a situation:

  • Physical presence. The officer’s presence may stop a person from committing a crime.
  • An officer will issue a direct, non-threatening command.
  • Empty-hand control. The officer uses punches, kicks, and holds to diffuse a situation.
  • Less Lethal Methods. Tasers, batons, and chemical sprays are used to diffuse a situation.
  • Lethal Force. The use of a firearm should be the last resort.

What You Can Do If You Have Been a Victim of Police Brutality

If you have suffered injuries from a police officer’s use of excessive force, you can file a civil rights complaint. You can also contact the U.S. Department of Justice and file a complaint. Additionally, you can contact an experienced civil rights attorney who can help you navigate through the court systems and assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Detroit, MI – Man Fatally Hit by Motor Vehicle on I-95 near I-75

Detroit, MI (June 1, 2023) - A Woodhaven man was killed after being hit by a car in Detroit on Tuesday, May 30.  At around 10:05 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to the scene on Interstate 95 near Interstate 75. A 40-year-old motorist had reportedly run...

Inland Twp, MI – Woman on Bike Killed in Crash at Fewins & Lake Ann Rd

Inland Twp, MI (June 1, 2023) - A woman from Interlochen was killed after being hit while riding a bicycle in Inland Township on Saturday, May 27.  The fatal crash occurred early that morning at the intersection of Fewins and Lake Ann Roads at around 1:30 a.m....

Georgetown Twp, MI – Two Motorcyclists Ejected in Crash at Port Sheldon St & Chicago Dr

Georgetown Twp, MI (June 1, 2023) - Two motorcycle riders were hurt after an accident on Tuesday, May 30, in the area of Georgetown Township.  At around 1:02 p.m., it was reported that a motorcycle had crashed on Port Sheldon Street near Chicago Drive. A...

Banks Twp, MI – One Killed, Another Hurt in Head-On Crash at US-81 & Old Dixie Hwy

Banks Twp, MI (June 1, 2023) - A crash involving two pickup trucks in Banks Township left one person dead and another injured on Wednesday, May 31.  The deadly accident took place on US-81 near Old Dixie Highway at around 2:15 p.m. It was reported that a 2020...

Grand Rapids, MI – Several Hurt in Car Accident at Curwood Ave & Langley St

Grand Rapids, MI (June 1, 2023) - There were several confirmed injuries resulting from a car crash in Grand Rapids on Friday morning, May 26, and the victims included two children.  The crash occurred at around 9:30 at the corner of Curwood Avenue and Langley...

Dearborn, MI – Injuries Reported in Rollover Crash at Michigan Ave & Greenfield Rd

Dearborn, MI (June 1, 2023) - On Wednesday, May 31, a pileup crash in Dearborn left at least one person with injuries.  At around 6 a.m., the accident took place at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Greenfield Road. It was reported that at least one vehicle and an SUV...

Dundee, MI – Four Injured in Crash Involving Wrong-Way Driver on US-23

Dundee, MI (June 1, 2023) - A multi-vehicle crash involving a wrong-way driver left several people injured in Dundee on Tuesday, May 30.  The accident occurred that morning at around 8 a.m. on US-23. A 38-year-old driver from Plymouth was traveling in the wrong...

Lansing, MI – Driver Hurt in Crash with Semi-Trailer at I-69 & Vermontville Hwy

Lansing, MI (June 1, 2023) - On Tuesday, May 30, a driver was injured after a collision involving a semi-trailer in Lansing.  The accident was reported on Interstate 69 NB near Vermontville Highway at around 4:08 p.m. A gold SUV was traveling southbound when it...

Walker, MI – Motorcyclist Seriously Hurt in Collision at Alpine Ave & Hillside Dr

Walker, MI (May 31, 2023) - A motorcyclist suffered serious injuries after being involved in an accident with another vehicle in Walker on Tuesday night, May 30.  The crash occurred at the intersection of Alpine Avenue and Hillside Drive at around 5 p.m. It was...

Grand Rapids, MI – Two Hurt in Crash with Wrong-Way Driver at US-131 & Hall St

Grand Rapids, MI (May 31, 2023) - On Saturday, May 27, a crash involving a wrong-way driver and a police cruiser in Grand Rapids resulted in confirmed injuries.  The accident was reported at around 11 p.m. on US-131 near Hall Street. A state trooper witnessed a...