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

In our society, police brutality is and has been rampant. Thankfully, society has come to condemn such behavior, and the law, as well as many skilled San Diego Police Brutality Lawyers, are on their side. Excessive force can sometimes legal. We must first learn our rights in order to improve our relationships with the police.

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 permissible if the officer genuinely fears for his or her safety at the time of the shooting, or if the injured party appears to be attempting to harm someone. Shooting an unarmed fleeing individual is not typically considered to be a permissible use of excessive force; but, an individual who is a perceived threat to the office’s or others’ safety may be subjected to excessive force.

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. (https://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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