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Reasonable Force

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New Study: Stress, Training, and the Objective Reasonableness Standard

It is well-settled that a police officer’s use of force must be reasonable.  It is equally well-established that reasonableness is to be judged from the perspective of the officer on the scene.  This “on scene” perspective properly requires agencies and courts to consider the influences that emotional arousal and stressors, like time compression, may have...
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Does Just Threatening To Use A Taser Constitute Force?

A new force-related issue is beginning to surface in state and federal court proceedings: Whether merely threatening to use an electronic control weapon (ECW)–including pointing it, sparking it, and aiming its laser beam–constitutes a use of force under the law. “The caselaw on the subject is still relatively limited, but the question of when and...
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Will Indiana’s Self-Defense Measure Mean “Open Season” On Cops?

You may have heard of the bill passed recently by the Indiana General Assembly that gives citizens the right to physically resist—even with deadly force—any LEO they “reasonably believe” is unlawfully entering their dwelling or is about to cause them injury. At this writing, the legislation awaits the signature of Gov. Mitch Daniels to become...
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Ongoing Survey Seeks Consensus on What’s “Reasonable” Use of Force

When the U.S. Supreme Court declared in its landmark case Graham v. Connor that force used by law officers must be “objectively reasonable,” Sam Faulkner had a question: What’s “reasonable”? The Court provided “no definitive answer regarding what a reasonable officer is or does,” says Faulkner, an instructor at the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy...
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