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Old January 14, 2010, 01:02 PM   #1
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The Use of Excessive Force

I found this article to be interesting. It addresses the use of force and how the courts think.

I found in the article the court used the following reasoning to reach their conclusions:

1) Distance between the two persons
2) Which way the person being shot was facing
3) Whether or not a warning was shouted before the shot with taser
4) What weapon was the other person armed with
5) What was the other person doing that lead up to the incident

In the above incident, the driver was stopped for a traffic infraction. As what usually happens in these situations, the driver was upset and exercising his constitutional right to free speech. The officer then tased the driver although he was unarmed, at a distance of 25 feet, and not facing the officer.

Although a TASER was used in this incident, it still is worthy of a firearms forum as you can see how the courts think and define an immediate threat.

Last edited by Glenn E. Meyer; January 14, 2010 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Accuracy police here.
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Old January 14, 2010, 02:55 PM   #2
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Not too sure folks should alter their habits based upon ground breaking 9th Circuit rulings.


After all, force is either reasonable or not, and distance, direction, verbalization, presence of weapons, or preceding and simultaneous activities are things to be articulated, while contributing to the decision making process, do not define it in and of themselves.


The irony is, if the court has its way, the next officer encountering an individual under similar circumstances will close distance and to physically subdue the person. A reality more likely to result in injury to the suspect and the officer, to include injuries requiring medical attention.
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective

Last edited by Erik; January 14, 2010 at 03:03 PM.
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Old January 14, 2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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"Don't taz me bro"

There does seem to be a tendency to use tasers a lot.
Besides the deaths attributed to tasers, there are also instances of tasers being used people already in restraints, children, and the elderly.

Excessive force is a real problem. Non-lethal weapons opened a new avenue for the abuse of authority.
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Old January 14, 2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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I posted this to discuss and see what I can learn how the courts view a use of force situation. This was one of the better articles I could find where they articulated the different criteria on how they arrived at the decision.

There is a broader issue on the use of force that goes beyond the court-room. I found this video on Youtube. The narrarator in the background is either British or Australian. They are basically using the video as a comedy routine and at the end the narrarator goes on to say how this is a micro-cosm for American policy implying the officers represent what America stands for.

In today's age, there are cameras everywhere. Everyone has some sort of video camera on their phone and you can't escape them wherever you go. Its important to do the right thing in these instances or else there are consequences that go beyond the particular incident. For example, what if a foreigner uses this type of video as a justification to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan? What if a terrorist group uses one of these youtube videos as propaganda with the logic if this is how they treat their own citizens then how will they treat us? It is important to exercise a high degree of restraint and make sure there is justification for what you are doing.

From some of these videos I am seeing, it seems like Tasers are used more as pain compliance devices which seem like th old school torture tactics used by certain foreign nations. You can't say Saddam was in the wrong when you have video evidence showing how our own are using similar tactics. I spent some time in the miltary and did not serve because of the officers in this video. They certainly do not represent me or the United States.
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Old January 14, 2010, 05:09 PM   #5
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Excessive force is a real problem. Non-lethal weapons opened a new avenue for the abuse of authority
I would have to respectfully disagree with you. Do you have proof of your ad hominem claim or are you just Cop bashing.

Non-lethal weapons have saved dozens of lives and saved a fortune in medical bills. I would be just as justified in tazing someone as giving him a wood shampoo for example.

There are people who see any use of force by the Police as an abuse of authority-----until they are the person calling for help.
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Old January 15, 2010, 07:54 AM   #6
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There are many uses for weapons. One of use of a weapon is for self-defense where there is a clear and present danger. Some other use of weaponry is for compliance and punishment.

Lets say you are a a tourist driving a rental vehicle around a third world foreign country that you are visiting for pleasure. You accidentally violate one of the traffic laws. The police pull you over and due to the language barrier they become annoyed with your questions. They then proceed to utilize a Taser to electrocute you as a form of punishment. I am certain if this scenario happened then most observers would cry foul and of human rights abuses. However, in America, somehow that is justified.

The use of weaponry in America is only for self-defense from an obvious clear and present danger. If you start using it for other purposes then you might be engaging in torture or some other horrible act. Electrocuting someone because they are being an annoyance is not what the device was designed for.
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Old January 15, 2010, 09:36 AM   #7
Mike In Charleston
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In the above incident, the driver was stopped for a traffic infraction. As what usually happens in these situations, the driver was upset and exercising his constitutional right to free speech.

I'm not defending the LEO but I always wonder about the mindset of running your mouth off to a LEO just because you have the right to. Of course my recent receipt of a warning rather than a ticket for going 52 in a 35 might have something to do with my support of law enforcement officers.
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Old January 15, 2010, 10:56 AM   #8
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T and T is for discussion of tactics and not the discussion of whether XY or Z is used for torture. Nor is this forum about the geopolitical implications of such usage.

If you want to discuss whether the officer was tactically justified in his action, that would be legit. But when Afghanistan surfaces - no!

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