Abuse/Excessive Abuse or Force/Excessive Force on The Part of Citizens and Law Enforcement Officials

The Protesters confront police in riot gear as they react to the verdict in the Sean Bell case outside the 103rd Precinct in the neighborhood of Jamaica Friday, April 25, 2008 in the Queens borough of New York. Three detectives were acquitted of all charges Friday in the 50-shot killing of an unarmed groom-to-be on his wedding day, a case that put the NYPD at the center of another dispute involving allegations of excessive firepower.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

After reading the above, please read the below questions, and provide your responses or comments:

Do police use excessive force on citizens? 

Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?  You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.

Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?  You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.

Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?

Do citizens abuse police officers?

You may use photographs/pictures, videos, movies, web links, books, materials, emails, or any other source  to articulate your comments.

Scroll down the page to read other peoples’ comments, and post your own comments.

1,434 thoughts on “Abuse/Excessive Abuse or Force/Excessive Force on The Part of Citizens and Law Enforcement Officials

  1. It is important for the Police to use just that amount of force to control the situation. Once order is achieved, no more force should be used.

    • Mr. Colins,

      I absolutely agree with you!

      Police should never overuse their power with such dangerous object such as weapons.

      • True police should never use excessive force. Proper training and sustainment training will prevent most police excessive force situations.

        Joe

        • Police should never use unnecessary force , but I think human survival skills kick in , and its a” I’m goanna get you before you get me theory ” Its instinctual .

          • i agree with you, i beleive that a certain force should be used to control the situation, but officers should never abuse!

          • Great point. I think that all humans have that instinct to naturally get someone else before they get them. Police sometimes feel that the badge they have is the right to use excessive force when it is not needed. I do not think that excessive force should be used unless absolutely needed. If the suspect if fighting or if the suspect has given the police officer a reasonable doubt that they are in danger then excessive force may be necessary and beneficial.

          • Hi,
            I totally agree that police should not use excessive force because they have training to solve problems other ways. Human survival skills do kick in when police feel at danger and I totally understand that. They have to protect themselves and at the end of the day they want to go to home to their families. But, officers still don’t have the right to abuse citizens.
            Damaris

          • Devaney,

            I agree human nature does kick in and behavior can become extreme.
            Anthony

          • Hi Delaney,
            I agree, it’s so easy to think about how as humans, police could have the instincts and emotions get the best of them in very stressful situations. I agree with Joe that more training would help. Regular training geared towards understand of proper use of force and coping mechanisms as well as training officers to help each other in check in someone is starting to cross the line into abuse.

            Take care,
            Marilyn Butler

          • I agree with you that there is a certain limit that an officer can rely on his or her training and then at some point basic survival skills kick in once a threat of life comes into play

          • And know one can say what they would do until they are placed in what they perceive as a life and death situation. I am guessing many would not hesitate to pull the weapon and empty the clip without thinking about anything but saving their own life. Yet everyone here who has never been in that situation seems to take the holier-than-thou posture of never using excessive force for any reason. As though it is just that simple.

        • Joe,

          I want to say thank you and yes I agree with your statement. I believe if an officer has his proper training and is well education he should never have to use his abusive power to prove a point. I think an officer can make a point clear and correctly without abusing his citizens.

          Marie Derozin

        • It is not as easy and simple as receiving good training. These are human beings, with emotions and feelings. Being in the Army 24 years and being a Senior Leader does not prepare me for every conceivable situation and the multitudes of environments I may find myself. Experience is critical in this equation, that’s where the judgement and decision making comes from. However, human beings can only take so much. no one knows what they would do until they are placed in a situation where their life is in danger. You have to ask yourself what would you do in a life or death situation and how long would you wait before you use overwhelming force to protect yourself. In the military we are trained to use overwhelming force to destroy they enemy. Yet under the current administration we are given rules of engagement that require us to be shot at before we can fire on them. This is where it is going with police in this country. Could you imagine a country where police have to be shot at before they can engage a criminal? it would be anarchy.

      • I completely agree with you. Police should only use the amount of force that is necessary to contain a situation.

          • Clearly, a police officer has a right to protect himself or herself, especially if his or her life is in any danger. However, they should never be excessive in the amount of force that they use. This is where their discretionary skills would be useful.

            Police officers need to be trained on how to determine how much force is needed in order to resolve a particular type of situation.

          • Police are trained on how to determine how much force to use. By most standards it is one more than what the bad guy has. Example would be; you swing at me I pepper spray you, you have a metal pipe I use my taser, you pull a knife I draw my duty weapon, you pull a weapon your dead.

          • David:

            You said the following:

            Police are trained on how to determine how much force to use. By most standards it is one more than what the bad guy has. Example would be; you swing at me I pepper spray you, you have a metal pipe I use my taser, you pull a knife I draw my duty weapon, you pull a weapon your dead.

            Professor Caesar’s Comment:

            In your example, you use just enough force equivalent to that of the offender’s or a bit more force to restrain the offender.

            I like your answer. This is perfect.

            Thanks,

            Colin

        • Marissa,
          Yes, I agree with you. A police officer should only the amount of forces necessary to control a situation. For an example, an officer who is trying to make an arrest, and his criminal is using abusive force against the officer to escape the arrest. In this situation, I would advice the officer to use the appropriate amount of force needed for the arrest and “if” the situation gets out of control, then I would advice this officer to use his tazer gun to control the situation. Another example is I would not advice an officer to use his gun to shoot a dog because he can.

          Marie Derozin

          • I agree with you Marie also wanted to say excessive force is a determination so who really know the neccessary or appropriate force needed to subdue or detain a person. for example a female officer is going to use more force than a male officer when talking about detaining a man. So a majority of it a a guess or assumption from the officer.

          • Marie,

            I agree with your statement, sometimes the discretion of what is right and wrong gets blurred with different situations, but it should be embedded into the officers head that what he or she is trying to accomplish is taking a bad man or woman off the street in a safely manner, the reason being is because the officer is taking that man or woman off the street because the officer is trying to do his job by keeping the community safe. Now how can the community feel safe if they witness the excessive force of an officer? I know I wouldn’t feel any safer if I saw an officer using way to much force then was necessary.

          • Officers are not shooting dogs because they ‘can’, but because they are afraid. Dogs can, will, and have killed people and when you have an already tense situation and a 80-100lbs dog is barking and barreling towards you it’s reasonable to think that you will sustain great bodily harm or death. To address the use of less lethal force tasers can fail for a number of reasons such as both prongs not penetrating, prongs not penetrating clothing, taser not charged, etc. Also agents such as OC may not affect people. I know when I went through the Academy my eyes itched and burned a bit, but I was perfectly fine otherwise. These situations call for you to proceed up the use of force continuum

          • I agree Marie, they do need to protect themselves sometimes they are in very bad area where they are in danger. Using a weapon on an animal is not good they could use their pepper spray.

          • I wonder if you have ever been place in situations you just described? If you were being attacked by a 150 pound dog and you have a gun are you saying you wouldn’t shoot the dog? then what would you do, get chewed up and killed? I am guessing you would shoot that dog right in the face. Again we are placing police on a level that implies that they have more options to protect themselves than you or I do. They have to make snap decisions that may mean the difference between life and death. Not an easy thing to do regardless of your level of training. You just have to be in that position before you know what you would do.

        • I agree with your response and also feel that it is very important to understand each situation that an officer is involved in and what the proper amount of escalation of force is appropriate to use.

      • Do you have any experience in law enforcement, military, or any job that consistently puts you in harm’s way? What if in your daily job you were constantly sworn at, disrespected, threatened with bodily harm, or generally blamed by someone who has done something wrong because they do not think you should do your job and hold them accountable for their transgression? I would be curious how many of you would respond if placed in some of the situations police are placed in every day. I wonder how long it would take to become so frustrated and angry that you would take advantage of your position, authority, and power when confronting someone who is questioning you, not listening to you, or becoming physically confrontational with you.
        For all those who keep jumping on the “police are the problem” bandwagon, I say again walk a mile in their boots before you proclaim them the problem. By no means am I saying that is you. I am simply stating that this “police excessive force” issue is not as black and white as so many want to make it.

    • It depends on what kind of situation the police officer is in. If it

      is a violent situation or the police are in a situation where they

      may be injured, then the correct amount of force is needed to

      subdue a criminal. The correct amount can be excessive in

      ones eyes. However, most police do not use excessive force.

      I am sure there are some that do.

      • I agree on everything you mentioned in your response. There is always going to be the few officers that will abuse their power and use too much force, but you sometimes have to put your self in their shoes, you never know what you would do in that situation until you are in that situation.

      • I agree, i think the situation plays a giant role and most officer are very good at controlling a situation.

      • I agree with you in that it is easy for an outsider to judge someone who is not in the line of fire so to speak and say that too much force was used. I believe that all sides should be considered before the actions are condemed. If the person does not have a nature of over-reacting than maybe they should be given the benefit of the doubt and just trusted as using their best judgement at the time.

        • Hi Shirley,

          I completely agree, if we were in the situation in which someone looks like the want to harm/kill me, I’m sure I would be on the edge and have my adrenaline going. This is a hard situation to imagine and we should give the cops the benefit of the doubt until all of the facts about the situation have come to light.

          Take care,
          Marilyn

      • I concur your statement, when ever officers are at risk of losing their lives or life of others. Yes smart choice to take the bad guys done. Please think ahead of the criminals. Be vigilant.

      • Once again I agree, if the police officer’s life is in danger they have the right to self defense. Most police departments train officers to the plus one theory. The officer has the right to use the force necessary to protect themselves using one degree higher than the assailant. This does not mean it can or should ever be excessive.

        • The issue isn’t that the officer used deadly force to protect himself, he used it in a situation where it wasn’t needed.

          • Who are we to Monday morning quarterback them? These men and women go out day and night, day after day, to protect life and property for everyone. There are times when use of force can become excessive but that is up to the judge and department to determine.

      • You have truly stated a very important point. There are times things get out of hand and with all their best efforts to try and keep the control in line, but then a fool happens and everyone has that side, that will cause one to slap you in the middle of next week. It was not planned it just happen. Again, they are only human, but it can not be a history of abuse on the public.

      • I agree with your statement to some extent.I dont think it should matter about how much force the police is giving for the situation.I think it matters about the matter of the situation and their life.Force is the strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement

      • I agree completely with you on this. Every now and then the police would be put into a very hairy situation in where they would have to use excessive force in order to protect them and or for the better safety of the populace. But in some eyes it would seem like they are abusing their power. But there are a few officers out there who do abuse it.

      • Eleftherios

        I agree with your response and I think it is well said. An officers force should only be use when it is necessary, otherwise they are abusing their powers.

        Marie Derozin

      • Not only the situations the officer is in excessive force can be a lot of different things but the most common thing I think cops do is put handcuffs on suspects. This is the best way to make sure everyone one is safe including the officer and I officers who use excessive force when a suspect is subdue should be tried and fired. This is wrong and we here to many stories of cops just using to much force and it needs to stop.

        • I agree with your assessment on how to keep everybody safe.

          I do believe be now, they are requiring officers to video tape everything. In my opinion, this just makes the most sense and it protects everybody

      • Excessive Force (Manrique Rodriguez) Survey of criminal justice 100
        Do police use excessive force on citizens? Yes of course police use excessive force on citizens for many reasons. Police are required to use any type of force they deem necessary to control or prevent situations and circumstances. Also if the officer feels his life is in danger he is permitted to use the correct amount of excessive force needed.
        Are ther situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from start of a confrontation without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being accused? Yes, unfortunately those situations occur. The police have the a lot of aunthority and power and sometimes it leads to them abusing their powers. This is probably the number 1 problem the judicial system and officers face internally. There not a lot of people watching cops or monitoring them but there out patrolling the streets and watching everyone. I don’t think it’s always a malicious intent but they either cross the line or go to far to an extent. A famous example or incident that this directly involved was the Rodney King incident. This sparked a worldwide rage and made it public to the whole world what some people go through and police brutality.

        Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? Yes as citizens always seem to make the police officer’s job a lot harder than it should be. Everyone had their incident and should learn a lesson sometimes if needed. Nobody loves talking officers or getting stopped by them just to be questioned. I feel like most of these confrontations happen when talking about people who hate law enforcement. They aggravate confrontations and purposefully cause police confrontations and some people are just having a bad day there’s several reasons for why this happen’s.
        Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials? Yes people like officers are armed and some are just plain crazy. The problem with gun’s and weapons is they eventually get into the wrong hands. So naturally when a person feels their life is being threatened they act instinctively. Citizens also taunt and insult officer’s all the time, it’s disrespectful and citizens just need to understand sometimes that officers are just doing there job.
        Do citizens abuse police officers? Yes citizens do a lot more than that. Citizens abuse officers physically all the time. Most of the time they don’t get away and justice is served. The citizens that do this should be punished because they don’t respect higher authority than nothing will stop them and they are dangerous. Also Citizens taunt and verbally insult officer’s all this time, it’s disrespectful and citizens just need to understand sometimes that officers are just doing their job.

        • Hello,
          I could not have said it any better. Citizens and police officers really do have the opportunity to make it harder on the other by aggravation. This could also be said for self defense but today people have no sense of right and wrong. It lacks greatly.
          Thank You,
          Hayden

        • Manrique,
          Your post is right on. Police officers are human and even though they are trained to control themselves, some situations get out of control. I believe you are saying that you begin by viewing them in a positive way until they show otherwise. I agree with that and want to think that they are due my respect. In either case, both abusing police officers and abusing citizens should per prosecuted.

          Regards,
          Cesare Gelsi

        • Manrique,

          I agree with you in regard to citizens making the police job harder then it has to be. I think the fight or flight instinct kicks in and they become violent in trying to evade the police.
          Cheer,
          Anthony

        • Hello Manrique Rodriguez,
          This was a good read. I was very interested in what you had to say in regards to the police being abused by citizens. The only abuse i could think you was verbal abuse. I posted a link about a video of someone doing such. These were all great thoughts and should be thought about when dealing with police officers. There are officers of the law that do not have good intentions and i would have been interested to seen some media about many of the situations listed. Your opinion is a great one to keep in mind but, not bias enough to influence. The link shows that the cops is be unpleasant to a gentleman that was more than willing to take a ticket. https://youtu.be/SGSrGmHsT8s
          Good job, Michael Jones

        • Hello,
          “You stated The police have the a lot of authority and power and sometimes it leads to them abusing their powers. This is probably the number 1 problem the judicial system and officers face internally. There not a lot of people watching cops or monitoring them but there out patrolling the streets and watching everyone”
          I agree with much of your statement. I do believe most of the police in the system is good. However, one bad police officer is one to many. I think police internal investigations need of violence need to be more open, and the blue curtain needs to be pulled back.
          Regards,
          John Burr

        • Hello Manrique Rodriguez,
          I enjoyed reading your post, I too believe that the Rodney King beating was one of the prime examples of police misusing the power of excessive force.

        • Police are arguably in a sense vulnerable to being painted with a broad brush. This seems to be an issue of dehumanization. Human error is acceptable, it isn’t when there is malice involved. This could be a case of heightened tension, but there are ways to address those senses.

        • Hello,
          In response to you saying citizens make officers job harder than it should, I agree completely. Respect for officers have went down and unfortunately some officers make it justified but it looks like the cool thing to do so everyone wants to make a name for themselves or get a laugh or recognition from their friends for pushing the limit

        • Hey Manrique,

          I agree and disagree with your statement of that the police officers are “required to use any type of force they deem necessary to control or prevent situations and circumstances”. As police officers, they have taken an oath to uphold the law. While police officers have some discretion of how to use the force, they are not required to use force. The police officers should assess the situation and only use force if that is the last resort available.

          Thank You
          Anmol Sandhu

      • The use of excessive force true can be in the hands of a deranged officer, so how do you tell if it is excessive or not?
        Debi

        • unfortunately the only way to really tell if the force was excessive or not would be to examine the suspect for injury’s and to see in the dashboard camera or any other video recording device caught the confrontation on video

      • I agree with you that often times what people consider to be excessive force may not coincide with what the officer or even the law considers to be excessive. The idea is not for the officer to match the force being exerted by the offender, but to utilize the amount of force necessary to resolve the confrontation.

      • I completely agree with your statement. Understanding the situation the officer is involved in is the most important factor when using force.

      • Violence is an important thing to factor in. I believe this may be a great example of the use of discretion. What purpose does the action serve and is it necessary? It is important to determine the degree of human error or intent.

    • I agree, Professor Caesar. Police must use the right amount of force. Just enough to make sure that the violator is aware of who is in charge and a bit intimidated, but not so much where it causes danger.

      • I also agree with that statement, “Police must use the right amount of force. Just enough to make sure that the violator is aware of who is in charge and a bit intimidated, but not so much where it causes danger”, but unfortunatly in the heat of a struggle, the amount of force an officer is suppose to use can become somewhat blurry and hard to decipher..

      • Though sometimes this has the opposite effect. a ‘show of force’ is sometimes used to intimidate as you put it, but I have seen that personally go the other way where they start screaming saying things like ‘if you’re going to do it do it!” getting in the officers face. Many people don’t care at a certain point and will fight with an officer regardless. My FTO told me police work was like being a garbage man everyone wants the garbage gone, but they don’t want to see how it’s done.

        • I understand your point, but I also think that if the garbage men act like the “trash” using intimidation and force, more often than not, they are no better than the trash. Using experience, trial and error (over a decade), and going with what works-police presence, accountability, community our reach, and public service-humanizing law enforcement. By investing in public knowledge, building relations, and maintaining positive roles, law enforcement garners trust and respect, not fear and suspicion.

    • I agree with you Mr. Caesar, once a situation is contained or has been brought to order the regular policy of policing should be implemented.

      • Police have to use their discretionary skills in order to determine how much force is needed to contain a situation. They have to find a way to maintain order, and once order has been established, the force should come to a halt.

      • In the case of crowd control, police need to be extra careful when using and abusing non lethal weapons to include baton/ riot baton, CS Gas and OC pepper spray. Proper use of these and many new non lethal weapons must always be used enough to subdue a crowd and that is it.

        • I agree. However, it must be very difficult to have that much adrenaline going while trying to control a crowd, then being able to stop once order is obtained. Just a thought.

          • I’m sure with excessive training and exercises that hopefully police will be able to control themselves with using the non-lethal weapons properly even when under tremendous stress.

          • In reality that is all it is training it becomes second nature. Years ago when the NYPD was still using revolvers when ever there was a gun fight Internal Affairs would find a pile of bullets next to where the officer was. The reasoning behind it was that when they where on the firing range officer’s would empty the cylinder into their hands before reloading so they didn’t have to pick u all the brass. This habit rolled over to the streets.

        • Hi Joe,
          I agree with you on not abusing the gas/pepper spray, etc. from the standpoint of excessive force but also there is the issue of medical complications. I have asthma and pepper spray could cause a medical emergency for me. Officers should think about protecting themselves but avoid any additional issues by only using force to the extent that they can gain and maintain control.

          Take care,
          Marilyn Butler

      • I agree with you entirely. Order has to be maintained and then the amount of force being used has to either come to a stop or be minimalized.

      • Desiree,

        I agree with your comment. I think using excessive amount of force only hinder the situation and cause it to be out of control.

        Marie Derozin

    • which is why I believe every law enforcement entity has some sort of standard operating procedures or rules of engagement. Steps are taken to bring situations under control and once that goal is met, there should be no more use of force. In oder to keep the peace, you also need to win hearts and mind so by overstepping your boundaries will only making your and fellow officers job difficult. Agreed with you prof.

      • Yes, well put. I agree. You have to give respect to gain respect. So as officers of the law, if the situation is diffused then there is no need for excessive force. Once you continue to use force you lose respect and control of the crowd and situation.

        • This all sounds good in theory, but have you ever had to defend your life , you not thinking about steps of engagement, It all happens way to fast !

    • Proffessor Colin,

      I do agree with your response, I think that police tend to over do it by using excessive force even when the situation has been handled a lot of times but no additional force is needed if a situation is clearly in control by law enforcement.

      • Stanley
        I agree, Excessive force should be use when police officers are in need to use it .Police officers should also be trained to when they need to use the excessive force in particular situations.

      • You mention it is the fault of the officers, but of the 12 million arrest only about 2500 had excessive force complaints meaning about .003%. While for the 800,000 officers there were 50,000 assaults meaning .06%, so people are hurting officers at a rate more than 4 times that of officers hurting civilians. Though in the news you will see all the officer stories because an officer getting hurt making an arrest isn’t newsworthy.

        • I agree that the new disproportionately sensationalizes abuse by officers, despite the fact that the numbers clearly show it is limited overall. Furthermore, I believe there is a vast difference between public perception and law enforcement agencies on what constitutes excessive force.

    • Do police use excessive force on citizens?
      *( I feel that some police do use excessive force on citizens because they think they can do it and get away with what they did becasue they are police officers.)*
      Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
      (This URL is from USA Today where two cops where charged with murder… (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-09-21/homeless-man-death-police/50499386/1)…this goes to show that some police officers do use uneccessary force.

      Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
      (Some citizens do promote violence against police officers and it is wrong. You shouldn’ try to hurt police no matter what the situation.)

      Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
      ( I feel some citizens do use abusive force and it is completely wrong and if they do use force they should be arrested and put in jail no questions asked. Assualt and battery charges should be filed if anything.)
      Do citizens abuse police officers?

      (Citizens do abuse police officers and it is wrong and they should be convicted if they do decide to try to abuse a police officer.)

      • I do agree that there are those out there that give the police force a bad name, however that is not limited to agressive measures in the field. It would be their overall policing practices. It is however exploited more fully in the field of abusing their authority in the line of physicial and verbal abuse. In any form abusing their authority is wrong and should not be tolerated.

        • I strongly agree with you, any abusing of authority is wrong and should not be tolerated and excessive force is definitely abuse if the situation does not warrant it.

          • The worst part is as soon as over excessive force happens the media concentrates on the rather than the greater good the police is doing for the community.

          • Hi John,
            I completely agree with your statement about the media. The media tend to focus on the negative things in everything and this could cause distortion in the way people look at all police officers. How is that fair to them?
            One officer or two, who are covered by the media could ruin the whole law enforcement’s reputation.
            Damaris

          • Rene, you are completely correct, but don’t you agree that the amount of force it takes to subdue or control a suspect can be a matter of opinion as some people require more restraint and force then others to cooperate. This makes it hard to determine how much force to use.

            Alex

      • Mr. Hall, this was an interesting piece. However, an officer’s occupation is a very stressful environment. Yet, this does not mean officers should racially profile and abuse discretion. I do agree that the officers, who abuse discretion, do it in a manner of not being punished. As the preamble to this assignment showed how the officers who killed Sean Bell were acquitted, indicated that police officers can get away with unlawful acts. This creates societal harm and then frustrates and angers civilizations. Especially, after I read the aggravating circumstances of the case.

      • Hello David,
        I definitely feel that citizens do abuse police officers in some way that the police approach them. Do you believe though that police abuse their power at times too. I think so as I took a policing class last semester and we learned that police abuse their right of power over citizens because they carry a badge and wear a uniform. In this sense, police use forms of bribery and chiseling to get their way on matters. To be honest, their both in the wrong because of how much power they want to perceive themselves in having.

        • Hello Anthony,
          Agree with you on all you said. I wouldn’t say police basically use the uniform for bribery but I do think try abuse their powers way to often and eventually something bad happens or someone’s challenges them. I think harassment from officers is a huge problem also cops patrol the same neighborhoods an know the people around who are trouble makers or prone I commit crimes and that’s not fair some people do change but not all do!
          Sincerely manrique

      • David,

        you attached a very interesting and very sad truth that unfortunately people have to witness. It saddens me that no matter how safe we feel, we as citizens of the law must still be afraid or wonder if what the people who say they are protecting us, really are protecting us in the community or just taking matters into their own hands. When matters are taken into your own hands, nothing ever smart or good comes out of it, because your clear judgement is blocked by rage or revenge or any other “bad” emotion.

      • David,
        While I agree that there are times that police officers overstep their authority, most police officers try to do their job well and only use what force is necessary. Any officer who does overstep should be prosecuted. I sometimes wonder if some officers who are aggressive are thinking about their buddies who were killed by abusive citizens. That’s certainly not an excuse but might explain some of their aggression.

        Regards,
        Cesare Gelsi

        Regards

      • Hi David,

        I was so sorry to see this story about the homeless man. I really do hope that officers who act like animals are punished just like any other person, if not even more seriously because they are abusing their power.

        Take care,
        Marilyn Butler

      • David,

        Training, an officer’s aggressive traits, predisposition to violent behavior, home life, substance abuse and other factors may play a role in an officer using more force than necessary on a suspect. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=3&sqi=2&ved=0CCwQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jghcs.info%2Findex.php%2Fl%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F150%2F147&ei=-aD0VMiiEPSAsQSin4LACg&usg=AFQjCNGRYfCfsEfiXDMX-g58eDAqowdz8g

        The bottom line – Officers are human and go through the same problems that others do, unfortunately they carry weapons.

        Your perspective is enlightening,

        Dave

      • Hello David Hall,
        I think that you’re completely correct when it comes the abuse of power from some law enforcement officials. Your answers were very short. I would have enjoyed hearing more point or details in your responses. I’m sure that there have been abuses towards police officers and in sure almost all offenders are charged.
        Nice job, Michael Jones

      • Do you feel like police only use excessive force believing they can get away with it? I’m not saying it’s ok but being a police officer you see a lot of things and emotions can make you irrational. There was an officer who responded to a suicide earlier in one day and then a pool party later that day. He was acting rather harshly towards the people involved however they were not listening to nor respecting him. I’m pretty sure the teenager he detained felt like he was on a power trip, however I’m sure he was just a little jaded.

      • Hi David,

        I agree to a certain extent. A citizen has the right to defend themselves if an officer is using excessive force for no apparent reason. It’s called self defense. Kind of like in the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case. Although George Zimmerman wasn’t an officer (he just thought he was). But Trayvon was being followed for no reason and he defended himself… He had the right to do that.

        Best Regards,
        Christian

      • David,

        I agree with you that the police force do get away with abusing citizens often however I also feel that a lot of the abuse is publicized therefore it is known. I’m not sure if the officers are punished at all, I hope that they are, however it’s definitely out there for everyone to see and talk about. I believe it’s wrong either way, officers abusing citizens and vise versa. Great responses!

        Thanks,

        • Taylor,
          I agree that if the media senses any foul play when it comes to officers using force, that story will get more coverage than if an officer does not. I’ve attached a video of an Ohio Officer who could have easily shot a threatening murder victim. At one point the officer even falls to the ground as the attacker stands over him. I found this story on a friends facebook page, where was the coverage for this story?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E9bI1iwQUM

      • Hello David,
        I agree with you that some officers feel like they can get away with excessive force because they are officers. In my view sometimes the officer is provoked. Now the officer should be able to refrain from doing anything outside of what is right but if resistance to a just command goes on, it should be expected.

      • Hey David,

        I agree with the statement that the police officers think that they can use excessive force and get away with it. Sadly, the society for a long time has been operating that the police officers not just have a discretion but a right to use regardless of the situation. But, strict consequences for the police officers who are found guilty should never be allowed to work in any law enforcement career. While some citizens might promote violence, the police officers should use their training of how to handle a situation before it gets out of hand.

        Thank You
        Anmol Sandhu

    • I agree with you Prof. Caesar!

      Once peace is restored, that should be the end of it. Knowing htat you are a police officer should give you the control you ened to handle the situaton without purposely beating someone and causing more trouble.

    • Awesome. If we use trainings and education made available to us as Law Enforcers or Law abidding citizens we can manage crime and live happy. Despite our works of life. Use of power especially excessive force may lead to stress.For example, a Police officer pointing his/her weapon at a criminal then want to process just triggered a life and death crisis. It is hard to process when under such oressure. So! let us attempt to process calmly and use our weapons as a form of last resort. Deep breathing helps. Try it at all times. Some people just to talk or be talked to doing the right thing.

    • I agree with you about the amount of force being used in this situation. I also agree that once the situation is under controll then the force should be stopped.

    • Professor Caesar,
      I completely agree with your statement. I believe that properly trained law enforcement officers use the amount they judge to be appropriate to attain control over the matter, and then stop. I think speculation comes upon this matter because there is no “by the book” regulation if you will for every single circumstance, which then the officer takes his training and uses his own personal judgement to decide how much force is needed.

      • Anna,
        I completely agree with your statement, I believe that one of the hardest things for a law enforcement office is to know exactly how much force to use to subdue or control a suspect.

        Alex

      • I very much like your no ‘by the book’ comment. The use of force continuum is very fluid and can not be applied equally to every situation. I think it would be good to educate the public on UoF because it would alleviate much of the tension and Monday morning quarterbacking

    • I do agree also. Police should use necessary force to obtain order. Unfortunately, only being in their situation can define what necessary force is as they are trained to react accordingly. It is easy to sit back and judge their reactions, but being directly involved in the situation can change one’s viewpoint.

    • I agree with you professor, that it is extremely important for police officers to use force to a certain extent, so that the situation can be under control. There is no other way to achieve order quickly and effectively.

    • Do police use excessive force on citizens? I believe that there are instances in which police use excessive force on citizens, primarily because some (certainly not all) law enforcement officials feel (or at least act as if they are) superior to the laws that govern the rest of society.

      Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument. I believe there are certainly instances in which law enforcement officials aggressively initiate excessive force without provocation. The following is a link to a story that is a perfect example: the man who was attacked was in a jail cell, still handcuffed, and had 4 or 5 police officers on him – http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/07/06/did-buena-park-police-use-excessive-force-against-32-year-old-man-in-handcuffs/.

      Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument. While not as widely reported on as stories that show law enforcement using excessive force without provocation, there are instances where citizens antagonize law enforcement officials, causing confrontations. One example of this would be an Occupy San Francisco member throwing bricks and other materials at police during a protest. Here is the link: http://sfist.com/2012/05/01/occupy_sf_re-occupies_888_turk_near.php

      Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials? Often times, drunken citizens or those under the influence of drugs will get violent and become abusive to responding law enforcement officials.

      Do citizens abuse police officers? While rather rare in my opinion, citizens do sometimes abuse police officers. Again, I believe that most are under the influence of some substance when they do this.

      • Michelle,

        I agree with you statement about how police officers think they are sometimes above the law. You know just because they are sworn to protect and serve doesn’t mean that your above the law. It only means that those officers are small pawns or pieces to a larger game of the criminal justice system. Officers should stick to their job description/oath they took and “protect and serve” rather than think just because he or she has a badge and gun strapped to themselves makes them invincible.

      • Michelle,

        I usually give officers the benefit of the doubt and I will continue to do so but I was horrified after I read this story in the attached article. The officer almost chokes a demonstrator to death even though the demonstrator was handcuffed at the time. The article goes on to report that the police officer was fired immediately.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/28/frank-phillips-police-brutality_n_5227769.html

        Regards,
        Cesare Gelsi

      • Hello Michelle,
        i agreed that law enforcement officials think that there above the law. A law officials badge, to them, must be a symbol of power. It should be thought of as a reminder of the promises that were made and the people they swore to protect. There are good cops and they are made out to be bad in situations. The link provides a related scenario of a cop be cleared of murder because of the video. https://youtu.be/eGpXRmT2l7k
        Great job, Michael Jones

      • Michelle
        I liked all of the attachments you included to help prove your point. I also agree with a lot of the things you say, for example there are intactness that police officers use accretive force but not all the time.

        Madeline Graves

      • Michelle,
        Good reference of 4-5 cops on a handcuffed individual. I a lot of the time side with officers because they have a difficult job but this just appear to be a beating out of anger. If the prisoner was resisting before the handcuffs went on, I am all about physically beating him into the handcuffs but he is already detained. I hope the officers received a harsh punishment

    • Yes, police should use just the right amount of force, no more no less. Sometimes you know it is easier said then done, and consider the fact they have not had a raise in seven years and alot of other things are on their mind, sometimes things can happen so fast and they could still be trying to keep control. “Stuff Happens”! Not taking up for them, but just saying they are human also and they are not above mistakes.

    • In my opinion excessive force should never be used unless it can be clearly justified. For instance if the suspect takes the officers club and starts to beat the officer then that officer has a right to defend themselves anyway possible . But you are right Mr Collins as soon as order is in place then the force should stop.

    • I concur professor Caesar. Excessive force is unnecessary even if the suspect is being excessive. What bothers me are those who abuse their power because of their haunted past. If you come off cocky, expect a cocky response from a suspect because they are human. Mistreatment of any kind especially if the suspect is cooperating should be punishable and for the charges to be acquitted and the officers not have any form of punishment or relinquishment of authority is unsettling. I followed that story for a while and the family wasn’t in any way compensated for their loss or pain and suffering. That is so sad.

    • Mr Colins,
      I agree with you to some extent, I think police officer should only use there strength if needed in the situation. For instance I do not think police officer should use there force. I know police officers use there force all the time to protect their self.

    • I think the statement made by Professor is great “It is important for the Police to use just that amount of force to control the situation.” this is well stated. It is important for police to use force but it is also important for police to use and specifically know how to use the right amount.

    • I agree with you. What you are speaking of is called Force Continuum. Force Continuum is the protocol that Law Enforcement uses to determine if force is still need to be used to control the situation: for example, if a subject that is being taken into custody and begins to fight an officer (physically resisting), the officer is able to use up to the same amount of force to subdue the subject. If a subject is using his hands and feet to physically resist, the officer can use his firearm to shoot the subject.

    • Professor Caesar,

      I completely agree with your statement. Any force should only be use when making the arrest. After that, the violator is defenseless, therefore, police should not use any force at all once they have reached their goal.

      Kelsey Luck

    • Is this the case where the groom was at the strip club, and the police officer was not in uniform, assumed he had a gun, running up to him and his friend as the were leaving, thought they pulled a gun so opened fire. If so I watched the reenactment of the story, or one similar. It was totally the polices fault, they ran after the guys, assumed that they had a gun without truly ever seeing one, no gun was ever found a the scene, a innocent man died at hands of a careless assumption…awful

    • Professor Caesar,
      Do the police know when to stop. As I wrote what about the Rodney King issue? Were they ever going to stop the beating…

      • Hi Debi,

        Yes, police should know when to stop. They are trained not to use excessive force. However, some police officers do use too much force to bring a situation under control.

        When these police officers violate their protocols of excessive force, they may be disciplined in many ways (being dismissed from the force, retraining, and courts’ sanctions if there is negligence).

        In addition, they may receive time off from the force, or they can face civil actions, or many more administrative or criminal sanctions.

        Thanks for asking,

        Professor Caesar

    • I agree completely with your statement Professor Caesar,

      There must be limitations in place in order to prevent these issues. I also think that the more experience and training an officer has working under these conditions can prepare him/her better. In order for this to happen, departments should focus on their retention rates in order to ensure the most qualified police officers are put under such circumstances.

      -Meagan

    • Prof. Caesar,

      I agree with you when it comes to using the right amount of force to handle a situation. But when it comes to certain situations how would they know when the situation is handled?

    • Hello Professor,

      1) Do police use excessive force on citizens?
      I think that there are many instances in which police do use excessive force on citizens because they feel that they won’t be punished for doing so. In addition, some police officers have an inflated sense of power due to their positions.

      2) Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
      I believe that are definitely some instances when law enforcement officials have aggressively initiated excessive force without provocation. One case comes to mind about a mentally ill and homeless man who was beaten to death in California. Here is a link the story: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/us/california-homeless-beating-verdict/.

      3) Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
      While we don’t hear about these kinds of story as often, there are instances in which citizens do intentionally cause police confrontations. For whatever reason, these cases don’t seem to receive nearly the attention that police brutality cases receive.

      4) Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
      Drunken citizens or those under the influence of drugs are probably the most likely to use excessive force against law enforcement, though I’m sure some stone-cold sober individuals do so as well.

      5) Do citizens abuse police officers?
      While probably rare, I’m sure that some citizens do abuse police officers. However, officers often (Though not always) have many tools at their disposal with which to stop an abusive individual.

      Take care,
      Debbie

      • Debbie,

        Thanks for your post, I agree that citizens abuse police but it’s not that “rare.”• “A total of 1,501 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58 hours or 150 per year. There were 100 law enforcement officers killed in 2013. On average, over the last decade, there have been 58,930 assaults against law enforcement each year, resulting in 15,404 injuries. See http://www.nleomf.org/facts/enforcement/

        My two cents,

        Dave

      • Hello Debbie Spears,
        I like that you use the Kelly Thomas story. When i read the question, that was the first this to come to my head. I still believe that whole situation is a great way to show police officers that their not above the law. It proves that there are consequences for making the wrong choice even under the false interpretation of power. No one is above the law.
        Great job, Michael Jones

      • Hello Debbie,
        In response to if citizens abuse police officers, I disagree that it is probably rare. it may be rare in some areas but others are probably a battle zone 24/7. whether it’s a nasty look, or someone screaming out rude names like “pig”. it’s not always physical.

      • Hey Debbie,

        I agree with your statement that the citizens do use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials when under the influence of drugs. Alcohol can influence their behavior too. While the police officers have to deal with a lot of drunk and high citizens, the situations can easily become more intense if the police officer is not calm. Another example where the citizens can use excessive force is in the bar fights that the police are called to answer and belligerent people can get rowdy with the responding officers as emotions are high mixed with alcohol.

        Thank You
        Anmol Sandhu

    • Hello Professor,

      I agree with you. And, in a perfect world that would happen and the issue of excessive force by police wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, what is considered excessive force is very subjective. This subjectivity makes it very problematic for determine what is, and is not, considered excessive force. Its a slipper slope for sure.

      Robert

    • Professor Caesar,
      I completely agree with you about excessive police force!
      Police officers should only use the amount of force that they need to control a situation, they should never use more than that. I believe that many police officers do use just the right amount of force needed, but many think just because they are “officers” they can use excessive force to control a suspect.
      Thank you.
      Kirsten Davis

    • Having served in Law Enforcement I can see from both standpoints. Every situation is different and can be looked at from a million ways. As an example I fellow guy I knew was about 4feet tall. A very short guy, though we all have police training if he was in a situation where he was trying to de-escalate a big crowd then he would be aloud to use the appropriate force needed.

      • Hello Joshua, Thanks for your service you prove a great point an officer of his height would have to use more force because of his size as compared to an officer who is 6’3 285 lbs. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

    • Prof. Caesar,

      I agree with you. Police officers need to stop abusing their power, instead call for back up, use their tazers, mace, etc. The goal should not be to kill.

      Tia

    • Hello,
      I 100% agree. Force is often necessary for Police to use, but it should end as soon as the threat goes away. Police force should not be used as a punishment or a deterrence for crime.

      Regards,
      Johnathan Burr

    • Professor Caesar,

      As it appears to be open season on police officers, I do not blame officers around the nation for being a little edgy. I agree with your statement that once the situation is contained, the force should be deescalated. It is currently a very tough time to be a police officer right now.

    • Hello Professor Caesar, I agree with you the force is necessary to control large groups of riots. Once they gain control they should back off from the use of excessive force.

    • Good Evening:

      Do police use excessive force on citizens?
      “There’s no concrete definition of excessive force. Police have to use force to subdue suspects every day. Reasonable levels of force are guessed by cops on the street, second-guessed by police review boards and sometimes tested in civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions on a case-by-case basis” (ABC, 2016) Given that the definition of ‘excessive force’ is arbitrary, I am going to define it as force after-the-fact similar to unnecessary roughness in the NFL. Force needs to be used to control a situation, and once the situation is controlled, there is no further need for force. There are instances of excessive force being used intentionally or unintentionally, an example of which would be this case in which 50 bullets were used.

      Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
      Yes, however, “Very few incidents of force result in charges of excessive force, says Henriquez. From 1994-98, his project documented 147,362 incidents of police-related force and 6,163 complaints, only 654 of which were sustained by review boards. That’s only .44 percent of force being considered excessive” (ABC, 2016).

      Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
      I don’t want to touch this issue too much, because of the polarized political environment surrounding this. However, some people have made the cultural argument for incentivizing police confrontation. This isn’t my opinion, nor do I endorse any on this issue. You could make an argument for the distribution of hate-based media and entertainment.
      Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
      Recently, “Authorities said Monday that police officers were clearly targeted and ambushed in this weekend’s shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which killed three officers and wounded three others. It’s the latest such ambush in the United States, and happened just 10 days after five police officers in Dallas were gunned down” (ABC, 2016).

      Do citizens abuse police officers?
      Yes, I would cite my previous example as an extreme situation, but more minor infractions occur prominently.

      References
      Segan, S. (2016). What Is Excessive Force? Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=96509
      Press, T. A. (n.d.). A Look at Police Ambush Killings in US and Its Territories. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/glance-police-ambush-killings-us-territories-40678792

      Thanks for reading my post,
      Chandler Morgan

    • The text also talks about the primary duty of police is to maintain civil order. I agree in this force being force after-the-fact. Were the 50 shots necessary to maintain order? If there was intent, then this would require an investigation.

    • ccaesar states:
      It is important for the Police to use just that amount of force to control the situation. Once order is achieved, no more force should be used.

      The question of the amount of force still goes unanswered in this definition. To subdue a suspect for their safety and the safety of the public is a law enforcement agents duty, but the rights of the suspect are paramount to ensure that in the line of duty the officer does not impede the rights or safety of the citizen under suspicion. The officer does not judge, convict, or punish, that is the job of the court. Force should be the last resort in gaining order, not the first choice. Many instances of police brutality are brought to light and presented due to the officer’s knee jerk reaction to tackle and restrain before investigation. Granted in some instances this is imperative to safety, but in others it is a direct violation of civil liberties and reasonable understanding of civilian safety.

      In the death of Eric Garner, who was SUSPECTED of selling loose cigarettes, an obvious non-violent offense, an officer applied a choke hold, which was banned in NY City in the 90s as a means to subdue, on Mr. Garner resulting in his death. On video, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2014/dec/04/i-cant-breathe-eric-garner-chokehold-death-video, Mr. Garner is seen speaking with police in a non-threatening manner-no rushing, no brandishing of weapons-albeit loudly, when an officer jumps on his back and proceeds to choke him. In this instance order was not disrupted in a way that warranted physical control. The discretionary power used to subdue Mr. Garner was excessive and the process deemed unsafe by the organization that used it. There were no convictions in this case, even though it was deemed a homicide…how is this possible? How does that fit into your definition?

    • Unlike the rest I will not just arbitrarily agree with you. Because just about everyone who says. “You are absolutely right”, and “Police should never use any more force than is necessary” have no experience in hostile or dangerous situations. It is always easier to be a Monday morning quarterback than the guy starting the game on Sunday.
      This maybe harsh, but quite frankly I am sick and tired of the political climate in America today where the police are the bad guys and the criminals are victims. It seems like since this course started the focus has been on police misconduct, excessive use of force by police, and a general attitude that the police are the problem in America.
      The problem in America is not the police but criminals committing crimes, and a political atmosphere that places the blame for crime not on the criminal but on a society that forced that criminal to rob, steal, sell drugs, or murder.
      Police have one of the toughest jobs in the world and I think many have lost sight of that fact. They expect and demand that cops be above all human emotion and take whatever abuse they receive with a smile. I challenge anyone out there to do the same. They are expected to do the same thing American Soldiers are expected to do, get shot at before they use deadly force. This is a ridiculous notion created by political hacks with an agenda. I for one am tired of it.

    • I strongly believe Police Officers should always have a refresher course on how to deal with the public during any type of call or stop. Most of the minority community lost trust with the men in blue. We have seen too many incidents that was captured on social media when the party was innocent and the police officer used deadly force. For an example: Eric Garner died of a chokehold that was banned in November 1993 in New York, according to The Atlantic. This force was unjust, especially when the man kept saying “I can’t breathe,” The police officer continued to keep him in the chokehold, even when the suspect was in distress.
      http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/12/context-for-the-punishment-free-killing-of-eric-garner/383413/

  2. I do believe that police use excessive force, many times I think it is because they take many matters personal and do like to be questioned or not listened to. I think police officers need to realize that most of the people they face don’t specifically have issues with that officer rather then just the law in general or sometimes it may be that the person is just extremely infuriated.

    ajm21093@email.vccs.edu

    • I totally agree, I think also they may use excessive force as a go to response for situations that can be handled with be less aggressive means. Like they make a snap judgement without having all the facts.

    • I think that when they feel it is a personal attack they do what any other person would do which is fight back, allowing their feelings to get the best of them could be really dangerous.

      • I am an officer and I know sometimes this can be hard to believe but police are people. We have feeling, emotions, thoughts, all of it and even though 99% of the time we can keep it bottled up we are humans and will will make mistakes. The important thing is that we can learn from them. My FTO told me the worst thing about a mistake is if you don’t learn from it.

    • I agree, and you’ve made a valid point. Some officers just dont want to be disrespected. Which could cause conflict between a potential suspect and an officer. I’m sure a minor situation could quickly escalate into a very serious/fatal incident.

      However, its easy for us to focus on what the officer did. As opposed to what the suspect did/didn’t do to make the officer react the way he/she did.

      • I totally agree that some police officers think that they can do as they please without facing consequences. However. there are also the ones that are just trying to protect themselves and the public from harm in a bad situation.

        • Terassa,
          I respectfully disagree with you. Officers and citizens should not have different perceptions on force because that causes a lot of misinterpretation between the two groups. Police officers have training and experience to handle situations differently and use violence as a last resort.
          Damaris

    • I don’t exactly agree with you. From personal experience, I have met cops in the past that listen to my complaints and attended to my needs pretty well. They even got me connected to the right party if they weren’t able to address my concerns.

    • Hello Amy,
      I believe police on an everyday basis are using excessive force everyday. I think it is our jobs as citizens though to perceive how well they approach us and figure out the best means on how to communicate. Police’s negative outlooks are only shaped by how we communicate with them in society and its our job to make this process work.

    • Amy loved the way you broke that down and enjoyed reason your pose. Never realized that cops take their job to personal and that makes their job a lil tricky when it comes to confrontation. I also think if a cop is prejudice to certain races he will use more force than needed because of that. It’s a travesty and should never happen. I feel like the reason why officers stop people dictates the confrontations they have. If it’s a legitimately good reason the suspect should have no problem and should be calm. If it’s the other way around if a officer pulled a suspect over for no reason I feel like they would have a problem and attitude towards the officer might be harmful or disrespectful which excessive force might be the only resolution.

    • Hey Amy,
      Loved your response and made me think about your post. It happens a lot just never noticed it but when cops get asked questions or get told how they should do their job they take it personal and make take it as disrespect and a confrontation occurs which excessive force is the only resolution. When an officer is mad his judgement is clouded and excessive force might be to much because the officer made it personal and won’t step down.

    • I think that you make an excellent point! Sometimes, it can be challenging for officers to “keep their cool” while under very stressful situations or dealing with disrespectful offenders. We are all human right? However, it does not excuse their behavior if they choose to conduct themselves that way. They are trained to be in that line of work and should expect these challenges.

      Thought provoking post, thanks!

      -Meagan

    • Amy,
      This is a very good point that you make. To play devil’s advocate, it seems the the arguments of excessive force is always in favor of the offender. At what point is the well being of the law enforcement officer taken in to consideration? When an officer does defend his actions by claiming he felt he was in danger, is it fair t deny him/her of that feeling of threat? How do we go about proving that the threat existed so that we can better manage the problem of when law enforcement officers do use excessive force out of context?

      Thank you!
      Robert

    • To an extent I agree with you, every situation is different and the main goal is the protect and serve. There may be circumstances this mitigate or escalate but at the end of the day you have to do what you believe is right based off of the law.

  3. I think that most police officers do not use excessive force. Just put yourself in thier place. If someone is resisting arrest you have no idea what they might do. You must prevent them from injuring you or in a worst case scenerio, getting your weapon and using it.

    • I agree Suzanne, their personal perception of the situation is what their actions are based on…and that comes from experience and training. It is a very subjective thing…even when talking to different police officers.

      • I totally agree with both Suzanne and Lisa, and I am glad that someone has brought up this issue. In an earlier post, I pointed out the extreme subjectivity of the entire issue. Like Suzanne said, I think everyone needs to try to put themselves in the shoes of a law enforcement officer…what would you do? Or, better yet, what would you do if you were the victim; if you were the one being robbed, assaulted, or resisted against? Would you use the same force to apprehend the offender even if you weren’t a law enforcement officer? Which is more justifiable?

        Thanks!
        Robert

        • Robert,

          Thanks for posting a reply that give the other side of the argument. What would you do? is a good question. citizen review boards have been recommended as a savoir to the question of when is force too much? I agree that unless you have gone through the training and experienced mankind at its worse, then it is hard to judge. Prosecutors and others in the criminal justice field are in the best position to judge if an officer committed a violation of a persons civil rights. The Justice Department will review certain police-involved shootings to see if a person’s civil rights were violated. Also, the courts can be used to file a lawsuit. It takes a split second to make a decision that may conclude with you going home or your loved ones attending a funeral; the public has time to Monday morning quarterback a situation.

          Great post,

          Dave

    • I agree. I think most officers might come off as though they are using an excessive amount of force, but in reality they are just trying to be cautious and make everything as safe as possible for them and whoever they’re dealing with. Things can go awry very quickly and try do what they have to to prevent that from happening.

      • Police officers often have to deal with more than any other individual out in the streets. They probably see soo many ignorant people a day it is hard for them to maintain composure. Im sure for the most part out law enforcement agents try to do the right thing while they do their jobs.

        • Adequate training should teach a police officer to not flip out and crack someone’s skull just because they believe that person is acting “ignorant”. Yes they have a dangerous job, but they should know how to diffuse a situation without always resorting to violence. Everyone else has to remain composed in their profession when dealing with an irate person and just in general. There should not be an exception for police.

          • I agree with your statement that training is important, especially in a job like that of a police officer where they carry deadly weapons. I also agree that while their job is dangerous, they need to learn the tools to appropriately handle most situations without things turning violent.

          • I agree, police must recieve adequate training for the types of situation they will be expected to handle. Patience and good judgement is a must for them. Once a police officer starts to take things personal while doing his job they lose objectivity. I am not trying to judge, I know I couldn’t do the job and keep a nuetral attitude when dealing with people acting crazy!

          • I agree that training is a huge factor in being able to maintain composure and evaluate what type of force is needed to apprehend, but honestly, how often does that happen. We, as a society, always want to focus on these extreme cases where excessive force is used, but on a day-to-day problem, this is not a regular issue across the force. Just like law enforcement officers need to keep things in context,we as a society need to do the same and understand that there will always be the extreme situations.

            Thanks!
            Robert

    • I agree with you when considering the question of excessive force you need to put yourself in an officers shoes and that you have no idea what to expect from the person you are attempting to arrest; therefore, some latitude most be given. However, in the Sean Bell case, an unarmed person who was killed by police officers after they shot him 50 times is excessive and over the top. I am surprised they were acquitted; perhaps the prosecutor should have gone for a lesser charge to get a conviction.

      Jason

      • Putting ourselves in officers shoes is important,however, we can also think about the victims. As educated and trained personnel (officers) we should always be thinking ahead of the criminals and work towards keeping ourselves and them safe at all times. Killing or malhandling the criminals puts officers at risk despite what good of a job they are doing. DON’T PROVE ME RIGHT OR WRONG JUST THINK BETWEEEN THE LINES.

        • I agree that the victim should be thought of as well as the police officer, I don’t believe that any well-trained police officer, or humane one for that matter would want killing or manhandling a person to be their “best case” scenario. I think it is very difficult for them, because in most instances where a citizen resists or does actions caused for matters of force then an officer has to approach them not knowing what they are capable of. Still, I’m not trying to contradict you because I fully agree with your statement, the victim should be attacked just for the matter to be attacked.

    • True, the situation always call for the right course of action but once the arrest is made or the situation is contained, there should be no reason to get personal inflict pain. Good point

      • Agreed. But in a lot of these situations that are being brought up, the excessive force was being used during apprehension, not after. What would you do?

        Thanks!
        Robert

    • I agree with you that we should put ourselves in a police officers shoes. If someone seemed as if they were going to hurt another person or reisisting arrest excessive force should be used.

    • I completely agree, these officers are risking there lives everytime they put on there uniform and patrol or whatever there duty is that day. When they are faced with danger they are going to protect themselves and the environment around them as much as possible. That is there job, they are there to keep everyone safe.

    • I disagree with you Suzanne, an officer have a choice for everything. They have a choice to call back up (which they are suppose to do) or a choice to take matters into their own hands. Taking matters into their own hands can lead into something more bigger/dangerous than the actual crime at hand. All the violence is uncalled for. Police use of excessive force can make a civilian do what they see a police officer do. In our society it’s basically “monkey see, monkey do”!

      • I agree with you Kyundra, police officers need to evaluate the situation to know whether or not they need back up or not. A lot of officers want to be the heros and wont call for back up even if they have to use a great amount of force to sustain the offender.
        Great post!
        Kirsten

    • Yeah I do agree with your comment that sometimes it is necessary for the police officers to use force when it comes an arrest where the person is resisting to it but on the other hand, there are many police officers that just abuse of their authority and use force when it is not needed.

      • I have to dissagree with Kyundra. Does an officer always have the option to call for back up? What if “taking it into his own hands” is the only option he has?

        Let’s think about this. The officer walks up to a domestic violence call. The agressor is in the front yard. They immediately start to wrestle on the ground and the officer’s radio is knocked off, making it completely useless. Not only can he not call for back up, but being in such close quarters he has to be concerned with weapon retention. How quickly could the suspect go for his own gun? Next he spots the suspect reaching for a knife in his pocket. What is he to do? His handgun, taser, mase, baton etc may be his only option to survive.

        This is just a “made-up” scenerio but my point is that the situation & suspect determine the officers response. The officer has the ability to use different levels of force to protect themselves and the public for a reason. Do all officers always use the “propper” amount of force? Maybe not. But, the question is, what was their option at that time? What was the situation? Was it life or death? Just take all these things into consideration.

        • Good Afternoon Mark,

          Okay Mark I’m sorry but I think you are getting totally off point with your story. We are talking about police brutality; not when the citizen is clearly a threat to the police officer! In a case like you mentioned the cop would be within his rights to fire his weapon since it would be in defense of his life. Thanks for the post though.

          Respectfully,
          Krystal

    • I agree with your comment because why resist arrest when you know the consequences that’s why I don’t understand. When a citizen is in handcuffs then you may ask the officer why am I being arrested for. Resist arrest and there will be force.

    • Hi Suzanne,

      I like that you play devil’s advocate, so to speak, here. It’s true that if you try to put yourself in the place of police officers, you are going to have a better understanding of the hazards that they face each day. While some police officers do commit crimes against innocent and defenseless citizens that are inexcusable, this is not the norm as it is often presented to be. Many officers are wonderful people doing a risky job.

      Take care,
      Debbie

    • Suzanne,

      I agree that in order to protect yourself force needs to be applied. But I do not agree with the fact that the force is excessive. There is a huge difference between the two. It is easy to restrain and 180 pound woman without breaking her nose or arm etc. Police officers who do use excessive force most of the time don’ use i for protect but for abuse of the power they have. If it was only to protect themselves I would agree, but because that isn’t the only reason the do say I have to disagree.

    • I would have to disagree with this stance. Not everyone is cut out for law enforcement, or any job where your physical safety is at risk. If lack the qualities needed for the job, you should leave it. If you are skiddish, or fearful, the last thing you need to do is work a job where you are given a gun, and told to confront people. Every day people get into altercations with people who may be hostile, and if an officers first reaction to hostility, is to use overwhelming and excessive force against it, they are a danger. These are supposedly trained law enforcement officers. Agents of the state.

      Thank you,
      Sean King

    • I disagree, it may not be intentional but from my experience there are a lot of people who simply go to college and then head to the academy. Most agencies send you to a 3 month academy give you another 3 of OJT and then your on your own. In my opinion I don’t believe 6 months is adequate enough to train someone.

    • Suzanne,
      I completely agree with this post. I don’t believe that people understand that police officers are people and they chose to help people as a career. I’m pretty sure any people in any given harmful situation would want to protect themselves. Why can’t an officer do the same without getting heavily scrutinized? Why does it make them a pig to protect themselves.

    • Suzanne,

      I completely agree with your post. It’s scary to think that citizens don’t think of officers as people. In any given situation it’s only human to try and protect yourself. It’s not fair that officers receive so much hate for reacting in such a human way.

  4. In the instance in New York above the police absolutely used excessive force. It does not take 50 shots to take someone down. Even if he were armed the officers should have wounded him enough to get his weapon away and then apprehended him. That’s unacceptable and leads me to wonder if they were acting out on racial motives.

      • I concur, that the majority of the time there will be a motive. Most proffesionals on the law enforcement field have an great level of control.

    • I entirely agree. Yes, police must use aggressive force when it comes to riots and such. Yes, you have no clue what the people within the crowd have in mind and could do to you. But, NO- it DOES NOT take 50 shots to take somebody down. THAT is excessive.

    • I completely agree, I think sometimes police officers need to take a step back from the situation and realize what they are doing. In some situations, this one especially I think they take the power they have and use it negatively or to an excessive amount. I believe this was a vindictive, hateful way to act, and would not be surprised if it was racially motivated.

    • I do agree as well. I feel that a lot of times cases can be racially motivated and because of that excessive force is used to control a situation or even to make a statement which doesn’t look good to society. It shouldn’t take 50 shots to take an idvidual down in any circumstance.

    • i agree with you it does not take 50 shouts to stop one man even if he had a gun the officer could have wounded him and taken him down instead of killing him this reminds me of a case that happened in richmond where a police shot a man to death and would not let his wife do CPR on him and the man did not have a gun at all people even came foward to say that the man was on the ground when the police shot him he had to have a motive to kill this man.

    • I like the example you used with the police officers shooting someone 50 times because they had a gun. I agree that they should wound him enough to keep themselves and others safe.

    • I agree complete with you Andreanna. There is a motive for why the police shot Mr. Bell over 50 times. An average person is dead after the third bullet struck them.

    • I’m not sure if I would personally jump to assume racial motives, it seems like that is a conclusion that is jumped to quite frequently. If you read up on more details of the case, the detectives involved were undercover about being tipped off about the location (a strip club) running prostitution out of it. The victim was overheard getting into an altercation and telling someone “yo, get my gun”, which is what caused the detectives to take precautions and actions to try to avoid further altercation. When they approached the victim in the car and identified themselves as police and ordered him to stop, the victim did not listen and sped off(while he was intoxicated); and in doing so actually “brushed” up against the police officers leg with the vehicle.
      Also if you look at the attached website with photos of the 5 officers involved, I don’t see in any way how this could be portrayed as a “racial motive”.

    • Andreanna,

      I think you, myself, and many others have come to the conclusion that the act was racially motivated. 50 rounds against unarmed individuals… the pieces just aren’t adding up.

      Brandon

    • Andreanna,

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. It doesn’t take 50 shots to kill one person, let alone any more than 5, if you know what you are doing, which police officers should. Each officer has to go through extensive training with their fire arm before getting their registration and approval to use that weapon anywhere else other than the range.

    • I do agree with you, Here is why. I can see from a police point of view that in a mindset that you may lose your life or you believe someone will get hurt things can get out of hand. even for the most trained individuals could face making a mistake. Non the less shooting someone excessively normally indicates a personal vendetta and in that case yes I agree it is wrong.

  5. I would say in the referenced case police did in fact use excessive force. I remember following that story closely. There were several factors that lead up to that particular shooting, but I feel the amount of ammunition discharged and the number of shooters firing upon the vehicle was ‘excessive’. Of course there are many occasions where the public perception may be that officers use excessive force, however when seen by an officers perspective the amount of force used could be justifiable when taken into consideration the level of threat the officer may feel. An example would be when officers are trying to disperse an unruly or rowdy crowd and they use pepper spray or rubber bullets. It could seem that the amount of force is excessive but when seen from the point of view of an officer or even officers whom are out numbered ten or twenty to one, the amount of force could seem proportionate. I’m not saying it is okay to single out people from the crowd and attack or beat them, as in last years beating of a University of Maryland student by officers after the basketball win.

      • I agree with you that there are certain situations that an officer has to use perception to decide what is needed in each case. The above case is over the top excessive because that many shots are not needed nor should have been used. Citizens are officers see situations differently but officers are trained for these types of situation but there are tines such as this incident where they abuse their power to uphold the law and keep citizens safe.

    • True, most agencies prefer to use non-lethal weapons, however, it is impossible to know how these “non-lethal weapons can effect people.

  6. Some officers do use excessive force in some situations. I don’t feel, however that excessive force is widespread but instead only the result of fear, frustration or in a few cases a jaded attitude on the part of the police officer. Consider fear. When police officers are faced with situations in which they are truly afraid for their life or the life of an innocent bystander they tend to be more aggressive. Unfortunately fear is subjective so often the officer’s actions are judged to be overly aggressive after the fact. The police officer has the right to use what he believes is an appropriate amount of force in light of the level of threat. We can’t judge the officer’s actions unless we ourselves have been in the situation. We really can not gage his level of threat. An officer who exhibits excessive force as a result of identifying a situation as more threatening then it really is needs to be counseled on controlling situations, analyzing the level of threat and on methods of diffusing situations. It would probably also be beneficial to partner this officer with an experienced officer who is adept at analyzing situations and defining the appropriate actions in response to real threat.

    If aggressive acts are the result of frustration, the officer needs to be removed from the streets at least for a period of time. The officer needs to be counseled with a goal of identifying triggers of frustration. Assignments could be adjusted so that the officer doesn’t encounter any of those triggers until (s)he is better equipped to deal with them.

    Finally, if aggressive behavior is a result of a jaded perspective on the part of the police officer then the officer needs to be removed from the streets. There may be other assignments that the officer could handle but being in everyday contact with communities would not be desirable. Changing a deeply rooted attitude is usually not effective so chances are the officer would probably never be able to return to the streets

    • Hi David,
      I agree with your possible reasons for the use of excessive force. While never justified, I think that many officers are definitely fearful from time to time, as well as frustrated and/or jaded. Great post!

      Take care,
      Debbie

    • I disagree with this. We can absolutely judge the actions of a police officer, regardless of whether we have been in their shoes. If a teacher is frustrated and assaults or berates a student, you cannot use the excuse of, oh well, I can’t imagine the difficulties they were going through. As a society, we have rules, and we have standards. No one becomes a police officer by accident. They seek the job out, they apply for it, they work for it, they are taught, and trained, and agree to abide by certain conducts.

      If they are unable, or unwilling to uphold that conduct, they should find another job. Simple as that. If you can’t be trusted to show discretion, and minimize the use of a gun, get a new job. If you’re easily fearful and doubt your ability to handle a situation without defaulting to the gun, get a new job.

      Sean King.

      • Sean,

        I agree in part with your comment. The officer’s actions can and should be judged, but by a court of competent jurisdiction, not by individuals without the proper training on evaluating evidence and how to apply case law. Emotions and distrust of police agencies can enter into the process, and that should not happen. I am all for internal affairs doing a investigation and if the victim is not satisfied then it should be elevated to the Department of Justice or local human rights agency. There are ways to put checks and balances in place to punish individual officers or the agency that commit theses human rights violations. Remember that, an agencies policy and procedures and sovereign immunity may protect the agency head and agency from a private lawsuit.

        Thanks for your post,

        Dave Miller

      • I understand what your saying Sean but, I don’t necessarily agree. Yes, it is wrong and unacceptable but take this as an example. A war veteran who came back from a war missing limbs and diagnosed with PTSD, if he was to cause a crime would it be the military’s fault for not helping him cope? or still his fault? even then the purpose of our legal system is to rehabilitate even after a bad crime is committed. like you said about a high school teacher taking frustration out, yes it is terribly wrong but given certain circumstances I do believe there should be some lenience

      • Sean

        Your comment is not applicable. A teacher choses to teach at a school while a police officer chooses to serve and protect out in public. This is a poor example of why actions of officers should be judged. A better more applicable reason as to why they should judge an officers actions is because what an officer does reflects upon the department. If an officers behaviors are harmful it will strain the relationship that the department and the community have. For example the Baltimore riots took place because of officers actions.

    • David,

      Your post is awesome! I completely agree with everything you had to say. I think that more people need to take position and and apply it to how they see things.

    • David,

      I would have to disagree with you about that. I believe that in order to even become a police officer, who is able to carry a loaded weapon, that he or she has to go through a strict education and training on protecting and serving the people. Police officers should be able to act and analyze the situation with the best possible choice. Police officers should not act on emotion unless there life is physically in threat. That is my opinion on that.

      Take Care,
      Dulce Argueta

    • Hello David Higgins ,
      I agree, if a law enforcement officer is struggling with anger and aggression he/she should be placed in further training and learn how to better deal with anger.

      Great post!
      Sheree N Wilson

    • Excessive force is a result of fear like you said, but I also think that it has a lot to do with who the officer is. There are a lot of officers who think that they are above everyone, including the law. They feel that they can disrespect any and everyone just because they are a cop. There are also a lot of cops who are good and who do good by everyone. They want to see the community thrive and be good again. Regardless of what kind of cop you are, you have a responsibility to make sure you treat everyone fairly and do not take advantage of them. They DO NOT have the right to “use what he believes is an appropriate amount of force in light of the level of threat.” His or Her only right is to make sure they follow the law. They might think that shooting a kid just because he has a knife on him is okay. It is not okay.

      I also do not understand why you said that we cannot judge the officer’s actions unless we have stepped foot in his/her shoes. The officer is taught was is acceptable and unacceptable in the police academy. That means that they should know exactly what is okay and not okay.

    • Hello David,
      reading over your last answer lit a light in my brain. I forgot all about mentioning the jaded perspective of the police. It is sad to say but how can I truly get upset at an officer for profiling when a high percentage of his past crimes possibly came from individuals that carried themselves a certain way. That just starts building into a general dislike of the people that you are supposed to be policing. It takes a highly skilled officer to be able to be unbiased and tis is part of the reason why their job is so difficult.

  7. I have another article that goes along with what we are talking about: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/17/local/la-me-court-tasers-20111018 . This is about two cases that were recently tried in the 9th district on the West coast. The first case is about a pregnant Seattle women who was blasted three times with a stun gun for refusing to sign a traffic citation when she was pulled over by police for driving 12 mph over the speed limit. And the second is a Hawaiian women who suffered two jolts from a Taser when she was trying to defuse a clash between her drunk husband and four police officers. The federal court did rule that in both counts the “police had used excessive force and that their actions violated the Constitution’s protection from unreasonable force.” The article goes on to say that the ruling may establish the use of stun guns only be used when harm is imminent, otherwise it may be seen as unreasonable.

    • Thanks for sharing the web link.This is very good information. I have too agree there are a few officer that go a little over-board with their power; than there are those that are justified for their actions but, are classified with the corrupts.

      • I agree also that yes there are a few officers who abuse the force and use it in a bad manner, but that doesn’t mean every cop does.

        • I believe that every cop handles every situation differently depending on what they are dealing with. It’s kind of hard for us to determine how much force should be used. It’s easier said than done. However, the police force should the not use excessive amount of force but just as much that’s needed.

    • Thank you for bringing up the topic of stun guns or tasers. I’m not sure when it became acceptable for police officers to use them so liberally, but it seems that this has been the case recently. While I believe they’re better than shooting someone with a real gun, I fear that police see them as far more appropriate than they should.

    • That is sad that officers feel to use that kind of force on anyone especially a pregnant person. Traffic citations should not end with a pregnant person being hit with a stun gun three times.

    • Hello Lisa,
      Through your post, I can understand that police act in the use of force when they see someone act unjustly. Police, however can overexert this type of un disciplinary action when they see themselves as the higher power force and ones in control of the situation. I’m not saying that citizens in certain crimes do not act unjustly, but the police already are the higher power force and try to articulate ways to better a situation for them or worsen it for the citizens.

    • Thanks for sharing this article.

      I had not heard of any of any of the cases mentioned in that article. It is amazing to think that the people who are trained to be protect the citizens, yet some of their actions display the opposite. More importantly, I do agree with the ruling of both cases. The force used by the police was not necessary by any means. Also, I agree that legislation should be put in place in order to prevent more cases like the ones found in this article.

      -Meagan C

    • The problem is that very often there is an entire story, mood and scenario that goes along with the situation. With that said, how can I as a civilian know when the mood has turned scary or threatening? I cannot and that is reality. It seems very easy to have hindsight and say something was excessive. But what was that officer thinking in the heat of the moment? When a women is rushing in to diffuse a fight between her husband and 4 officers, how did the officers know if she was a threat? Could she have had a weapon? Did they tell her to stand down and she did not listen? Pointing the finger at POs and automatically telling them they overreacted is too simple. Officers do get killed and maimed on the job by letting their guards down. How can we know which ones will be those situation until after the fact? Not defending all use of force, but the reality is that very often there is a story behind it that the media did not vocalize because it is not as interesting.

  8. According to federal prosecutors since 9/11 there has been a rise in police brutality, specifically increasing by 25% in the seven years following. I feel that every year that goes by our world and our society become more and more dangerous and brutal. Unfortunatley, police officers find the necessity to use additional force in order to protect themselves, even though it may not be justified.

    • That’s quite scary and interesting statistics. I feel that if you don’t comply with the officer and that any sign of fight against arrest can make the officer quite angry. Anything can spark their anger towards you.

      • That is true, it can. I do wonder what people hope to accomplish by resisting arrest in the first place? There is a court system where you can fight unjust cases and arrests. How does fighting, swearing, spitting and threatening an officer help anything? It does not, and I would truly not suggest it. I do not think that the protestations should earn you force, but if an individual keeps escalating the situation, the officer will escalate his/ her responses for the safety of themselves, other officers and other civilians.

    • A very interesting stat. I agree with you police officers might find themselves using additional force so they can protect themselves.

    • Great point on the rise of excessive force since 9/11. I think that ultimately the police officer needs to protect themselves but not all force is necessary. Not all citizens are going to put officers in danger. I think that since 9/11, citizens have gotten the short end of the stick and police officers feel they need to use excessive force because they think the can. Often times, excessive force is not justifiable but if they feel that can get away with doing such, they will do so.

    • Great post Pedro. It is interesting to know that Police force has gone up since 9/11. I agree with the fact that our society is becoming more and more dangerous. My grandmother is always saying how the society today is so different than it was when she was raising her children.
      Thanks
      Kirsten

    • Pedro,

      That is a very interesting statistic. I wonder what the reason behind it might be, like what effect did the events of 9/11 have on the law enforcement system. There has to be some way of reducing the amount of cases where police officials are using excessive force.

      Anyways, I enjoyed reading your post!

      Take care,
      Dulce Argueta

  9. We do appreciate your kind comment. Please let others know about this site and encourage them to make comments.

    Thanks,

    Colin

  10. “Excessive force” can not be avoided as long as force is used in law enforcement. This is because the concept of force being excessive is completely subjective. What one may consider the proper use of force, an other may consider it excessive. Also, police officers often have little or no time to process the mortality of a situation, resulting in more force used than may have been completely necessary. Consider this situation: a man is running toward a police officer holding a baseball bat, ready to swing. The police officer fears for his life, draws his service weapon, and fires, killing the man with the baseball bat. Is this excessive force? It is possible that the officer could have subdued the individual without killing him. But it is also possible that the man could have easily killed the police officer using the baseball bat. Therefore, the case of excessive force can easily be argued either way. We need to keep in mind that police officers are human beings, not computers that can process every possible outcome within a second, so their instantaneous judgement calls will not always be right. We must remember this, and that while looking back, the amount of force may seem excessive, you have to see it through the eyes of the police officer at the time of the incident to make a true judgement.

    Am I saying there is no clear case of excessive force? No. Firing 50 rounds to take down one person is pretty excessive. But each situation needs to be carefully analyzed in its own right.

    • I agree if someone is coming toward you with the intent to hurt by all means protect yourself, but what happens when you could have used a stun-gun -vs- a 9mm?

      • Cynthina,

        Making that argument I believe is invalid.

        If you have someone charging at you, there is no way you can decide that quickly on whether or not to shoot a gun or a stun gun.

        Our brain and nervous system does not function that quick in order to make decisions.

    • Adam,

      I find it hard to believe that an officers first response to a man running with a bat would be to fire at them with a handgun. Officers are trained individuals; armed with night sticks and tasers now. I can’t justify using a handgun on someone running at you with a bat who has done no harm to anyone as of yet. How do you even know he wants to swing the bat? Appears to be speculation at best.

      Brandon

    • I couldnt agree more with your point about 50 shots being excessive. What is more alarming is that the police officers believed that it was necessary. I do believe that police officers have the right to use force in order to protect themselves and other citizens. However, 50 shots to disarm a man with a baseball bat? No. I do not agree with this claim, and the police departments provide training to their officers instructing them on how to disarm citizens if they choose not to cooperate. Although, the idea of “excessive” can be subjective, as you mentioned in your post, I would like to believe that the general public would agree that 50 shots was not at all necessary in order to take down the offender.

      Thanks for sharing!

      -Meagan

    • I appreciated your post a lot. People often forget that these man and women are just flesh and blood and they have fear and the same instincts that the rest of us do. Force is subjective for sure. The super rare shots example makes sense and is easy to spot. But it seems that so often any force is seen as excessive by a public that does not understand the unbelievable dangers of being an officer and being a target all of the time.

    • I agree that defining excessive force is much easier in theoretical situations that it is in reality. In the example you gave, I would agree that the officer had a right to pull his service firearm, because the offender presented with lethal resistance. The fact that the offender had a baseball bat instead of a firearm does not change the lethality capable of the weapon he was wielding.

  11. Adam said the following:

    “Am I saying there is no clear case of excessive force? No. Firing 50 rounds to take down one person is pretty excessive. But each situation needs to be carefully analyzed in its own right.
    Reply”

    I do agree with you, Adam. You have a very good argument.

    • This statement takes the words right out of my mouth.

      50 shots to take down one person is excessive
      and everybody involved in this case should be released from their duties

      but yes you will always have cases that people will question if excessive force or not.

      someone shared an article with two cases of tasering
      I didn’t read it but just from the description that was given I would say on probably was excessive (traffic stop) the other
      was a bad situation and trying to be helpful or not you don’t step into a police situation she is lucky all she got was a tasering .

  12. The right amount of force used by a police officer depends soley on the situation at hand, they need to use enough force to control the situation, effect an arrest, as well as not only protecting themselves, but the community. But, the question, “Do police use excessive force?”, generalizes it to every police officer. Some people view the extent of force (even verbal force) used by an officer is “excessive” when the extent of forced used is lawful.

    I don’t think that police use excessive force, the determination of force used is what they believe is reasonable at the time. I do believe there are some officers who abuse their power and use UNNEEDED excessive force just because “they can”, or because they are “power-hungry”. But I think any police officer will use excessive force if the situation hits home, like if they have children and they are dealing with someone who was sexually abusing children or someone who killed a child. It’s hard not to take things personally sometimes; they are human beings too.

    Some of my family members in law enforcement, as well as my friends that are police officers, admitted that usually the only time that they themselves (or other fellow officers in their department) really use “excessive force” is when the case involves a child molester (or any other case where a child is being abused), a sex offender, or with “women-beaters”.

    • It seems the more gruesome the case may be more force is acted upon, if i were to be on the force i would use my kung fu fighting and military back ground to take out a certain rate of extremist along with my assigned firearm to the extent as long as it was called for in a abduction or a 187, in order to protect my self if i was fired upon then my reaction is kill or be killed. Its what I would have to do I did not provoke anyone I am just to enforce the law and protect and serve. I rather be on undercover task force, home land security, or k9 division. Either way think before acting even if it is a split second can even save your own butt, instead of dealing with a murder case that you could of ignored.

    • I liked what you had to say. Police need to be able to use their discretionary skills to know how much force is necessary to control the situation at hand. This, of course, takes a lot of training. Police officers should be able to use force when necessary, as long as it is not overly excessive.

      • I agree that the primary recourse to preventing the use of excessive force is by aptly training police officers on the proper use of discretionary power. These training programs help the officers understand the circumstances they are likely to be placed in, and help eliminate some natural survive instincts that may occur that would not be in alignment with proper use of force.

    • Police officers are required to undergo a training before they are given their gun and badge. They have guidelines and rules and regulations to fall back on. There are certain techniques they can and cannot do. And there is a certain amount of patience a police officer needs. Often police aggression takes the form of assaulting a citizen not because of the risk of being assaulted, but because the citizen committed the crime of “contempt of cop” and disrespected them. Arguing with a police officer should not result in being tackled to the ground.

      Sean King

    • Mary,
      I do not agree that situations need to be excessive only when its a “child molester” Every situation that needs any force should be the same across the board not just when it involves something like this. That is clearly a case where they are unable to set their personal feelings aside.

  13. Police officers are risking their lives to protect and mantain order in our communities and they have to make decisions in split seconds whether it’s right or wrong, they need to protect themselves in order to protect us. The use of excessive force is unexcused.

    • Why it is true police officers are risking their lives to protect and maintain order, they should always make the right decisions and not wrong decisions as you stated which I do not agreed with. They are trained to deal with these situations in split seconds so by making bad or wrong decision, they are only making the situation worse and can eventually get them fired or cause the state to pay the victim huge sum of money in retribution for making the wrong decision. Good point though.

    • Hey Sandra,

      I agree that police officers shouldn’t use excessive force. But I think that officers should also be able to protect themselves so it’s a very fine line to be on.

      Thanks.

      Sincerely,
      Matt Scott

  14. Do police use excessive force? Yes, I believe that some police not all uses there power at another degree when it is not needed. For example, I am reflecting back on the Washington D.C protest and the citizen refuse to move their tents. Two police had apprehended the suspect. two copes: Both had the man restraint on each side. Why was it necessary for the third cop walking behind them to taze the man. To me that was a bite much, very unnecessary.

  15. Yes cops use excessive force.
    All the time? no.
    All cops? probably not.
    Are cops human,wake up on the wrong side of the bed,not get enough coffee in the morning, have an argument with their spouse,or anything else that might make you have a bad day? Yes.

    But the difference between them and the rest of us civilians is that they are entrusted with upholding the law and protecting civilians from wrongdoings. That most certainly includes the CIVILIAN running towards him with a bat. or the CIVILIAN that for what ever reason just is not listening to him. or any number of things.

    Pulling your gun and shooting someone is not the answer.
    in some countries the police don’t even carry guns, and yet they somehow make it work.

    Police officers are given A badge, Uniform, and are issued a firearm.
    they should all be respected for the department they represent, not abused for the power they do not have.

    • Hello Andrew,
      Police are so diversified in many different parts of the world and some of they act differently according to their status. I do believe that not all police act unjustly or unethical, but share a strong social interaction with society. Some police do care about the community relations they share with individuals, but some do not. Some however just need a helping hand in providing the proper services.

    • Hello Andrew,
      Your post is great. Police officers are human and for the most part do a great job. We have to put our trust in someone to do the job and unless an officer starts abusing citizens, we owe them our respect. I certainly can’t see myself doing their job so I don’t want to think all police officers are bad.

      Regards,
      Cesare Gelsi

    • I absolute agree with you that it is important to remember that officers are human beings, perfectly capable of making mistakes and errors in judgement. They are entrusted to uphold the law and to protect civilians from wrongdoings, and the majority do exactly that. But that does not make them incapable of wrong doing themselves.

    • Hey Andrew,

      I agree that law enforcement shouldn’t abuse their power with the weapons they are provided. At the same time, they have a very hard and dangerous job with a majority of the public disliking them. But if there is someone running at them with a weapon like a bat and intends on doing harm to the officer, I think they should be allowed to protect themselves.

      Thanks.

      Sincerely,

      Matt Scott

    • Hello Andrew Card,
      I deeply share the same sentiment in regards to law enforcement, they should likewise uphold the law just as citizens. I do understand that they are human, but they are given training on how to deal with the public in any given situation and if they can’t handle the requirements of the job then they should resign their post.

      Kind regards,
      Sheree N Wilson

  16. This all depends on how “excessive force” is defined. It is situational, there is no right answer that will fit every combination of beliefs. Do police use excessive force? In my opinion, sometimes they do, but it is not all black and white.
    Have you ever made a less than perfect decision while under pressure? Have you ever over-reacted to anything in your life? Of course you have. Law enforcement officers are no different. Should they be held to a higher standard than the average citizen? Yes, but there will always be human error, whether it can be justified or not.
    I highly doubt this two sentence summary of the case provides a completely objective account of the scene. However, I can not think of any reason three officers needed to fire 50 shots to subdue one, unarmed man. Despite the compelling evidence of police brutality, the detectives were acquitted of all charges.
    When excessive force is used, it is legally wrong. Our constitution was designed to protect the people from the government, but it fails to clarify which situations constitute as unlawful acts by the government. So where is the line between necessary and excessive? Our system’s greatest flaw, is also it’s greatest strength. We can argue either side and still win.
    Some officers who use excessive force receive instant gratification, while others have cases dropped due to technicalities on their part. Some who remain within their rights send criminals to prison, others have no choice but to let them go free. You can generalize anything, but there is always an exception, and what is legal is not always what is right.

    • You are absolutely right. I have to commend you on your entry. One can only speculate on what is “necessary” and what is “excessive”. Especially when considering what may be “necessary force” in one’s eyes is “excessive force” in another’s eyes.

      In a couple other posts I stated that the officer’s response is guaged by the situation and the suspect. But, there are definitely some documented cases where there is absolutely no question if the force used was excessive. Thank you for your post.

    • Hey Madeline,

      I do agree with you that excessive force isn’t black and white. I think there is a section of grey where the officer may use some discretion if he/she feels his life or others are in danger and actions need to be taken.

      Thanks.

      Sincerely,

      Matt Scott

  17. I believe that police officers do not generally use excessive force in the present time. However, when there are incidents of excessive force, they are more frequently heard about and published on the news. It is sometimes necessary to use excessive force depending on the circumstances of the situation. Yet, there have been several incidents where it is completely unnecessary to use such a high level of force. An example of this would be the case in New York where a black man was shot several times, as discussed in class previously. I think that it should be known that excessive force is not necessary, but sometimes officers use it for means of control and it becomes out of hand because they react to the situation impulsively.

  18. I do believe that police officers at times can use excessive force. But it is also there job to protect themselves and people like us. If they feel that they are in danger or another persons life is in danger then I feel that excessive force may be the only way to save someones life. Police officers are not perfect, they are human beings also they make mistakes and act under pressure just like all of us do. The article stating 50 bullets to take down one person is extremely uncalled for and makes the officer look really bad. But in times you may need to use excessive force in handling a individual to get them to cooperate or to stop an attack.

  19. Honestly I believe that each officer and each situation is different. As an example last October I got pulled over for speeding. One cop was extremely kind and understanding whereas the other was the complete opposite. Making rash claims of smelling pot and insisted on searching me, my friend, and my vehicle. (which was my grandmothers car by the way…) Aside from this incident I’ve had only pleasant experiences with our police officers and have felt they’ve been more concerned about my safety and well being than what I was up to and finding something to write me up for. There is no need for excessive force unless the accused is violent and I believe that’s what they do.

    • My answer is more education and training on the topic of force.

      Of course, we need their services to protect the citizens.

      Thanks, Zaida.

  20. In this specific case, I do believe the officers used excessive force. As someone mentioned above, 50 bullets is a lot to go through, even when put in a perceived life or death situation.

    Riot police must be alert and on edge 24-7 simply because they are dealing with protesters that are emotionally charged. Group dynamics have a profound effect on anyone near them, and if one section of the group is calling for violence, I can understand that the riot police would see this as a sort of “battleground.” I haven’t looked into the case beyond what was posted above, but of the groom had approached the police while they were in this “life or death” mindset, it’s easy to see how a mistake could have been made.

    However, 50 shots between 3 armed detectives rounds out to about 16 shots per person. When a common man is in that situation and is being approached by a potential threat, it’s easy to see how an untrained individual can shoot off almost twenty rounds into someone in their panic. But a trained police officer (with 2 other officers backing him up) letting off almost 20 rounds by himself is insanity. 16 shots by one person will certainly kill. 16 shots by 3 people is overkill.

    Police officers are trained to keep a level head in situations like these. From the article above, I can only reason that these officers panicked. If the people who are charged with the duty of protecting society panic, what does that say to the people they protect?

    • I agree that this case was complete overkill especially with three officers shooting that many times without no one stopping to think that it is a bit much. I can understand if this was a case of a riot becaue excessive force is needed more times than none in those situations but this was definently not one of those times.

  21. Without much information provided, I had to do some background research before I could respond. There are a number of specifics in this case that raise questions about the conduct of the officers as well as the victims. Details worth mentioning are that Sean Bell was in a vehicle with 2 other individuals at the time of the incident, the officers were plain-clothed undercover detectives, and despite visual (badge) and verbal identification as police and commands to stop and put hands up, the vehicle did not stop and allegedly attempted to run the officer down.
    Also of importance, is that while the jury acquitted on criminal charges and the feds determined no cause for indictment in federal court, NYPD settled in a civil suit for over $7 million paid to the (3) individuals fired upon by (3) NYPD officers. An internal investigation by the NYPD determined that one officer failed to follow procedure and recommended his discharge while another did not violate protocol. The officer determined to have violated department procedure fired 11 bullets from his weapon whereas the officer found innocent of any wrongdoing discharged his firearm 3 times. The third officer fired 31 times and offered to retire early with the forfeiture of some accumulated vacation pay rather than defending his actions in the NYPD’s administrative proceedings.
    In order to determine whether excessive force was used, one must take in to consideration all of the relevant circumstances surrounding a particular situation. Failure to consider all of the relevant facts can result in the inability to see the entire picture in proper context leading to hasty judgments based on limited knowledge. This approach at decision-making is often what leads to the use of excessive force by police.
    With that said, yes – I do believe police use excessive force at times, such as in this particular case and for the above aforementioned reason. According to the NYPD, the first detective to fire his weapon did so contrary to department guidelines and protocol. The other detective’s use of firepower was apparently within the bounds of department regulations for protecting another officer. However, there was absolutely no cause for Detective Oliver to empty his clip of 16 bullets, reload, and fire another 15 bullets. Thirty-one shots is certainly excessive.

    Links to articles used as reference:
    http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2011/nov/30/draft-nypd-says-cop-sean-bell-shooting-was-reckless/

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/02/26/nyregion/20080226_BELL_GRAPHIC.html?ref=seanbell

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/nyregion/25bell.html?pagewanted=2&ref=michaeloliver

    • Wow, Stacy that was a phenomenal post and the research was great!
      This situation in New York is kind of still in a grey area for me. The officer that fired around 30 shots, I believe that is excessive force. The officers should honestly not have fired so much.
      Thank you for your wonderful post and research
      Kirsten

    • I completely agree that in order to establish whether or not the force used was excessive, one must first take into account the totality of the circumstance. The context in which the force was used, and the intent of the officer in their use of force matters in determining this situation.

  22. Stacy:

    This is very great research on your part. I love it. It is fair and no-bias.

    I want you to share it with the class today, February 7, 2012.

    Thanks,

    Colin

    • Police do use excessive force in certain circumstances. When it is needed for the protection of the officer or the community, hopefully they are highly trained to respond to certain situations with out having time to completly assess everything involved.

      In the above article it appears the officer used excessive force with his weapon.

      • i agree! they should use full forces especially when there’s harm done to themselves or to the community. They should know how to react and how to use their weapons wisely.

  23. In certain situations police do use excessive force. In instances were excessive force might be needed, it is pertinent that the officer is highly trained to handle quick decisions that they might need to make to respond quickly with out having time to completly assess a situation.

    In this article the firing of the officers weapon appears to be excessive.

  24. Police do use excessive force sometimes but it not their fault.They have to use these forces to protect the citizent or residents of the country.If they do not use their power or any kind of force, the crime cannot be controlled. I agree the fact that police use excessive force but also favors the side of police as they do all this only for the public good.

    • I agree with favoring the side of police for using excessive force for the good of the community/public, but with this specific case having 50 rounds being fired, I don’t think I could agree with those individual police officers. I’d suggest serious Anger Management classes to them. I think “excessive force” is relative term.

      • I agree. Excessive force is a relative term. It’s relative to what is happening at the very second that force is used and the perception of the police officer using the force.

        • Anger management should be taught to every LEO(law enforcement officer), just as a precaution. It never hurts to take an anger management class; everyone has pent up anger during points in their lives but LEOs have more stress weighing down on their shoulders. Sooner or later if the stress isn’t handled with or if they just have so much going on at once, taking their anger out on others is bound to happen. Anger management courses could help lower the use of lethal/”excessive force.”

          • Mary, you bring up an excellent point with anger management for law enforcement individuals. I also might add a psychological test for police officers. I feel like they need to raise the standard of requirement to be a police officer rather then just have a highscool diploma. Because as you mentioned, you never know the police officers being hired have extreme anger issues just never got caught.

  25. Amritpal says that he “favors the side of police as they do all this only for the public good”.

    Could someone respond this his comment?

    Refer to Amritpal post, dated 7:28 PM, February 9, 2012.

  26. Yes, I think police officers use excessive. I Believe they only use excessive force in certain areas in the Untied States where its needed. It should not be to the fullest extent. its OK whens its needed, where its need. To serve and protect.

  27. There was a picture on the internet that showed policing directly spraying mace in the faces of some students. He did not seem to be in any danger and kind of seemed to be enjoying himself. That seemed like excessive force. But, a lot of times we cannot see what started the events, so it’s hard to tell some times what is excessive force and what is not.

  28. There have certainly been incidents where police use excessive force. If there’s a need to for such use then, sure, later on it can be addressed in court and a decision will be made. However, in this scenario the police officers shot 50 rounds of ammunition, I just don’t think that can ever be justified. Looking at Stacy’s post from February 7, 2012, it is important to note that there are many other parts to the case and the individuals involved. Of course, just looking at the description stated above, one would not know how many shots each individual officer released from their weapon. Also, there was a civil case aspect to this scenario and NYPD administrative consequences. We are humans and there should definitely be a margin of errors but in this circumstance the officer who shot the individuals 31 times was beyond that margin. Overall, the use of excessive police force is unfortunately part of our society, we just have to make sure we hold those responsible accountable and implement rules/laws to protect citizens from such actions.

  29. I think when police use excessive force it’s usually because they need to. There are times when you find a corrupt or racist officer who will take it out on a victim, but I think that for the most part officer do what they need to do to protect themselves and other citizens.

    • I agree that its for the protection of other people. I have been in may situations where police have to use brutal force for the protection of my crew on dangerous calls (volunteer EMT).

    • I agree with you that when they use force, it’s to protect the people. But sometimes their force goes a little too far.

      • I agree, It can, and it does go very far. There is a reason why it is called “excessive” because it doesn’t take much to immobilize or subdue an individual, even a very big individual (with a taser) it is absolutely unnecessary to cause malicious wounding.

    • I do agree that most police only use force because it is needed, but the term excessive force indicates that it is force beyond what was needed. It is also true that there are corrupt and racist officers who abuse their powers to persecute victims, but there are also many situations where the use of excessive force comes from a lapse in the judgement of the officer and a misreading of the situation at the time.

  30. My partner and I were actually researching police brutality for our project, so this type of stuff falls into what we’re studying. In the referenced case, I do believe that it is appropriate to say that the police used excessive force. It does not take 50 shots to stop a person that is unarmed. Yes, the use of excessive force has been seen in many cases involving police throughout history, but not all police use excessive force. Each police officer has their own way to handle situations, and though some may use excessive force, we cannot place each officer in that category. I agree that when we see videos or hear cases about police using too much force, we don’t know the background information. It is hard to judge based on what we see or hear if we weren’t there when events started.

    • Hi Tara, I am glad this will help you with your project.

      There is more information on the web about this incident, and many others.

      Thanks!

    • I will have to agree with that. Not all police use excessive force and if do most of the time it’s because they have to go to that extent.

    • Definitely agree that it is important to know all of the facts of the situation before we judge the citizens and officers of the context.

  31. I agree with Erin about how we usually cannot see the actions behind why the police are doing what they are doing. But in some instances, I feel like police use excessive force because they feel like they are entitled to it and can get away with it. Although it doesn’t happen all the time, I would argue that sometimes their power gets in the way of what they are really trying to do. And I also agree with what Claudia said because I feel like if I was in a situation of being attacked, I would use the force needed to keep myself safe.

  32. I think first we need to realize that excessive force is a term defined after the incident has occurred. I’m sure that 99.9% of the time no officer(s) who have used excessive force had planned to do so ahead of time. The force they used must have been necessary at the time, but in hindsight there is always something they could have changed. In this particular instance, it is obvious after the fact that 50 rounds was excessive – but let’s try to instead determine why 50 rounds at the time seemed to be necessary. Just from the wikipedia site we can see that one of the officers emptied 2 magazines alone. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Bell_shooting_incident] This action takes a cognitive effort; it seems to me factors of improper police technique and blind rage played a large role. Erring on the side of good judgement and safety for both parties is the best way to avoid excessive force. When force is necessary, sometimes even in instinctive reactions, there’s still time to assess and self-reflect on the situation. In this particular situation, I also highly doubt a standard 3round burst was used. Sounds like they were just trigger-happy.

    • I think you made a really good point emphasizing the distinction between what is happening at the time and how we interpret the events after the fact. Dangerous situations, involving armed or uncontrollable suspects, create intense amount of stress and it is difficult to react in a controlled manner. The police officers have to weigh what is considered excessive with what the damage to innocent people could be if they use too little force. I think in most instances it is easy to deem a police officers actions as excessive but when taking innocent peoples safety into consideration it is more difficult to define what is excessive at the time.

  33. I do agree that police do use excessive force, but of course they use it for protection of others. personally I think some excessive force is necessary. As a volunteer EMT when I go on some crazy calls when the police are involved people do crazy stuff and things do get out of hand for the protection of bystanders and people trying to help others it is needed. However, I also agree that once the situtation is controlled excessive force is not necessary.

    Reply

    • I agree with you completly sometimes police must use execessive force to control the situation so innocent people are not harmed. But in other cases police need to know when no more force is needed and not to continue being aggressive when the situation is under control.

  34. I believe that most of the time police do what is just. There are circumstances such as the this situation that police go overboard but for the most part they try to make the right decisions.

      • I agree with this statement if I consider the police officers in United States. But countries like Pakistan, Sri lanka, India, and most of the asian countries do have excessive use of police force. The police in these kind of countries do not do their duty fair and well. Even in United States, some of the states such as Texas, New york etc. do have excessive use of police force.

  35. police needs to make sure that they are taken seriously. But at times i think that they do use exessive .force beacuse they feel that they are untouchable

  36. Christine Sok
    ADJ 100 E80N

    I completely agree that police use excessive force. In many situations, it maybe to reduce the harm innocent people in society(around the crime) but there are some instances where such force is not needed. In the story above, that was an extreme use of force. It really does not take that many shots to take a person down. I don’t believe that officers intend to use such excessive force and at times, it just happens to get to that point because of the situation that they are in. I’m sure not all officers use excessive force, some may use it to an extent. There also may be some officers that just take advantage of the power they hold and use excessive force because they have the ability to at the time. Police officers are put in difficult situations at times and excessive force maybe the result of it, which doesn’t make it right; but we’re all human. The use of excessive force by police is common and there are some stories where the force is outrageous and truly unnecessary.

    I also read a story about another situation where police used excessive force. A group of protestors were pepper sprayed in the face and a law enforcement officer said that the police force was “fairly standard police procedures” when it clearly wasn’t humane.

    Here’s the link if anyone is interested
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57328289/outrage-over-police-pepper-spraying-students/

  37. Fifty shots to bring down three people not dressed in full body armor should probably be considered excessive. The stories and reports surrounding this incident vary wildly. Always three sides to the story: yours, mine and the truth. I’m afraid we will never know exactly what happened but one thing’s for sure – no one received justice.

    • very good post Robert!! things of that nature happen all the time and its hard to understand the need of exessive force when you can handle the situation without going to far.

    • Hello,

      I have to agree. There are always 3 sides to a story. The justice system will cover up the wrongdoing of the police and the taxpayers will pay for the mistakes. We as taxpayers pay when police have wrongdoing and they are put on leave with pay. That is not fair to us at all. When we do things at our jobs we do not get to have time off with pay until a decision is made. The justice system should defiantly change the way of thinking when it comes down to officers overusing their power.
      Susie Grant

  38. I agree with Christine, I don’t believe that police intend to use excessive force although after the fact it clearly may have been so. Every situation is different and may happen quickly. Police have to react to situations that may be extremely dangerous at times to protect not only themselves but the public from harm. Yes, shooting an unarmed suspect 5o times is excessive after the fact but what led to the event in the first place. Police are trained to react to a threat with the same amount of force threatened with but once again we don’t know what transpired in this situation that led to the police drawing their weapons. Of course there are extreme situations that may occur and we view them over and over repeatedly in the media, but it is very easy to judge someone or something that occurs when it’s not you in the situation.

    • Have you ever seen a situation where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of the confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?

      Please respond to this!

      Thank you for you comment, Jose.

      Colin

  39. I believe that force should only be used when the situation calls for it. An example of this would during a riot which has gotten too far out of hand, and the individuals that are a threat to officers and the public should be detained. Any other force is unnecessary, as for the excessive shooting; there is no need to keep shooting once the individual in incapacitated. In this situation 50 shots to kill a man is the excessive use of deadly force, in a situation that seemed that was not necessary.

    • Hello,
      I agree 100%. There are times when an officer needs to use more force than others. The officers have to make a decision fast and the first thing that comes to mind is to shot. This is why we have so many police corruption case today. This is something that should be looked at and readjusted soon.

      thank you,
      Susie Grant

  40. If you have any links pertaining to excessive force used by police, or excessive abuse used by citizens against police, please post them to this site.

    Thanks for your comment.

  41. The main purpose of the Police is to inforce the law yet keep the peace in the community.I do agree with you guys that police should not over use thier power with dangerous weapons becuse they can make their lives and the lives of the citizens in danger. The cops sometimes have an attitude like ‘ WE ARE UNTOUCHABLE”. Which can can the person on the other ond to react negatively.

    • Survey: ER doctors suspect excessive police force. See the post by Imra Jauhar, April 13, 2012 at 3:19 PM.

      Thanks, Imra.

  42. I absolutely do agree that police use excessive force for dealing with citizens. Especially with unarmed citizens at that. Here is an article I was reading a few months back that I wanted to share. The images are kind of disturbing so if you have a weak stomach I advise you not look at the pictures that are on the website. It was a article of the police using excessive force on a mentally ill homeless man who was also unarmed and they tased and beat him senseless and he eventually died in the hospital some hours after the assault.

    • WOW, that is sad. Police need to be held accountable for their actions because no citizen will be able to get away with beating someone and not have to suffer the consquences, but being a police officer they all stick together so of course they will say the mental illness of the man was causing harm to them which is not the case. This article was very interesting, and they wonder why nobody has respect for the police, if a police officer does these kinds of things who would feel safe around them.

  43. Caught on tape: Police beat and taser ‘gentle’ mentally-ill homeless man to death.

    Read More: //www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019225/Kelly-Thomas-Police-beat-taser-gentle-mentally-ill-homeless-man-death.html

    The above is terrible. Why! Why! Why!.

    Thanks, Isaiah for the above information.

    Colin

    • oh my god. The picture of the man who got beaten by police horrified me. This is really bad on the part of police. These kind of police officers should be thrown out of their jobs. They do not deserve this career.It is against humanity…

  44. I believe in this case police used excessive force, it didn’t take 50 shots to kill an unarmed man. I understand that some police officers use excessive force out of fear, and don’t like to be questioned of their authority but that doesn’t justify using excessive force. I think police officers use excessive force when they take things personally; such as racism, revenge, when certain people commit crimes against an officers morals and beliefs. Also the enjoyment of power can blind one from right and wrong and can be abused, for example excessive force.

    Here’s an article I found on excessive force:

    http://aclu-co.org/case/kemp-v-lawyer

    The story states: “The state troopers were investigating a minor accident that resulted in minimal damage to a neighbor’s lawn. They suspected Jason Alan Kemp 31, was responsible and may have been driving under the influence of alcohol. When they knocked on Jason’s door, he refused to let them enter without a warrant. Instead of seeking a warrant, which the Fourth Amendment requires, the troopers proceeding to attempt to kick down the door, with guns drawn. When the door opened, Jason was shot and killed “.

  45. I do believe that the police do use excessive force but I believe that they have to in order to let people know who enforces the laws. However, there are cases where there are unfortunate accidents like the ones described above but thats a risk that has to be taken in my opinion.

  46. I feel police should only use those rights if completely neccesary. Once a situation is calmer then they should stop the force. They should not over-use. Unfortunatley, I do think that there are alot of situations where it has been over-used.

  47. Yes I completely agree that police do use excessive force. Recently police shot two young men in India. The police was firing openly and was abusing the citizens. They did not gave any warning, just started firing. Two young men were killed in firing. Here is link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OnqIrIIo_E&feature=related
    Police does use excessive force and there should be action taken against this.

  48. Police must follows the ‘levels of force’ when dealing with a situation. This typically allows them to go one level higher than that which they currently face. After the threat is neutralized, no force should be used.

  49. Police must follows the ‘levels of force’ when dealing with a situation. This typically allows them to go one level higher than that which they currently face and no more

  50. Found an article from the Ny Times about police officers firing 50 rounds and killing a soon to be bridegroom. This was a very sad story. After reading the article I found that the police heard comments from one of the groomsman implying he was armed and had a weapon in his car. At this point the police should have approached him and questioned him. However, the police officers could have handled this situation so that no one was killed. They could have stopped these men ahead of time before they got into their vehicle. Police officers have brains, they must use them. Otherwise even accidental shooting can occur as well. A Nassau county veteran cop was killed by 2 other cops because they reacted too quickly. He was a plain clothes officer that showed up for a police shooting. He had his badge on, but the police saw the rifle in his hands and decided he was a threat. They killed him. There are a few instances where this happens. It happened here in Alexandria years back at the Ihop on Duke St. An off duty cop shot at high school kids that were leaving without paying killing one of them. The check was probably less than $100 dollars. Why the use of deadly force? The officer’s excuse was that the kids tried to run him over. Police officers have to make judgments. Good judgments. This police officer will have to live with this for the rest of his life. He could have gotten the plate number and simply traced it to a residence and maybe talk to there parent’s explaining what they did was wrong. When police use deadly force, there is only one outcome. Whether 50 shots are fired or 1 shot is fired, someone is killed. A good shooter can get off 10 rounds in three seconds. That is not much time. Once again, common sense should be used and police must have self control when deciding to use deadly force.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/27/nyregion/27fire.html

    http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/settlements/08399/ihop-wrongful-death.html

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Nassau-County-Police-Officer-Killed.htm

    • Hi,
      I read the same article as you did and it was very sad! The fact that police officers abuse their power to that extent is ridiculous. Police officers are suppose to protect us and keep us out of harm’s way, not cause the harm to the citizens. Police officers are not seeking justice when they decide to act first without thinking and killing people who may be innocent or there may be more to the story.
      Damaris

    • hello,
      This was a crazy case. We all look for a police to protect us. If we cannot call the police then what are we suppose to do take the law in our own hands. I think that the police are just over doing their jobs and it is spiraling out of control fast. what can we do to stop this from happening? It is sad to say but people these days are going crazy at a fast pace and the officer are seeing things getting worse and they are just acting like the criminals.

      Susie Grant

  51. Police often overreact when they are put in tense situations. They can not anticipate the reaction of those they are trying to stop or apprehend, requiring the officer to err on the side of caution. However, in this case, the police were not simply being cautious, their actions were definitely excessive.

    • I agree police are people who make mistakes, it was excessive but I am sure they didn’t murder him to murder him.

    • Hello Madeline
      Police do often overreact even in the most intense of situations. Its hard to understand how the police come off in their notions, but they do their job sometimes in a displeasing way towards others. I believe its all how they judge people at first glance, however this soon changes.

  52. In this case the detective of Jamiaca, Queens acted as a firing squad. It appears that they are corrupt for many reasons, with another investigation going on. It is a desecration of power, and service to the coomunity.

  53. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    I feel like police use excessive force on citizens because the police have it in their head that they are of “higher standard” and they feel like they are able to get away with anything without being caught, and if they are caught, then without a serious amount of consequence placed upon them.

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?
    Yes, in the picture and post under the picture because it doesn’t claim where the groom-to-be did anything wrong, and for them to end up shooting him around 50 times is excessive due to the fact that he was all by himself and fending for himself in the situation.

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?
    I think in some circumstances, citizens do promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations because in their mind, they think it is the right thing to do. They believe that they have the freedom of speech, and they do but to a certain extent is alright. When they are going on and on about something, and not seeing both sides of the situation, they are setting themselves up for some sort of disaster to take place in the problem at hand.

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    Citizens do use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials because they believe that any word that they have to say is right. They don’t want to look like they have no clue what they are talking about so they try and make their actions more in depth so people can see what their views are. And that is when excessive force comes in because they need to get their point across, and if someone doesn’t listen, they begin to get angry about it

    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    In my opinion, I don’t think that citizens abuse police officers unless they feel that they have been abused by them first. If they feel like they have been singled out in a situation, they are more than likely to want to feel superior to those making them feel less of themselves

    • I agree with your last statement. Perceptions really do make all the difference of how a person will react. If the civilian feels that they are not treated fairly they might get angry and start abusing officers.

      • Hi Chelsea,

        I agree with your statement about citizens using excessive force towards officers. Often times citizens do feel like they are “unheard” and they try to give themselves that chance to be heard, and if they aren’t understood by the officers (getting their way), they tend to retaliate and get malicious.

        Kelsey Luck

    • Hello,
      I totally agree with you. Sometimes those in the law enforcement or even everyday citizens believe they have higher standard and are above the law. People get this entitled feeling and it is really sad because freedom of speech, for example, does not mean you can go burn an american flag. If people had a more everyone is equal mentality things would probably be must smoother.
      Thank you,
      Hayden

  54. I agree with Madeline when she says that police officers are put into very tense situations, causing them to overreact to many more things that wouldn’t make them overreact usually. I feel as if they begin to get some sort of “high” or adrenaline which causes them to act in a very unusual manner, causing the excessive force to those around them.

    • I agree with what you say about tense situations. I think being in law enforcement is such a tense job as it is, and being put into a situation on top of stress from work, family, friends, etc. can cause police officers to act overly aggressive (or anyone for that matter). If people are put into a situation when they’re already stressed, most people overreact. I think some police officers take their built up aggression out on their suspects, especially there is already an altercation, or the suspect comes out disrespectful. It goes along with some police officers can get “power hungry”, and want to “show who’s boss”

    • Yes but I think in this instance the police officers were not trying to use excessive force, they were just poorly trained on how to handle a situation like that. Proper training would of went a long way.

  55. Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? Yes, at times these confrontations do happen and usually because of excessive alcohol consumption. Prime examples are NCAA football or basketball finals where the supporters are over joyed or dissatisfied with their team’s performance. This then leads to the confrontations in the street among themselves and against the police.

    • yes I do agree with you. people under the influenced of alcohol can be really agressive and even more when they see a police officer approching them. so in certain ways we do aggravate police officers.

    • Yes I agree too, alcohol hampers a clear thought process and people think they are invisible so that will start something.

    • I definitely agree with the alcohol consumption factor. People that might not ever challenge police when they are sober could turn into a completely different (far more agressive) person when drunk.

    • Exactly! Sadly people like to confront the police and cause a problem that could have been avoided. This may result in the use of police force.

  56. When I read about situations like these, most times, I think it’s a chain reaction type situation. Police officers try to “save the pack”, they have a family-type bond. If one hears a shot fired, they all come shooting; they have each other’s back.

    • I never really thought about this when thinking about excessive force, but I see some truth to it. Police officers have a bond that normal citizens wouldn’t understand. They put their lives on the line everyday because it’s there job. If that doesn’t create a bond between officers, then I don’t know what would. I agree that they have each other’s backs, but unfortunately this sometimes turns into situations where way too much force is used.

      • I think the bond is a good thing. Only down fall is if an NYPD officer is shot an killed, just one, then for next few weeks you have hundreds of officers with itchy trigger fingers. Training is the only thing that can prevent accidents from happening. It’s just sad that gang member can shoot a preacher and it’s an everyday thing, but if an officer shoots an criminal, he is scorned and made an example publicly.

  57. I believe that the actions of the police were excessive, but when riots break out, there is a lot of confusion and you may feel like you have to do whatever you have to do. The detectives may feel the same way – that they were using excessive force – but at the time, they believed that it was okay and justifiable. In the heat of the moment, anything could happen.

      • I agree that in the moment things can happen. It is a lot different and easier to say what you would have done once you have weeks to analyze every detail about the event which in real time could have happened in a matter of seconds.

    • Hello,
      Riots are very unpredictable and police have to react fast. The stress levels of the police are normally high because they are out numbered by hundreds. They are just as scared as the bystanders. This is why the police call in so much back up to hopefully ease some of the stress.

      Susie Grant

  58. Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?

    Yes, unfortunately this does occur. An extreme example would be the New Orleans police officers that opened fire on a group of unarmed individuals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This confrontation was completely unprovoked. If that wasn’t bad enough, the officers and those assigned to investigate the excessive force complaints conspired to thwart the investigation. This month, the officers were finally sentenced for their horrible deeds. Sentences imposed ranged from three/four years to over 65 years. Here is a link to the article for those interested:

    http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20120404/US.Katrina.Bridge.Shootings/

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials? Do citizens abuse police officers?

    Yes, unfortunately this occurs also. I believe some people verbally abuse and “bait” police officers because they believe they are entitled to. This mentality takes the form of viewing officers as public “servants” whose salaries are paid by tax dollars therefore the officer works for “me” because “I pay your salary.” I think some people are just a$$holes and abuse officers simply because they can with the assumption that the officer has to be the bigger person, whereas a regular Joe’s reaction is unpredictable.

    • Completely agree with you, I do believe that citizens sometimes are asking for it without even knowing. They believe they are defending themselves when in reality they are just making things worse.

    • That was a very bad situation in New Orleans after Katrina. As much as was going on it was bad that those officers reacted that way. It make the whole situation about trying to get the people down there to trust the police even worse. And it made all of the police look bad. The citizens expected the worse of them and many did not trust the police.

    • Stacy,

      The opening to your post was brilliant. I nearly forgot about that story until I read it. I couldn’t believe that the officer did that. As for people baiting police officers, I have seen this first hand. Some people do not respect that police are around to protect and serve the community. They think the officers are out to get them. I do not understand why people want to treat officers so poorly and verbally harass them.

      Thank you,

      Jonathan Dee

    • Hello,
      I totally agree with you. Sometimes people are being cocky and are “baiting” another. They are almost asking for it. This is super disrespectful and when a person thinks about the repercussions of their actions, 90% of them would probably stop acting like that before repercussions set in. Some people are completely unaware, too.
      Thank you,
      Hayden

    • Hi Stacy,

      Thanks for providing the link to the article on bridge shootings after Hurricane Katrina. I had actually forgotten about that and was it was very interesting to read what became of those involved.

      Take care,
      Debbie

  59. I do not think police use excessive force on citizens, sure there are a few bad apples and a few instances where there was, but all in all I do not think so.

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?

    I am sure there are situations where a police officer had a bad day and is trying to take it out on someone who does not deserve it

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?

    I am sure some people try to make police officers work hard to make a confrontation.

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?

    No
    Do citizens abuse police officers?

    Not in general

    • I agree that a few bad apples will ruin the bunch. Every time an officer pulls over a car, he has no idea what he is approaching, and thats a scary situation that many people can’t handle.

      • I agree with you being in the law enforcement field there is always an uncertain feeling we have when we approach a vehicle or person. Our entire attitude is in the red until we are back in our vehicle. When we approach someone we just don’t know their state of mind.

    • There are unfortunately some people who can’t leave their bad days and baggage in the right places and do take it out on the wrong people. I think this can contribute to some people’s negative attitudes towards officers.

      • These negative officers should be thrown out of the deparntment to solve the problem of police brutality.

    • Yes I do agree with sometimes officers have a bad day. Even though the police officers get a lot of training before they go out on the street, they are still human. They have things happen to them on some days that just plain put them in a bad mood and they may be more aggressive than they would ordinarily be.

    • Hi Mark,

      I disagree with some of your statements. I believe that citizens abuse police officers every day. Even though you may not see it, it is out there. Abuse happens whether it is physically or mentally. I also think that citizens often use excessive force towards officers, especially when they have a gun. Cops get shot at all the time just because the civilian knows they are breaking the law.

      Kelsey Luck

  60. I do not believe the police intentionally use to much force. I do believe they are trained to confront certain situation in a certain manner and when things don’t go as planned they have to defend themselves. I can understand why people do believe the police are to forceful at times, it all depends on the situation and experience.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOQoMmi8f0Q&feature=related

    The example that use of police brutality, is what I believe to be a horrible way to deal with the situation. Yes the woman wasn’t compliant and being aggressive but he did not have to handle her the way he did.

    • I agree. The police are trained to handle certain situations in certain ways but when things happen they have to trust their instincts and they can’t follow a manual so things happen.

      • I agree that people need to realize how police officers are trained or at least try to realize that in their line or work they don’t know, or would they want to chance, if something was going to occur that a little force could have prevented.

      • Being in the law enforcement field we are trained to only use the amount of force that is required to have our subject to comply.

        • But even though police officers are trained does’t mean they will never miss use excessive force policies.

    • You’re right police officers can’t predict the future and sometime situations come up that they have to handle it in the best way that they can. But if they do not handle it correctly they should be shown that it was wrong and how to do better. If it continues they should be let go.

    • Hi Valerie,

      I also agree with you that police often do not intentionally use excessive force, however, it happens. When police are they to protect us, they will not use excessive force on us.

      Kelsey Luck

  61. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    It has happened before and will happen again, but the force applied by officers is only a solution to the problem caused by citizens.
    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?
    I think every time the police use some sort of force it is only a reaction to the citizens initiating action.
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?
    Absolutely, how many riots have you seen on TV about things as stupid as sports events. Some people try to taunt the police.
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    In general no.
    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    Recently, Rodney King was found dead in his pool. He is known for his 1992 conflict with the LAPD, which resulted in 3 days of riots in the city. He was beaten by 4 white police officers and was videotaped. This was centered around excessive force by police, and if you did not know any surrounding circumstances then you would presume this was a one sided story. King at the time was on parole, not for good behavior, rather a robbery conviction in April 1991. He had been drinking, which was against his probation, and then driving, which is against the law. After refusing to pull over, and a high-speed chase, which endangered all motorists on the road, he pulled over and was apprehended. Maybe the officers used too much force, but only if you were in their shoes during that same situation could you make that decision. Remember, this is happening after a high-speed chase with a known criminal.

  62. I do not think in most situations that the police use excessive force on citizens. The amount of force most police officers use is what is required to handle the situation. I do believe there are a few examples or a few officers who do not follow protocol and who may use excessive force but I do not think this is something that is commonplace in law enforcement.

    I think very rarely are there situations where officers initiate excessive force from the start without any provacation from the person being abused, possible sometimes in situations with a large group of people where the police feel something could happen but I think the majority of the time this is not the case.

    I do think citizens purposefully cause police confrontations. You see it all the time on reality TV or even in situations in every day life where people are not cooperative with the officers. Citizens sometimes do use force against officers.

    • I completely agree with you that more often than not citizens do not respect officers. I’ve seen many times people be mean verbally to police officers which, I find very dumb since police officers are here to help and protect you. Then people wonder why officers are so mean sometimes well, maybe it’s from always having to helping ungrateful, rude people.

    • I do agree that not ALL officers use excessive force, but there are still those few that do. But yes I do agree that it is not common for the majority of law enforcement officers.

    • I agree with you about the confrontations citizens cause with police officers. It seems that with the people they show on the reality shows, they can hardly wait to see how mad they can make the police officers. Some citizens will say or do anything to try to make the officers mad.

    • I agree with your first statement, I feel that police officers really do have to make a judgement call on the amount of force required for the situation. While some people might say it is “excessive” force the officers were the ones charged with the safety of themselves and any bystanders at that moment, not their critics with 20/20 hindsight.

    • I agree with you, when you mention that very rarely we hear situations of police officers using excessive force from the cart without any provocation from the individual being arrested.

  63. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    It has happened before and will happen again, but the force applied by officers is only a solution to the problem caused by citizens.
    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?
    I think every time the police use some sort of force it is only a reaction to the citizens initiating action.
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?
    Absolutely, how many riots have you seen on TV about things as stupid as sports events. Some people try to taunt the police.
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    In general no.
    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    Recently, Rodney King was found dead in his pool. He is known for his 1992 conflict with the LAPD, which resulted in 3 days of riots in the city. He was beaten by 4 white police officers and was videotaped. This was centered around excessive force by police, and if you did not know any surrounding circumstances then you would presume this was a one sided story. King at the time was on parole, not for good behavior, rather a robbery conviction in April 1991. He had been drinking, which was against his probation, and then driving, which is against the law. After refusing to pull over, and a high-speed chase, which endangered all motorists on the road, he pulled over and was apprehended. Maybe the officers used too much force, but only if you were in their shoes during that same situation could you make that decision. Remember, this is happening after a high-speed chase with a known criminal.

    • I feel you made an excellent point that officers only have to use force because of people getting out of control. If people acted in a rational manner this wouldn’t have to happen. Also if you are going to a protest or something like that you know that an outbreak of violence might occur. So, maybe find a better way to push your cause than beating up on a police officers or making them mad on purpose.

    • Yes but police brutality is not an everyday occurence, we hear more about it today with the internet. So it seems more prevelent.

      • it is in some parts of the world where police is corrupted and harms the citizens for no actual reason.

    • i agree with you, but don’t you think that sometimes police go beyond the force they need to use for an arrest. i seen a few videos in which the individual is already handcuff and police is still beating them when the situation is under control. Don’t you think?

    • James,

      I could not agree more that police have used excessive force on citizens and that it will continue. I do not know about you, but I have seen many videos and news reports of police initiating confrontation. The incident at the University of Maryland where an officer was filmed beating a student for no apparent reason, made me I believe that some officers do intentionally use excessive force. The Rodney King reference you used was great. The officers used their best judgement in real time and decided that the force they used was appropriate.

      Thank you for your post.

      Jonathan Dee

    • James,

      Great post, but i do disagree with one point. I belive some police are corrupt and do use force without provacation, such as in the Chicago gang crime unit.
      Anthony

  64. Yes, there have been times that officers have used excessive force but that can also be said of citizens that have abused police officers. Police officers are here to protect and if they give warnings that people need to calm down and they do not, then force has to be used. I would believe that when a situation (like a riot) is going on it doesn’t matter how much training or reading you’ve done on how to handle it, an officer is going to have to use their best judgment and sometimes it’s right and others it might be wrong.

  65. I feel as though police do seem to use excessive force on citizens. There have been so many examples on the news or youtube videos that show police getting power highs and shooting at innocent civilians during raids like these. They simply sometimes just go too far and don’t know when to stop, even though they could be harming so many innocent people.

    I do believe that citizens aggravate police on purpose, such as these raids. They know that they are angering the police, but they do it anyway because of their specific cause or they feel they have a right to voice their opinions.
    Yes, I feel some citizens do use force against law enforcement officers because most don’t feel like the officer could do much harm to them except arrest them, but in some cases the officers may feel very threatened and end up harming the citizen, such as through gunfire or beating them. I feel like in most cases, citizens may try to harm officers in order to resist arrest, and this could lead to physical abuse.

  66. Yes it is true that sometimes police may possible use excessive force on citizens. Sometimes the police just get caught up in stuff and lose their temper. This certainly does not happen often, but everyone makes mistakes. There are many police brutality cases that have been on the news over the past years where it was believed and sometimes proved that police officers initiated exessive force without any righteous provocation from the person. The person may have been saying things to make the officers mad, but still they should not let that get to them. The case of Rodney King was certainly a case where the officers used excessive force when they should not have beat him like that. Sometimes citizens do promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations. Like in the article above, when the people were not happy with the outcome of the case, there was no reason for them to go down to police headquarters and stand outside. They were asking for trouble. During the riots in California after the Rodney King beating, the people running crazy thru the streets use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officers. And this is just one case. They threw bottles and other things at the police. They started fires. Citizens do abuse police officers sometimes. Sometimes it is during riots or confrontations that the citizens cause when they come out into the streets because they don’t like the outcome of a legal trial.

    • I agree that officers do tend to lose there temper and can’t keep it under control which leads to excessive force.

  67. Police should only use force against the public if the people are putting others in danger. Some people use the police to accomplish their own agendas such as getting information about something or someone.

    Most victims will use force against police to vent their anger.

    • yeah but if victim will use force against police than it can turned it to be a dangerous situation. As police can open fire on person

  68. I agree with most posts here on the fact that police use the force that is needed to regain order. Yes there are cases when a police officer may have used more force than necessary, but one bad act does not mean the entire force does that. I think that force should be used only when really needed. But as soon as order is restored and everything goes back to normal, then the force should stop to avoid any problems.

    • Reply to Jordan Willetts

      I think that your post was an ethical opinion because some police don’t stop after a stituation is under control. Nice job.

  69. I think in this case police did use excessive force. I also think that in cases where civilians would consider their actions to be excessive they aren’t realizing that it is how they are trained. I know an officer that has been in two situations where he has had to use his firearm. Both times they asked why he didn’t shoot to wound in the review processes. His answer was simply “That’s not how we’re trained.” Yes there are situations where law enforcement officials do aggressively initiate force, not necessarily excessive, from the start. But there are all sorts of factors that can be influencing that officer. If I were a police officer and had a very long and tiring day and a situation called for, or most likely would result in, force then yes I might be predisposed to showing what force I have. The citizens do all provoke the force. Most people have seen that drunken person at 2am and most people have been in, or by, a neighborhood that police were not feared but hated. Absolutely citizens use excessive force against law enforcement officials. I can say I have witnessed several accounts of police officers being verbally bashed/abused by citizens in Norfolk. A man gets arrested for selling drugs near a school and people come running out of the house throwing beer bottles at the police car.

  70. I totally agree Prof. Caesar police officers are required and should use the amount force that is necessary to have an subject to comply.

  71. Being in the law enforcement field we are trained not to use excessive force on our subjects. We only use the amount of force that is required to have a subject to comply. Once we have our subject down we will disengage using force. We there are officers out there who does abuse there authority and then would articulate and then justify it as being required.

    • Reply to John

      I’m glad you wrote about your job description because many police officers use force like the expression “shoot now and ask questions later”. Your post was right on the button.

    • yes, even i think that police sometimes use force for controlling. But some of police officers overuse their power..

    • Thanks for explaining the procedure used, it paints a more clear picture of how things really go down in the event.Good job!

    • Thank you for the view of an “insider.” It’s great to know that law enforcement officers are trained to use excessive force as a last result.

  72. Do police use excessive force on citizens?

    I believe that police using excessive force on citizens occurs, more frequently in large scale riots such as the LA race riots. There are incidents of individual police officers using excessive force but it is more common for a police officer to be caught up in the riot and attempt to use whatever force necessary to disburse it than it is for a police officer to abuse their power.
    ———-
    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.

    The most recent case I can think of is the case of Jose Guerena in Arizona. His house was stormed by SWAT officers and he was then shot. Police did not allow medical help to assist him until they had searched the house. He was suspected of being a drug dealer, but did not provoke anattack upon himself or his family. Source: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/widow-sues-over-fatal-swat-raid-with-video-of-shooting/article_55c26da5-768d-59b9-a4e5-30edcc1592ca.html?mode=video
    ————–
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.

    I believe that citizens provoking/causing police confrontations is very frequent. Commonly, when citizens come in contact with police it is because they are in trouble or suspected of being in trouble. This can cause many people to become defensive and lash out at police officers they are near. I have seen this happen a few times (mainly with drunk college students), but it’s happened enough to show me that it is, unfortunately, common behavior.
    ———–
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?

    I am interpreting this to mean verbal/physical abuse towards police officers. Like I said above, I feel like there are many cases of citizens reacting violently to a police confrontation (ie the entire premise of the TV show “Cops”) but also there are a large number of people in the country that are respectful and comply with police officers. It all comes down to the situation.
    ————–
    Do citizens abuse police officers?

    See above answer

    • I agree that excessive force by police officers is mostly used in riots and does happen sometimes on an individual basis.

    • Hello Kim,

      I too believe the SWAT incident was an act of excessive force. I cannot believe the officers shot Jose over 20 times. It is unfortunate that people confront police officers. I too have seen my fair share of college students give officers a hard time for doing their job. The drunken and boorish behavior of the students is uncalled for. Your reference to the show COPS, is spot on. There are many examples of when citizens use force/excessive force against officers.

      Thank you for the post.

      Jonathan Dee

  73. I do believe that police uses excessive force when in most cases the need for it is not necessary. I believe that in cases in which excessive abuse occurs from police officer the issue may be do to racial profiling. Believe it or not we still suffer from a lot of acts that violate our civil rights. Police officers also need to understand that the person who they are encountering is furious for whatever reason it may be. Maybe, talking to such individuals may not be the easiest task to perform. On the other hand, police officers are there to help us not to hurt us. Therefore, I don’t agree or accept the use of excessive force. Once you have the person under arrest or on the ground there is no need to punish the individual. Let the law that was created by our founding fathers punish them for their actions.

      • Yes, Once they are subdued and calm the officer should stop using force. I think that when an officer goes too far, its sometimes because the assailant got personal or did something against the officers personal belief.

      • I also agree with this, once the person is arrested or on the ground they should not use anymore force because the person is already down on the ground so it would make no scene to keep using force because you already got them down.

  74. Some do use excessive force but the police department is the biggest organization in the world. To generalize what one person has done would be morally wrong. While maybe 2 police officers use excesssive force, the other 3 billion police officers would’ve dealt with the situation completely different.

    In some cases the media is to blame for certain assumptions about the police public relations. Until a fair investigation is conducted, the world can only assume a bad mishap was caused by the public or the officers involved. In either cases, this is a topic to be looked at case by case and should not be generalized.

    Citizens can promote/provoc the police officers. There are some who want the publicity that for example Rodney King has gotten. Although that was a clear video of excessive force by the police, not every police officer will always be at fault. In some cases, citizens overstep the boundary of free speech and disruption of the peace. The police officers are trained to know, most important thing is his/her life and also his fellow police officers who are just doing their jobs.

    As far as citizens excessive force against law enforcements, it is possible. Maybe not always physical but most citizens angry at law enforments will use verbal assaults to provoc them.

    Citizens do abuse police officers. They are taken forgranted everyday. There are many hard working police officers who risk their lives because noone else would. There are a lot of regulations police officers need to follow, and every arrest has to go “by the book”. Citizens abuse this knowledge for everything, as far as filing false police reports to get someone in trouble, and other illegal actions that they can get away with.

    • I wouldn’t say the media is to blame because that’s there job to report what’s happening, so everything that happens with the police and the citizen is done before the media arrives to take statements. They are only reporting the facts or what little facts they can recieve at the time on what happened. I do believe that citizens provac the officers but being they are trained and should no better, they need to handle these situations alot better then using force to stop a citizen.

  75. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    I believe police do use excessive force on citizens especially in this case where 50 shots were made on one man between three officers, and especially with them being trained officers they should know better and should know to kill with just one shot and how to shoot and not kill.

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) being abused?
    I believe there are many situations in which law enforcement officials use excessive force even before the start of a confrontation without any prior provocation from the person as seen in this video, http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rX-H0MJszqY.

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?
    I believe some citizens do aggravate police to use excessive force especially when resisting arrest they try to fight back as in this video, http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bLCUXs8q_Bo , but I don’t they all do.

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    Some citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials and this article shows one. http://www.kapptv.com/article/2012/jun/02/man-accused-fighting-yakima-police-officers

    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    I believe it is rare for citizens to abuse police officers but some do by shooting at them if they have a weapon.

    • Really good research, I agree both sides abuse in some way at times, even if it is verbally, it is still abuse.

    • Hello Cristian,

      I also agree with you that police should be better shooters in those situations, especially in a 3 on 1 encounter. From my friends in a local police department, some of the officers do not practice very frequently with their service pistol. It makes me nervous that some officers are not doing so. Your video link of police who engage in excessive force was very moving. The mentally challenged should not be treated in such a way.

      Thank you for your post.

      Jonathan Dee

  76. Q: Abuse/Excessive Abuse or Force/Excessive Force on The Part of Citizens and Law Enforcement Officials.

    A: Yes, both do. In a community that view police or other officials as the ruling class; those who believe they are being controlled will go above and beyond to withstand and /or in their view, “protest” the ruling class. Which leads to the enforcers of the laws to use what they believe to be equal and in some cases excessive force.

  77. I believe that Police and law enforcement officials should be continuously instructed on how to, and when to, use force. Yes, some citizens do escalate situations and even harass officers, but that officer should in turn match the level of force not maximize it. Police are starting to get a reputation for exessive force because some citizens over exaggerate their rights, and under estamate the authority of the officer. And yes some citizrns do abuse officers, verbally and even sometimes physically.

    • Hi Keon:

      I do appreciate this line in your comment: “I believe that Police and law enforcement officials should be continuously instructed on how to, and when to, use force.”

      Thanks,

      Colin

    • I agree with you! Police force should use just enough force that’s needed. By maximizing it, it just makes the situation worse for both the police and the victim. Police must know the right actions to take when they are verbally abused or even physically. They should try to make the situation calmer rather than worse.

    • I agree I think continuous training in use of excessive force needs to be within all units of the departments.

  78. To add, I have witnessed police using what I thoguht was exessive force. I have witnessed cops jump a guy after he hit one of them. After hitting the officer he ran and fell. When he hit the ground they were all charging after him and yelling dont move (which after he hit the ground he didnt), and mashed his face in the concrete by putting their knee behind his head and just roughing this guy up. Does anyone think that is exessive?

  79. Police do use excessive force all around the world. The country that has a most excessive force use by police is i think its INDIA. The police in india beat up the citizens and try to harass them. Even in U.S police do use excessive force in some states. Here is the link that shows how cruel the police is in the nation.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQFO1D6N2tg

  80. Police do use excessive force all around the world. The country that has a most excessive force use by police is i think its INDIA. The police in india beat up the citizens and try to harass them. Even in U.S police do use excessive force in some states. Here is the link that shows how cruel the police is in the nation.

  81. Excessive Force should be used by law enforcement officers if they feel threatened for there lives. Sometimes it is necessary to do so because a criminal could be under the influence of some type of drug that could make his pain tolerance higher and less responsive.
    I do believe that some officers also do abuse there powers by using more force than necessary just because they have the power of the badge.

  82. I think it all depends on what the situation is, not all police officers use excessive force, but then again, just because there police officers they think they have the right to do whatever they want. but however the police officers are there to help us citizens not to harm us. It all depends on the situation.

    • Completely agree, it all depends on the situation and yeah it is also true that police officers are there to help citizens and not to harm them even though some officers do not understand that point and do whatever they think it is right for them to do.

  83. I think it really depends on what type of scenario it is. However, in this case it’s just insane! Does it really take 50 shots to finally bring down a person? I feel that the police force went a little too extreme with that. Every situation is different, and yes I do believe the police force may be excessive towards citizens only in times of danger and security. The police force cannot really be judged unless you yourself are in that place and time. If you feel your life is at danger, your instant reaction is to put all forces against that danger for security, which is natural. Sometimes, there may be other ways to deal with it, but when things are happening so fast, sometimes there’s not much time to think it through but to use excessive force despite the outcome. Although the police force should be well trained and know what to do in every type of situation, it can still be pretty nerve wracking when your life is considered to be at danger by another individual, because you do not know what they can be capable of.

    • yes i agree with this fact. Sometimes police have to shoot to defend themselves. In this, situattion we dont call as excessive force. Police have to take this step of shooting sometimes to protect their body from danger…

  84. I believe that on both sides of the coin, abuse occurs. The police at times use excessive force, but I also think that very often the public abuses the officers too, by calling them names and at times struggling with the police or throwing things at them. I have seen situations where the police are making an arrest and calling the offenders derogatory names and cursing at the offender. So I do believe there is abuse on both ends.

    • Both sides of the coin, true it is always the case which is a struggle between citizens and law enforcement officials. The issue I have is that, these officers are trained to deal with the unexpected by establishing probable casue and the state of minds of individuals prior to making arrest but instead, some officers do not go through all the proper steps of their rules of engagement and immedialy jump to excessive force. Confrontation with police officers will always exist that is why they are train to deal with these issues but citizens are not. Why it is true there is abuse on both sides, both parties are aware that there will always be tension but police officers are better train to deal with the situation.
      Police excessive use of force on citizens.
      Yes police does use excessive force on citizens but not in all cases.
      Yes, there are instances where law enforcement officials have aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation without prior provocation from the person being abused. Below are links to prove my point argument. The last link has a video clip shown a man punched in the head by law enforcement official.
      articles.cnn.com/keyword/police-brutality
      topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/…/police_brutality…/index.html
      http://www.naturalnews.com/police_brutality.html
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/police-brutality-cops-pun_n_203245.ht...
      On the contrary, citizens do promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations. Most of the time, these are people who are either drunk or high on sort of substance and harden criminals who have no respect for law and order. Often times, some good and law abiding citizens will initiate these confrontations when they are having a bad day which I believe is a norm in the world we live in today and that is why law enforcement officials need to be aware of the person’s state of mind by executing all necessary steps prior to resulting to excessive force.
      Citizens do use abuse or force against law enforcements officials, now when talking about force; it is more common when there is a group of citizens as to a single person using force. People are even brave and encourage to using force against law enforcement officials when they are in group which is the point I am making. Abuse is most common especially verbal abuse so it does not require a group in most cases. This is why abuse is the most common kind of confrontation flung at law enforcement officials by citizens.

      • I totally agree with you…police officers are trained in all types of situations so what gives them cause to have excessive force on citizens….as a citizen we aren’t the ones carry guns around or can talk to a police any kind of way because they will be quick to lock a person up. I also say that verbal abuse is the main abuse against officers because that’s the only way they fill there able to let off steam, because if they do physical abuse there will be alot of officers beating them to where they won’t make it.

    • I agree that there is abuse at both ends but if the abuse get out of hand on either side, they should be prosecuted of whatever crime they committed whether its excessive abuse or something more serious like death.

      Good Thoughts!

    • Right there is abuse in both parts and in that case it is ok to use force but why make use of it with someone that did not resist to an arrest and is calm and colaborating with the officer?

      • Angelica, at the point you just mentioned it has nothing to do with the laws they set for themselves or the logistics of it. The point where it crosses over to unnecessary is the point where the human and real ugly side of the officer comes out, and whatever perpetuates that hate and fuel whether it be hate,racism, personal vendetta.

  85. Police excessive use of force on citizens.
    Yes police does use excessive force on citizens but not in all cases.
    Yes, there are instances where law enforcement officials have aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation without prior provocation from the person being abused. Below are links to prove my point argument. The last link has a video clip shown a man punched in the head by law enforcement official.
    articles.cnn.com/keyword/police-brutality
    topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/…/police_brutality…/index.html
    http://www.naturalnews.com/police_brutality.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/police-brutality-cops-pun_n_203245.ht...
    On the contrary, citizens do promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations. Most of the time, these are people who are either drunk or high on sort of substance and harden criminals who have no respect for law and order. Often times, some good and law abiding citizens will initiate these confrontations when they are having a bad day which I believe is a norm in the world we live in today and that is why law enforcement officials need to be aware of the person’s state of mind by executing all necessary steps prior to resulting to excessive force.
    Citizens do use abuse or force against law enforcements officials, now when talking about force; it is more common when there is a group of citizens as to a single person using force. People are even brave and encourage to using force against law enforcement officials when they are in group which is the point I am making. Abuse is most common especially verbal abuse so it does not require a group in most cases. This is why abuse is the most common kind of confrontation flung at law enforcement officials by citizens.

    • Hi Stephen:

      Yes,I do agree with this statement: “On the contrary, citizens do promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations.”

      Thanks,

      Colin

    • Stephen,

      I believe you raise a couple very good points. There are times where law enforcement officers do provoke citizens and hit them. Your link displayed that. I have also seen videos of police punching women and children who were not engaged in criminal activity. I also agree that the majority of the people who engage the police and try and abuse them are on drugs. I have seen many news articles, video clips and episodes of COPS where this has happened.

      Thank you for your links and post.

      Jonathan Dee

    • i agree fully with how citizens purposely promote police confrontations especially when they are drunk, or high on some substance. Most likely anyone who’s purposely aggravating a police officer is not in the right mindstate because any sane person knows you can get in a lot of trouble when messing with law enforcement.

  86. Yes, in some cases, If police are provoked to that extent to maintain order but each officer reacts differently in certain situations. They will use force but at times it can be to excessive even after the situation is under control. However, there may be only a handful out of the officers that use excessive force in a paticular situation but the whole police organization can still be generalized as using excessive force by society.

    In certain situations, I think that police have initiated excessive force frm the start of a confrontation. Police deal with a variety of situations. A lot of times do to the overwelming of citizens who are either protesting or situations such as a riot have law enforcement officials feel more threatend and know that some citizens can be armed with weapons and can be more of a threat and because of that, law enforcement will can initiate excessive force from the begining of the situation beacuse of that.

    At certain times, I beleive that citizens do promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations. Depending on certain situations, citizens may react to law enforcement depending on a person’s experience with law enforcement or based on a citizens behavior torwards law enforcement personnel. For a certain individual, it may be a reaction to law enforcements actions in the past due to excessive force or if they feel that their life is in danger. Often citizens can feel anger or resentment torwards law enforcement which can lead to an individual perpetuate a confrontation with law enforcement.

    In general I don’t think that citizens can abuse police officers. I think that it’s rare when those situations do happen. It just depends on a citizens personal experiences or critical situations with law enforcement that would make a citizen try to abuse police officers.

    • Hi Stanley:

      Thanks for your thought on the following: “I think that it’s rare when those situations do happen. It just depends on a citizens personal experiences or critical situations with law enforcement that would make a citizen try to abuse police officers.”

      Take care,
      Colin

    • I also think that citizens can sometimes drive an officer to use more force then it needed. But, they police needs to be able to control his/her self so that they do not do this and so that they can maintain their professionalism and keep everyone calm in the situation, because if they are not calm, no one is.

  87. Interesting News:

    Ohio cops tased mentally handicapped teenager with speech impediment for ‘disrespect’

    7/3/2011 – The mother of a 17-year-old handicapped child is pressing charges against two head police officers, as well as the city of Dayton, Oh., after the two cops tased, pepper sprayed, and beat the disabled boy without cause. According to a report from Courthouse News Service (CNS), Officer Willie Hooper…

    Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/police_brutality.html#ixzz20dA2Zgx6

    Colin

    • Even though I think that this is morally wrong, I do have to say that under certain circumstances I could see myself doing the same thing if I felt threatened. Sometimes people’s adrenaline just starts pumping and they do crazy stuff without thinking of the repercussions.

  88. Over all I do not believe that the police use excessive force on citizens. They are trained how to act in certain situations so if they felt threatened or something they should be able to take on the situation as they please. Citizens defiantly can purposely cause police confrontations, one can be a jerk when under the influence so then that will aggravate the cop and the cop will handle the situation as he or think is the safest way for them and the community. Even if that means using excessive force to tame a drunk person then so be it. Citizens if they are under the influence there is defiantly a chance they will abuse or resit arrest with a cop. I do not think citizens use excessive abuse or force against the cop because if they tried to use excessive force on a cop, there would be 5 back up cops called on the way on top of the three that are already with the cop.

    .

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?

    Do citizens abuse police officers?

    • I agree with you. The police are trained to use the proper amount of force. Usually they follow their training. Of course things happen and excessive force may be used at times, but generally I feel the police do a great job in making the correct decisions.

  89. I think that sometimes police do use excessive force, i think sometimes their power goes to their head and they lose control and don’t really think about what they are doing. They need to use the amount of force that is only necessary to control the situation.

    • I agree with you completely. Being a police officer is an honor and should not be used to prove a point. You should do your job and not do anything unnecessary like using excessive force.

      • I agree with you as well. I want to be a police officer myself and know I will have situations where i will be provoked. It is extremely important to maintain composure.

    • i agree with you that the power goes to some police heads i use to run rescue and would come upon aaccidents where the police would try to make the accident victim say things to him so he could arrest them he was using his power for a reason that was not fair he was fired eventually though.

  90. In reference to the above article, I feel that the police absolutely used excessive force, this man was unarmed and yet recieved 50 shots to the body on his wedding night, that is horrible. I feel the police did not use good judgement or even gave this man a chance to redeem himself. Sure, the cops in the scenario need to protect themselves but to this extent is ridiculous. All police officers my not mean to use excessive force, but in most situations some may use this force as a use to deter the elevation level. I do not believe that citizens use excessive force against law enforcement, because I think they know better and know the consequences of assaulting an official, but I’m pretty sure there are those who disregard the respect of officers and will try to test them of their physical ability. So in conclusion, law enforcement official are trained in these situations, police must try to use the correct amount of force depending on the case. If officers feel a threat to their life or community they should be allowed to get situation under control. Last but not least, everyone is human and tries to do their job to the best of their abilities on any given day.

    • 50 shots to the body show excessive force. If they were jsut trying to stop him, one or two shots would have solved the problem but 50 proved they were showing excessive force. Good point!

    • your right that they need to limit the use of force. Its pathetic that the line is not always clear what is and isnt enough or too much force

    • I totally agree 50 shots does seems like too much excessive force. i think 1-3 shots would have been better police behavior, even with a warning shout or yell.

  91. Referring to the article posted above, I do believe that the police did use excessive force on the groom on his wedding night, 50 gun shots to the body of an unarmed man, and even if he was possibiliy armed, 50 guns shots is excessive. The law enforcement on this particular night did not use their better judgement in handling this man. He was not given an oppurtunity to redeem himself at any given point.I do believe that sometimes the police use excessive force in situations, just to let the person know who is in charge, and also to deter the elevation level of the situation. Most citizens I believe do not use excessive force or abuse on law enforcement officials for the simple fact that they know better and would like to avoid the consequences with abusing a police, but there are those who will try to test the police physical ability just to see who’s stronger. Officer’s are trained in many different situations, so they should try to use the correct amount of force depending on the individual. If and when a police feels threatend for their life or the community then the officer should be able to control the case to the best of his ability. At the end of the day everyone is human and tries to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

    • i agree with you that was a very sad story and it seemed as though the police just used way to much force.

  92. I agree that was excessive force 50 rounds very excessive of an unarmed man there’s no way to articulate this incident.

    I am in the law enforcement field and we are trained not to use excessive force our job is to protect and serve. We are trained to use the amount of force that is required to take down our subject we are also trained to protect ourselfes and not hurt our subject. There are police officers though who actually abuse their authority with excessive force. Yes you have citizens who do push you to the limit but again you do just enough to combatant the subject and protect yourself and your fellow officer. It’s all about using your judgement and being responsible, being excessive will lead to a civil suit and even cost you your job. It’s extremely tough dealing with these types of situation.

  93. It’s hard to just go on about judging a police officer that might have used excessive force without actually knowing the whole story or actually being in the shoes while at the time. As a Marine I have been put in situations that had me dealing with individuals that I was very angry at for specific reasons. I was required to be a professional and act as to what I was trained to do although I had the opportunity to abuse my power. Sometimes it honestly took everything I possessed to not act in violence but we all have different levels of control. Sometimes being over worked or having to repeatedly deal with someone that irritates you might push your anger overboard and cause a person to lose their composure. I’m not trying to justify what happened in NY, but I would like for people to understand that most of the time when cases like these happen it is because the person was probably holding back for a while and lost composure which can be understandable.

    • You make a very good point. I guess to be able to properly judge if force was properly used for the situation, we would need to know the whole story.

    • I agree with you Hector it is very hard to judge a person unless you are there in their shoes experiencing the same things they are at the same time. The feelings and emotions are different when you are in the heat of the moment and also the body reacts to those emotions. Those things need to be taken into account. I believe addtional training needs to taken into consideration for those on regulare “beats” as the abnormal can happen on any given day.

    • That is a very reasonable statement you have made, no doubt we should always hear out the story from both of the sides before coming to a conclusion and acting.

  94. 1. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    I believe that police do use excessive force on citizens.

    2. Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    I believe in some cases that law enforcement officials do initiate a confrontation at times they may not realize that they are doing it but they are.

    3. Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    I truly believe that citizens do promote and purposefully cause confrontations with officers people do try to test officers.

    4. Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    Yes citizens use excessive abuse and force on law enforcement officers and they get upset or end up trying to sue because the officer tries to protect him or herself from being hurt.

    5. Do citizens abuse police officers?
    Yes citizens abuse police officers everyday physically mentally and emotionally.

    • i think it is crazy that people try to sue the police, you are right when you say its usually self defense by the officer

      • I think that it is crazy that you think that just because these normal individuals like you and me have been given the title of police officer they are not capable of incorrectly doing their job. They are human just like us, although have been given more power than a normal citizen which is why they are held at a much higher standard then you and me. Which inturn just like me and you can make mistakes on the job, police can as well especially when force is used. Which most certainly, can lead to a lawsuit.

    • Good Post. I believe the only reason police officers should use excessive force is when the person is resisting arrest, not listening to the officers or seems as if they may hurt someone or themselves.

  95. Police officers use excessive force on citizens because they really don’t care about you and how hurt you are. They think what there doing is right and acceptable and it’s not true.

    • Not all officers are going out each day looking to hurt someone. But you do have a point, some officers have hatred towards the citizens of their district, and nothing would make them happier than to just see them gone altogether.

    • So i’ll be the one to defend these police officers. I disagree, completely. I believe there is many many factors into whatever happens through out the day of an officer on duty that we do not know about, and for us to judge and say they are applying pressure and they think its so right to hurt these citizens back and nonsense. Officials take the appropraite messures, and once the aggressive citizens think they are bigger and badder then the officer trying to arrest them, then the officer will put them in there place and where they need to be, but never do that just off the bat begin to be aggressive becaus they dislike there area of duty.

  96. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    I think they have, but it is not always the case that they do.

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    I think in situations where some one seems like an immediate and un relenting threat that police will use force from the start. Someone who has threatened police or already shown signs of violence are met with extreme force.
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    Some people do. Some people just want to push the limits
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    In situations where people are not afraid of the repercussions, yes they use force against law enforcement.
    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    I think they do and it happens all the time.

    • yes some people push the limits with police officers just to see how they will react. But if they react badly and use excessive force, then they could end seriously injured or even dead.

  97. I think some police officers do use excessive force more some than others. If a person is not resisting arrest than there is no need to use any force on them but if a person is acting out, restraining arrest and not listening to the police officer and seems like they may cause harm to themselves or others than there may be need to use force because the police officer does not know what that person will do.

    • I completely agree!! There is no need to use force on someone unless he is endangering his life or the life of someone else.

    • I also agree. I think that If someone is acting out and or putting the officers life in fear then any force is necessary to allow the actions to stop.

    • Erica,

      I agree that normal force is sometimes necessary. Unfortunately, some people have different ideas of what is necessary and what is excessive and this causes conflict because there is no standard. It’s all up to interpretation.

      Brandon

  98. I do believe that in some cases, police do use more force than they should. By stereotyping the people they see, they automatically think that if they have dealt with someone who looks similar in race or appearance, that this new person will be just as difficult, so they do not even give the person a chance to prove them wrong.
    Yes, there are situations in which police officers are aggressive right from the beginning. Maybe they have a grudge against this specific person, or maybe the police officer is having a bad day and wants to take it out on someone. Either way, it never ends well.
    I believe that yes, sometimes people start a fight with an officer for what ever reason. Maybe to get a point across, get initiated into a gang or whatever the reason.

    I do believe that citizens use force on law enforcement officials. If they are being brought in, and they’ve already been to jail before, they would rather die than go back again, so they will try to fight against the arresting officer to make sure they do not get back in. And maybe if the officer is in gang territory, and he is alone, he has a strong possibility of being jumped while in the territory.

    • Your whole first statement and your opinion I have to say I disagree with. The only thing that i feel officers may keep in mind is the history of a violent person or someone of that nature, I do believe that these officers are trained accordingly, they are not going to just go be aggressive whenever a bad day is occuring, or when they see a group of a certain race. Officers give the citizens a fair amount of chances, they would not just off the bat be aggressive. The only thing in my opinion is just knowing and being aware of who you are up against and being more unguard vs. being less defensive. These officers risk there lives to keep the rest safe, once a citizen crosses that line the officer should apply the right amount of force right back.
      Besides, officers would not want to risk there jobs and risk being in the office longer doing paperwork because they were reported for excessive force. No one wants more work, they are going to take the measures and procedures as trained.
      -Catherine

    • I also disagree with somethings you have said, for example the cops using excessive force when they are having a bad day. I truly believe their are enough test and training for these police officers to not allow that to happen. I truly don’t believe that a man whom has gone through a background check and psychological test to become a police officer is capable of that. There might be other factors involved but I don’t believe that a police officer is going to take his bad day out on someone.

  99. I believe that police officers use their better judgment and training to determine what force that put amongst the citizens. I do not feel that police crosses those boundaries. The citizens are the ones to be held responsible for pushing those officers to use excessive force, the force placed is within reason and used appropriately.
    I do not find law enforcement officials to aggressively initiate any excessive force without reason; I have never known this to be a common factor. Depending on the situation I am sure that the officers are given a heads up on how aggressive the situation they are about to get into is, and they may cause them to only pay more attention to how fast they must react, but never unnecessary aggression.
    I believe that general it is not on purpose to provoke any confrontation. But when dealing with citizens under the influence of drugs, or those who have been drinking, I feel the anger issues come out more so then if they were sober.
    Yes, a lot of the time citizens apply a lot of force back towards the officers which only cause them to be put under more pressure by the officials in charge.
    Yes, I believe those who have been convicted of a crime have anger towards those who only make the environment safe. Officers deal with a lot of verbal abuse, and physical, especially in a correctional facility.

    • I do not understand how you draw you over generalized conclusion that police do not excessive force when it is portrayed not only in this topic, but discussed in abundance in the media as well. To say that police do not use excessive force at all is in my opinion ignoring the facts. My reasoning behind my stance is not only the evidence that police have used excessive force (Rodney King), but also the understanding that we are all human and make mistakes.

    • I have to completely disagree with you, police officers can not be generalized for the fact that some really do no know how to you their better judgment like you said right. There is no need to kill a man on his wedding day at a riot, why not just arrest him?

    • Hello Catherine ,

      I have read your post and your point of view about police use excessive force , i do not agree that official are always right and do not use excessive force. As a human being they can also make a mistake however it could be different perceptive form both side the officials and the citizen. but recently there are many cases even on media shows how many times unarmed people are killed by the police officers.

  100. Professor Colin,
    I do agree with your response, I believe the police tend to overdo it by using excessive force even when the situation has been handled a lot of times but no additional force is needed if a situation is clearly in control by law enforcement. Citizens do be violent against police officers, even if they are trying to help them. But officers have a choice about their actions. Either they can call for back up (Which they are supposed to do) or a choice to take matters into their own hands. Taking matters into their own hands can lead into something more bigger/dangerous than the actual crime at hand. All the violence is uncalled for. Police use of excessive force can make a civilian do what they see a police officer do. In our society it’s basically “monkey see, monkey do”!

    Here’s is another example of police use of excessive force and the officer getting away with it mulitple times.

    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/07/birmingham_police_officer_indi.html

  101. I concur that criminals should be held acountable for their actions for the sole purpose of crime deterrence.However, I am contre police brutality and will work towards defending my reasons.

    Police brutality has been triggering significant issues around the United States of America and the world today. Some of these issues are directly related to citizens making poor decisions and some are directly related to not properly trained police officers, officers that lack integrity, racist officers, and sobatagging individual officers of the Law enforcement team.
    I will breifly defend law enforcement and touch a ittle bit on my motion against Police brutaity. Because crime rises rapidly, Law enforcers should continue to hold the perpitrators accountable for their actions in a timely manner to deter criminal activites. However, this does no permit brutality especially excessive use of power that lead to power struggles and chaos. For example, a mentlly ill man Milton Hall of Sanigaw, Michigan who was shot 46 times on July 1 2012. This has brought around a lot of confussion one was Milton an Afrian African, the method use to kill him was babaric, and taking a peep at the video aired on CNN explained a lot. These officers decision making skills, I challenged bitterly. They lack patience or some underlined issues were involved in this incident. I am pleased to join other cautious citizens that are looking forward to deter crime and allow United States citizens to enjoy their rights. Jackson, like other activists, said he was frustrated by what he called the slow pace of the investigation into the July 1 death of Milton Hall, an African-American.”The idea of him being killed execution-style in broad daylight is overwhelming,” said Jackson, founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Let us do what is right when no one is looking (integrity) and use our training/education to keep America and the rest of the world safe.

    • “For example, a mentlly ill man Milton Hall of Sanigaw, Michigan who was shot 46 times on July 1 2012. This has brought around a lot of confussion one was Milton an Afrian African, the method use to kill him was babaric, and taking a peep at the video aired on CNN explained a lot. These officers decision making skills, I challenged bitterly. They lack patience or some underlined issues were involved in this incident. I am pleased to join other cautious citizens that are looking forward to deter crime and allow United States citizens to enjoy their rights.”

      This is the first time I am hearing of this. There are lots of incidents, like this one, which go unnoticed.

      If you can find the link for your story, to include pictures/images, please post them.

      Thanks

      Colin

  102. I agree that police do use excessive force at times. The human factor takes over. If the police officer truly believes that their life is in danger, adrenalin and fear could force this action to happen. To help mitigate this, police officers need to maintain high sustainment training programs. Police officers and citizens need to have confidence that police officers are properly trained. The police officer needs to be a highly trained, mature individual that has the discipline to know proper steps to the use of force. When these traits are not there coupled with poor judgement and adrenaline excessive force can happen. What needs to be noted though that for every one poor decision made by police officers, thousands more are doing the right thing each and every day

    • I absolutely agree with this, Their should be more training programs and help offered to the police officers to teach them how to handle the adrenaline and fear factors.

    • VERY well said!! You bring a lot of excellent points. Training is very important to learn how to handle situations when the adrenaline takes over.

    • Training programs to help cope and prepare an officer for a difficult situation is a great idea! The rush of the situation could certainly effect a police officers decision if they were not mentally prepared.

      • I agree that the rush of the situation could effect how the officer will react in an intense situation. I know that offices go through intense training but I believe it’s different when the officer is in unfamiliar territory. No amount of training could totally prepare them to deal with large crowds of intense people. I think their survival instinct kicks in at some point and over rides their training.

    • I really like how you used the phrase “the human factor”. I think people do sometimes forget that law enforcement officers are only human, they have the same fight or flight response that any other person would have.

    • I agree with this except i don’t see how you could react by shooting 50 times. If it was obvious he was shot then why keep shooting. I mean did the officers reload their weapons and keep firing?

  103. in my opininon i beleive that people do abuse of officers and but also police officers abuse of their authority and thats not right. as citizens we should respect an officer, an officers should also learn to control there temper. when an officer applies for the position they know what theyre going for and they should know that there will be disrespectful people. also i belive officers should be able to use self defense as long as theyre life is in danger or a citizen is extremely aggrasive.

    • I couldnt agree with you more. Very well put. Policer officers know what they are getting in to when they apply for the job. They are going to deal with the public. Just like a teacher, there not going to apply for a 3rd grade teaching position when they dont like kids!

    • I like your idea that both the public and the officer are sometimes in the wrong. If respect was mutual between both parties then conflict might be avoided.

    • I agree that some people do not respect officers. I also believe some officers abuse their authority. We should respect officers and I do think officers should be allowed to use means to protect themselves without harming innocent people around them.

    • I completely agree with what you stated. I think some people forget when making comments about police or using names like “pigs” that they are out to help the greater good and should be treated with respect.

    • I agree. Respect has to be earned and citizens are just as accountable as officers. But it is an officers duty to protect and to serve, not to beat and abuse.

    • I agree with your opinion about respecting both the public and police officers. Police know the risks of their jobs when they sign up but they are also keeping us safer so we should try to respect them as much as we can. Also the police officers should stay calm and cool minded at all times.

  104. I think that one reason police officers use excessive force is because they are under too much stress from their jobs, they are not offered enough help with coping with their dangerous and touchy jobs. I do believe some officers in situations let it get out of control for that reason, they are only trying to complete their jobs and be the best at their job they can. Yes, in some circumstances a cop should not use excessive force, but I simply think they are only trying to be the best at their job. Being a police officer is a stressful job and you always have to be on your toes so to speak, so I can understand why the cops get hot headed.

    • I do agree that stress plays an important part. However, police officers must compose themselves to the point where they use only that amount of force necessary to subdue the offenders.

      Thanks, Theresa; your point is very valid.

      Colin

    • I do agree police officers are under a lot of stress. The departments need to look in to deeper training. How ever being stress in your job does not give one the right to use excessive force.

    • Police are offered various forms of help for the stress that is acquired through their job. Whether or not the police utilize the help offered is their decision. If an officer did not expect the stress that the job would entail then they were mistaken in choosing the career path.

    • I also agree that police are required to function under a lot of stress, but at the same time like any other individual performing a job, if you are unable to perform that job correctly due to certain circumstances you are free to quit. By no means should we (law abiding citizens) try to understand or rationalize why a police officer chooses to execute his duties the way they were intended to be. Police officers are given police powers to enforce the law regardless of the circumstances.

      • You made a very good point.

        Yes, the job of an officer is stressfull. But just as professor Caesar said they need to compose themselves to only use the proper amount of force (which could vary depending on the suspect and the situation). Not just because the public may be “watching”. But simply due to the fact that they may have to make a life saving/taking decision within a split second.

        There is not much documentation that officers use excessive force on a regular basis. However, I’m sure there are plenty of aggressive officers employed and on duty.

    • Theresa, you made a great point about officers being under a lot of stress. I also do agree with you that police officers most of the time do not receive enough help when they are trying to perform their jobs. It is true that all police officers are always trying to do their best to maintain the communities safe and guarded but it is definitely frustrating when you lack help. You and I share the same believe with regards that being a police is a very stressful job and all officer must always be alert.

  105. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    In some situations police do use excessive force on citizens. I also think there are more cases that people do not report. It’s not ok to use excessive force when not needed.
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations
    Some cases citizens do promote confrontations with officers, but this is when police training should come in and resolve the situation rather then using excessive force to solve the issue.
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    Yes some citizens do use abuse or excessive force against officers, however this does not give an officer a right to use excessive force. They have a charge for this… and the citizen should be charged rather then harmed.
    Do citizens abuse police officers?

    Yes citizens do abuse officers, but unless they are putting the officers life in danger of physically hurting the officer they use of excessive force is not needed.

    • Officers do use force when not necessary. I think more often with protesters who abuse the officers who are trying to protect themselves. It’s hard to determine when watching reports on tv of who is to blame. I don’t think that officers need to use force when there are multiple officers and they are trying subdue one person who is unarmed and of no threat to their safety.

    • Ashleigh, I think you make a great point about citizens not reporting cases, I think people do not report these cases because they fear the law in a negative way which it shouldn’t happen. In addition, I also like your point about an officer’s training when being challenged in a confrontation by a citizen; they should be able to resolve the issue rather than aggravating the situation by using excessive force. Lastly, your points about citizens abusing officers is very true, unless an officer’s life is at risk then no officer should use excessive force to resolve an issue.

  106. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    Police use force on citizens when needed; although the force may seem excessive to an outsider or to the person having force inflicted upon them, the force being administered is appropriate. The police are trained to diffuse a situation, they have ample tools to do so, but on occasion force may be the only way to stop a troubled situation. Ultimately police are protecting themselves and the public, therefore if a person or group is trying to stop the police from doing their job then the situation would need to be handled in whichever way possible.
    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?
    The majority of the police force in this country are able to protect themselves and the citizens without using excess force. However, there is always corruption amongst a few and cases where the officer went too far. As David Mangan reports “in April 1997, students at the University of California engaged in a non-violent occupation of a university building in Berkeley were beaten by police. The police struck the students with batons as they were lying on the ground. Police also sprayed students in the face at close ranges with pepper spray. At least two students suffered asthma attacks and other injuries resulting from the attack (AIUSA USA section 4 1999:3-4).” It is disheartening to read about cases in which force was applied when there was no need.
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?
    Certainly there are citizens who try to aggravate the police in order to start a confrontation. Typically this happens when a person or group is trying to prove a point or fight for a cause that they believe in. Causing a confrontation with the police is just a vehicle that the person could use to get their message across. Some citizens may not admire or respect the police and therefore purposefully do anything in their power to cause a confrontation to try and “bring down” the police force or their reputation.
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    Some citizens do use excessive abuse against law enforcement officials. Excessive force against officials can be anywhere from a weapon used during the time of confrontation or a person even going as far as using a firearm against the police officer.
    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    The general public does not abuse police officers, however, a small percentage of the public does. The abuse might not always come in the physical form; a person could lie to an officer in order to achieve some type of outcome for personal gain. A citizen could abuse an officer during a situation by using a verbal assault. Or a person could just abuse an officer by physical force; the physical force should never be tolerated and such actions should be rectified immediately.

    • I don’t agree with you. I watch the news and sometimes you see videos of police officer beating the crap out of offenders even when the offenders are already on the the floor not even being able to move. Yes they are law enforcers that doesn’t give them the right to beat the crap out of someone.

    • I agree with you on the aggravation on a police officer. Groups of people incourage that one person to act a fool when they don’t have too. If everyone was to cooperate with the law then their would be no need to any type of force, but since that is not the case the officers should have other methods of dealing with the situation instead of beating people or using something that will kill a person. Once they kill someone they don’t seem to get punished for their actions. All the officers are going to stick together and the citizens are going to be left defending themselves.

    • Hey Allison,

      I agree with the statement that public does not usually abuse the law enforcement. The verbal assault is probably one of the most common abuses as if a person is caught doing something illegal can include abusive language and even threats. Another situation where police officers can be abused is domestic violence calls as family members are involved, there could be a lot of emotions like anger, shame that can lead to abuse towards responding police officers.

      Thank You
      Anmol Sandhu

  107. Statistics show that police use force less than 1% of the time when conducting routine calls for service. With that said, police officers are human with emotions, and can lose control of those emotions just like anyone else. After further review of the Sean Bell case, in my opinion excessive force was undoubtably apparent. There is no justifiable circumstances where firing 50 shots into an un-armed individual becomes necessary. Police often initiate physical force when performing riot control, or when breaking up public demonstrations. In my opinion, citizens can definitely initiate the use of force by the police. In many situations where the police are involved coincide with dealing with individuals with emotions and tempers that are fueled. These emotional situations can often lead to forceful situations if not handled correctly by both the police and citizens.

    • “Police officers are human with emotions, and can lose control of those emotions just like anyone else”. Police officers are trained to handle stressful situations, yes they are humans with emotions but they need to keep their emotions to themselves while on duty.

  108. Every situation is different. What can start out as a small incident can escalate very quickly in a short period of time. The officers are trained to handle erupting situations but with civilians pressing forward I believe sometimes this leads the officers to lose sight of how to control the situation because of their emotions taking over. Officers are human also and you never know how someone is going to act in a dangerous situation even with professional training. I do agree that there have been times when law enforcement has used aggressive force in a situation where it was not required to control the situation. The actions of aggressive force then sometimes causes innocent people to become victims. Law enforcement is a tough career and I think it takes a special person to perform that job.

    • Kyleen, you have said correctly. Every situation is completely different, and like you said; even the smallest incidents can escalate to a whole different level in a blink of an eye. You are absolutely true when saying that officers are humans and that sometimes their emotions take over. Although, officers should always maintain their composure.

  109. Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?

    Do citizens abuse police officers?

    I think a lot of times in protesst the protesters do become very aggressive against law enforcement. The protesters yell, throw objects and often assault officers. Officers need to protect themselves and sometimes that leads to officers using force.

    • That sounds more like a riot than a protest. In a situation like you described, the Police have every right to use force. When this happens, I completely agree that the Police need to protect themselves and others.

  110. I do agree that sometimes it is ok for police officers to use force in order to protect themselves or the community because it is 100% true that there are many people who resist to an arrest and trying to escape from it, they just cause more trouble and sometimes even worst, they can injure someone. In this case, there is no option for the police officer, they have to use force and sometimes be extremely aggressive. On the other hand, it is also true that there are many police officers who abuse of their authority and make used of their force when it is not even needed. There are many cases where officers got suspended for being aggressive with people that did not resist to an arrest and I think those should be severe punish and not just suspended because what they are doing is giving a bad impression to citizens because sometimes people can ask themselves, Why do I have to cooperate if they still are going to treat me bad?

    • I think you should always cooperate with a Police officer, even if he is being an idiot. No matter what, the best thing to do is to cooperate because you will always lose when its your word versus his. Also if there is a camera at the scene then you can actually fight your charges or the abuse if he did handle the situation wrong. The video in my post also shows a really good reason to cooperate.

      • I have to agree with you as well. While it may seem a bit corny, kill them with kindness is the best policy. I’ve even been complimented for my politeness when being pull over before. The best you can do in any situation involving law enforcement is respect there authority and move on.

        • I agree completely. Whenever I get pulled over, I always treat the police officer with kindness and respect. I think that in most situations you get what you give. If an individual is rude and argumentative with a police officer right off the bat then that officer will likely not do the citizen any favors. I think that respect is a trait that everyone should have ingrained in them, officers and citizens both.

    • I strongly agree with you when you say that there sometimes is no other option an officer can take, other than force and aggression to hand some civilians. Sadly, it is common for force and aggression to be used in other situations that are just not called for. However, you should always cooperate with a police officer, regardless of how they are treating you. Most of the time, their actions can be looked back on from a cruiser cam and it can be seen that an officer would be treating you badly.

    • I don’t believe that an officer will treat someone bad if they are cooperating with the laws. People who officers use force with are often people who won’t cooperate for example- someone who is drunk.

  111. I believe police use excessive force depending on the situation. Although there have been cases where the police exaggerate and are way too aggressive with the citizens for misunderstandings.
    I heard about a case in Maryland where they used excessive force on a student and beat him brutally from the beginning. There is a video and it seems like the police officers took everything way out of proportion.
    I do believe there are situations when the citizens do aggravate and provoke the police confrontations. I’ve seen shows such as “Beyond Scared Straight” where the juveniles think they’re so tough, and talk so much trash to the officers.
    There have been cases where excessive abuse is used towards officers, such as shooting them or attacking them and stealing the officer’s vehicle.
    Verbally, citizens mostly always abuse police officers whether police officers hear it or not!

    • I also do believe that officers use excessive force depending on the situation. However, the case you mentioned from Maryland is unjustifiable and should not happen, ever. I myself do watch “Beyond Scared Straight” and the attitudes of these juveniles are also the attitudes of some adults that are sometimes the reason for excessive abuse done by officers.

    • I have watched the same video about the Maryland University student on the news also. It’s very hard sometimes to draw conclusions on only one part of the story/video the media is showing. The video being shown by the media does make a strong case for excessive force being used. Unfortunately we don’t get to see the circumstances leading up to that incident. Police have a very difficult job. Everyday when they go out to protect the public they are faced with dangerous situations.

    • I feel as though it is really easy for a police officer to lose control and use excessive force. It probably just takes one bad day and the right person to hit that one nerve for them to snap.

  112. The only difference between a Police Officer and a civilian is training. Sadly in my opinion police training is not adequate and is the reason some officers lose their patience and control. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe Police officers should use force when the situation calls for it but sometimes they go a bit to far or way to far. A lot of the time it is the civilians fault and it was brought on by him or herself. We sometimes see force as excessive when it actually is not.

    When civilians feel they are being controlled or bullied they tend to get aggressive and uncooperative. A lot of the time they provoke officers and try to start something. When that happens the Police officer should have every right to defend or contain the situation whatever way necessary before it escalates into something serious.

    Below is a video of an example of excessive force. The suspect was obviously not cooperating but the situation was handled horribly wrong. **Video is very graphic**

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEKCJlYtUwc&feature=related

    • I agree with you David that Police Officers do have more training. They are trained to deal with stressful situations such as riots and crowd control. Having said that, they are also human. You never know how a person is going to react in a certain situation whether they have professional training or not.

      Protesters I feel do push police to their limit. Yelling and screaming at the police is one thing but when it turn to objects being thrown and physical assaults the officers need to protect themselves. However, there have been times when the police I think use their authority for the bad and use of force goes beyond what it actually means.

      • This is definitely true. Officer are responsible for protecting the innocent and the public. This also means protecting themselves. We are trained to deal with situation, but the police department trains us on a situational level. The Police Department can’t teach you how to react. You react with your emotions and the circumstances of the situation, especially when your life is in danger. Anyone who tells you any different, they are wrong.

    • WOW. Seeing a video like that makes it seem as though the statistics mentioned in the book must be wrong. While I will say the man was resisting and being uncooperative such force especially on someone of his age was not needed whatsoever.

    • I agree with you 100%. A lot of times civilians try to get Officers to react a certain way. But it always looks bad on the Officer when he does react right?

    • Hello David,
      There were some excellent points you made unto this topic of police excessive use of force. Do you think that police are the main causes of the way citizens react in society? I think so as the police like you say lack the adequate training in community relations with the public and lose touch basis with interacting with individuals.

  113. Yes, there are occasions in which police officers use excessive force. However, the majority of police officers are going to follow their departments “Use of Force Matrix”. In which the suspect/suspects behavior would determine the officer’s response. Some being as simple as verbal control/orders, to tasers, chemical agents, or even the use of lethal force.

    Reading through “Criminal Justice In Action” I’ve learned that only 1.6 percent of the 43.5 million police encounters a year have documentation of excessive force. You will see this in page 197 (chapter 5) of our text book.

    One of the most difficult things about the use of force is that it is up to the discretion of the officer in the situation (which everyone’s perspective may vary, causing different results with different officers in different situations). If he/she feels as if they are in immediate risk of severe bodily harm/death, some may choose to use their lethal weapons. While another officer may choose to use a less-than-lethal weapon to try to subdue & arrest the suspect. Which could be a tragic mistake. I would imagine that making such a choice in the heat of the moment could result in the death of an officer. Which could lead other officers to be “quick” to go for their lethal weapons first.

      • Nicely said! I like how you incorporated the statistics. Completely agree with you, it varies on person to person. What one officer might think is life-threatening, another officer might not.

    • Yes, discretion is used by officers in regards to the use of force, but sometimes the heat of the moment overpowers discretion and abuse occurs. When I say this, I mean that sometimes some officers get so upset over what is said to them by a civilian, take it personally, and unjustifiable excessive force/abuse occurs.

      • Can I add that in many cases the Excessive force by a police officer, or that we see on TV, is a situation where the victim probably could have been treated better and the situation diffused.

    • Yes there are many occasions when police use excessive force. For what reasons that is hard to determine. I do agree that it somewhat depends on the suspect’s behavior as to what form of response the officer is going to use. Emotions in those situations sometimes lead us to make decisions that are not the correct ones. I realize a lot of the times the officer has to protect himself and I agree he should. I would be curious to know if there are more excessive use of force reports in only one officer is involved or multiple offices.

      • I would also like to know the story behind these findings. Just weeks ago two officers body slammed a nurse from her car. The video from one car only showed the body slam. The Officers Supervisor said they followed Procedure. The other cam showed the full story and had the officers fist bumping. When that was released the Officers were then disciplined.

        So while the stats show there are so few confirmed cases how many cases are closed with no finding because of selective judgement

    • I agree but It also depends on the situation if it calls for it then the officer should use force but if it doesn’t there is no need for it. Police should be handle anything as long as they know what they are doing .

    • I would say its 50/50. There are so many situations where a officer has used an excessive amount of force to subdue a offender.

    • Hello Mark ,

      interesting post , i believe the same as you have mentioned that the using excessive force is up to the officers , police follow the laws and rules and not all the police force is same . Also whoever use excessive force it is because of their own safety however i think before killing someone they should be sure that other one is criminal and harmful.

  114. Unfortunately, police do use excessive force on citizens more often than not. Also, there are situations in which law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation. I have attached a video, which shows an officer entering into a cell and violently pushing an inmate to the ground. Although it did look as though the person being detained may have been either intoxicated or belligerently upset about something, it does not give an officer the right to push him to the ground, head on, with such force. Sometimes the use of excessive force by a police officer is justified by the offender acting violently toward them or the offender carrying a deadly weapon. Sadly though, most times, there is no justification for the exessive force.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRNzaGC8zY4

    There are such instances in which citizens promote or purposefully cause police confrontations. Sometimes, when a person is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, he or she may become violent with an officer. Also, citizens can feel threatened by officers and become aggressive toward them. In addition, civilians can also become violent at political rallies or riots and abuse police officers then. All in all, to the general public, it seems as though there is more police brutality, but that is all we ever hear about. Often times, the general public does not hear about the abuse or violence toward police officers.

    • I age that police do use excessive force on citizens more often than not. and that there are situations in which law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation. It is a shame that the man in the video was treated like that. There really was no reason for it.

    • Hi Kateri ,

      you have discussed an interesting point regarding the citizens who can be abusive to the police offices when they are under the influence of drugs , which is against the laws .

  115. Do police use excessive force on citizens? My thoughts after reading this clip from the New York Times:
    “The New York Post reported that, according to an unnamed undercover officer, Bell had an argument with a man outside of the club. Allegedly someone was heard saying “Yo, get my gun” at the scene.[9] Fearing a shooting might occur, plain-clothed officer Gescard Isnora followed the men to their car while alerting his backup team, prompting the team to confront Bell and his companions before they could leave the scene.[9] As Sean Bell and his friends proceeded to get into their car to head home, an unidentified man approached Sean Bell’s car with his gun drawn. Detective Isnora (by his account), identified himself as a police officer, and ordered the driver to stop.[10] Instead, Bell accelerated the car and brushed Isnora’s lower leg, then as another unmarked police minivan rushed the scene, it collided with Sean Bell’s car .[2] By all accounts, Gescard Isnora thought he saw Guzman reach for a gun while in the car, yelled “gun” to other police at the scene, and opened fire on the car. The other officers and detectives joined him in shooting at the car, firing 50 bullets in a few seconds.”
    Is that excessive force was used in this case. Citizens were very upset with the verdict in this. I don’t think Sean Bell initiated any action with the police that would justify all the shooting at his car. The situation might have been handled different after the collision with Bell’s car. The amount of law enforcement presence was more than sufficient to control the situation. I don’t think the aggressive action that was taken upon the men in the car was necessary. All the emotions and adrenaline can cause people to react in different ways. Law enforcement is trained for these situations but I think in this case they were aggressive in their actions.
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? Yes I think citizens can promote and aggravate the police into a dangerous confrontation. Usually protests are peaceful. In some instances though the citizens can begin to lunge, throw objects, and physically assault police officers. The reaction of the officers is to protect themselves and thus the protest escalates to a dangerous situation as illustrated in the article below from the Alexander Higgins Blog:
    “Student protests in Montreal have turned into violent riots forcing police to use batons, grenades and chemical irritants to control crowds refusing to disperse.
    What started off as peaceful protests by students in opposition to tuition rate hikes and other issues has erupted into violent riots after crowds were met by police in riot gear attempting to disperse the crowds.
    When the protesters refused to disperse police began firing tear gas and concussion grenades on the crowd and instead of dispersing the crowds stood their ground.
    Instead they responded by throwing a “firestorm of rocks and other projectiles” at the police and things quickly became violent.
    Protesters have torn down police barricades and began damaging property as clash turned in violent fighting with both police and protesters being injured in the melee.
    Canadian officials are condemning the violence and say that the protesters are now being joined by violent militants.”

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials? When citizens start becoming more aggressive this causes the police to protect themselves and surrounding innocent bystanders. Emotions now are running high and more people become injured that necessary.
    Do citizens abuse police officers? The violence above by the protesters is abusive. The blog above shows demonstrates how a peaceful protest can turn very violent very quickly. At this point I believe the officers have to use more violent means to try and control a situation which has quickly become very dangerous.

    • I think that protests do, in fact, escalate to chaotic points very quickly. I think that any mass number of people gathering together can be a dangerous thing, especially when tempers flare. If police do not use somewhat agressive and violent means to control the crowds then countless numbers of people, including law enforcement officials and protesters, can easily be put in a position of severe danger. I think that using a reasonable level of violence is necessary when used in prevention of a situation escalating to a far greater level of violence.

      • To be honest, even we as citizens deal with the public day to day. It itsnt all just about the police force, we have to maintain a certain standard when working in a restaurant and dealing with people, “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” argument with there spouse, breakups, bad day at work. What ever it may be we too have to decide on split decisions what about robbery, if we do have some kind of military background should we subside the person and disarm them and handcuff them. In all means security needs to be able to do these things, we can not just get mad at someone because they ask for NY strawberry cheesecake pancakes but with the strawberries on the side, and the cooks are to fast with preparing food and it comes out before you tell them not to top them off. That they wanted them on the side, but you insist on see if the debate is well worth it and asking them if they can enjoy there meal how it is prepared the original way. No they throw a tantrum, ask for new ones to be made and still eat the strawberries, why because it makes there pancakes to soggy, in reality it does not make any since because there going to douse them with syrup anyways, I swear people do it on purpose. Only thing I can do is get yelled at my manager and have them enjoy a free meal just because its my fault. What am I going to smash his face into the old ones and make him eat them, no I calmly apologize and get them a fresh batch. Unlike shooting them in the face because they still ate the whole meal even thos it was prepared on the picture and thats what they wanted, but just a slight adjustment…could that mean they plotted this and look foolish while eating it because thats not the way you should or to be proper and not make a mess but they do anyways and leave no tip over what? Nothing they still ate all there food, they didnt need to go and touch the pancakes with there fingers and flip them off the plate or throw them at you while it was still hot they could of just dug right in no soggyness in any case, but see they didnt think before they acted on complaining they did when they ordered the food and not that it matter anyways because it all goes into one area of the body no matter what. So in other words we as citizens or good Samaritans need to decide in a instant or think about our incident before we act just like a police officer should before he gets mad at the jelly doughnut spilled on his uniform please dont shoot me for it.

    • You are right most protests are peaceful, however we do not have a crystal ball to know which ones will be peaceful and which ones turn into riots.
      I think when police head into situations like a protest, than they need to be prepared for violence

    • Hello Kyleen ,

      I enjoyed reading your post and the incident reference to the police excessive force , it could be that he had just said so that give me a gun it doesn’t prove that he must have it and it does not prove that he does not have . Now as undercover officer it is his job to satisfy that no crime should occur since he have already heard about gun. in my opinion i think he should have followed them since he had already informed the back-up instead of just shooting may be they were just innocent..

    • i agree with your comment on emotions are running high now, this makes it more dangerous to be a police officer and also making it more dangerous for the average citizen who is now thinking they could be killed by the very person who protects them. and the officers thinking they could also be hurt or killed by the very people they protect.

  116. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    I would have liked to believe that this situation never occurred, but that is just wishful thinking, I guess. As I was doing research on this subject, I found that there were many cases of officers using aggressive abuse. Below is a link I found proving this theory. So, the answer to the question “Do police use excessive force on citizens?” would have to be, yes. I still think that most officers use force only when necessary to protect themselves and the public.
    Federal jury begins deliberations in Birmingham police officer excessive force case (updated)
    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/10/federal_jury_begins_deliberati.html
    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    Yes, there are a lot of people that promote, aggravate, perpetuate, and purposefully cause police confrontation. Most do it because they have no respect for the law. Some are on drugs or alcohol and do not comprehend their actions at that time.
    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    Yes, some citizens think that they can avoid jail or charges by escape so they will fight to get away from the officers.
    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    Yes, citizens that are having a bad day and get pulled over will start abusing the officers with verbal abuse to start, then with whatever comes to their minds during the confrontation.

    • I agree that abuse goes both ways. Police abuse citizens at times and citizens abuse police at times as well. However, I do not agree that “having a bad day” is a valid reason for an individual to begin to verbally abuse law enforcement officials. I believe that the whole issue of abuse, whether by a citizen or police, comes down to a matter of respect. If people do not have a general sense of respect towards one another then they will disrespect and talk down to others, regardless of the circumstances. I think that if everyone had a simple sense of consideration towards one another then a lot of incidents could be easily avoided.

    • Lori,

      I never thought about the citizen fighting off the officer because of the potential of being caught. I associated the word citizen with a person of innocence. But I suppose a citizen is innocent before being proven guilty. Anyway, you brought an interesting concept and opinion to this matter, one that I agree almost fully with.

  117. The only time force should be used is when a citizen is intoxicated or on drugs and is unable to be detained without force. Normally citizens don’t charge police officers unless drugs or alcohol are involved, and even then only a certain amount of force should be used, and not even excessively. Sometimes when a police officer feels that a citizen is *mouthing off* that might insinuate more force being used than required.

    • I disagree that excessive force should be used when people are on drugs or intoxicated. I believe that you excessive force should bot even happen. If it does then someone should be punished. Officers should never have to use excessive force.

    • I disagree with you because what I the persons words are just slurred but they are complying with everything the officer says, they are still intoxicated and personally I don’t see any reason for the officer to use excessive force either.

    • Yea or at least a 3 strike sort of speak, initiate that there will be forced upon if you do resist, not willing to comply then in the time being the criminal can play cat n mice agreeing and once they know, that there escape is greater and take off. Then its the foot chase, since law enforcement is un-eligable to shoot a unarmed suspect and is in no mediate danger then they must proceed to catch the person. Once you run be prepared to be slammed to the ground or tazed with a lot of aggressive force to get you handcuff, now to say the lease you get a hold of a weapon well then your setting yourself up to be wounded or killed if you decide to use deadly force. I would say if you know your wrong by any means necessary just give up and comply they will find out or retrieve evidence to prove you guilty. So comply or else

  118. The use of excessive force in policing is very uncommon according to statistics in the text. In my opinion, force in policing is not something to be taken lightly but is sometimes necessary. Using force is a part of the discretion that law enforcement officials are taught to use, it is up to then to recognize when a situation is escalating and force could be necessary. It is truly unfortunate to hear of situations like the one Professor Caesar posted here in which police use their authority unnecessarily and potentially ruin lives.

    • Force is necessary when the criminals are refusing arrest or things like that, but you cant deny the fact that they are way too many complaints about police officers abusing their power.

    • Right, that is the gist of my posts. I wanted to bring the same idea to the discussion and raise the points that while we have the stats… are they without question? Last week a group of officers beat on a man that was handcuffed. Did he run? yes but he was handcuffed, he wasnt getting far. The point is EXCESSIVE force. We agree force is needed however you need to consider acceptable and proportional force. When an accused is on the ground do you need a group of officers to drop a knee on him?
      I come from a military leadership background. Two tenants of US military power are MASS- pure numbers of bombs, forces, etc. And Proportion- You only use the MASS needed. IE you dont go in and nuke an entire country because they invaded another country.

      I think the entire concept of excessive force obviously keys on the word excessive but we need to look at that word. Force needs to be defined and lived by the officers. Yes the heat of the moment is a huge factor, but again in a military role a combat role I have had countless opportunities to do what I wanted and shape the fight for the narrative because perspective is everything. So I say heat of the moment in a police officers case is unacceptable. Be better than that. How can it be helped? If the stats show that so few officers are this way, then it would be easy to police your own, right?

    • I agree that based off of statistics excessive force is uncommon and that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any one who uses excessive force should be punished whether it be police officers or citizens.

  119. Do police use excessive force on citizens?

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused?

    If you look up cases and/or news articles about police using excessive force the stories are endless. So, I picked a few to show different examples of excessive force.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/09/federal_findings_on_portland_p.html

    I found the above article very interesting because it isn’t about a single case, it is about a pattern. Do police use excessive force on citizens? Yes, they do. I think cases like the one in Portland, Oregon can be avoided with proper training to handle these situations.

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations?

    Mentally ill individuals can be difficult to deal with and at times violent. They most certainly can provoke police confrontation. If the police are called in to deal with a mentally ill suspect, they are obviously in some form of an agitated state already. Bringing in law enforcement without the proper training to deal with an agitated mentally ill individual will only escalate their agitation. Therefore, perpetuating a police confrontation. I think that there are a lot of unique situations, like those mentioned in the above article about the Portland police department, in which citizens can cause the confrontation. Being a police officer is a difficult job and I think that more attention needs to be paid in the training police to deal with extreme situations.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/05/trayvon-martin-case-timeline-of-events/

    Of course, there is the popular case of Trayvon Martin. Another case in which excessive force was used.

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?

    Do citizens abuse police officers?

    In answering these questions I’d like to bring light to a group that call themselves “sovereign citizens”. They are considered extremists but, they are citizens of the United States that believe that the rules and laws of this country do not apply to them. These people abuse, harass, and use excessive force against law enforcement any chance they get.

    http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/september-2011/sovereign-citizens

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/temple-police-chief-reports-threats-sovereign-citi/nHWW7/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/terry-smith-6-other-suspects-linked-sovereign-citizens_n_1806598.html

    I believe that excessive force is something that happens. It is not just an issue when it comes to Law Enforcement using excessive force. It is also an issue amongst citizens that use excessive force against Law Enforcement. I think this happens when human beings feel that they have the authority, are in the “right”, and feel justified in using this force.
    As far as Law Enforcement Agents go, it is their job to deal with the most extreme of situations and at times will have to use force to contain the situation. Which is why I believe they need the proper tools in the form of psychological training in order to diffuse the most extreme situations before resulting in the use of force.
    Our system is not perfect and I don’t believe it will ever be. “To err is Human” (Alexander Pope) but, if anyone believes that Law Enforcement agencies and or citizens are not both guilty of extreme force is ignorant.

    • I agree with you about mentally ill, they are people too and do not deserve to be mistreated like that especially when they can not control their actions and get abused by an officer for that is just wrong.

    • I do agree with you that specific individuals in various law enforcement agencies are guilty of excessive force and on a very rare occasion, it can be found to be a condoned behavior within a department. However, I do want to point out that extensive research on the use of excessive force has revealed that it is rarely used. For example, in 2001 the Police Foundation surveyed 1000 police officers from over 100 agencies. Two conclusions were that 1) A “substantial minority” believed they should be permitted to use more force than the law allowed and 2) a “substantial minority” believed that using more force than permitted by the law was “sometimes” acceptable. This is just one example but I truly believe that the use of excessive force is not a systemic problem.

    • youre very right about the training officers need. Because they do not deal with the everyday problems civilians deal with. Civilians also have no idea of half the problems the police officer face day in and day out.

  120. Do police use excessive force on citizens?
    I believe that police use excessive force on citizens at times. I would not over generalize the concept of excessive force by saying that all police officers take part in this practice. However, I believe that police brutality has been demonstrated in many instances by police officials. The following article tells of a South Carolina trooper who used excessive force on a citizen who was the subject of a high speed police chase. http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-05/justice/south.carolina.trooper_1_ex-trooper-excessive-force-high-speed-chase?_s=PM:CRIME. I believe that circumstantial factors may impact the amount of force that police use on citizens. In the above article, the trooper may have become agitated and frustrated by the subject fleeing from him. These circumstances by no means justify the actions of this trooper but I believe that they could have aggravated the situation further.

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    The following article tells of an instance where police officers aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the citizen in question. http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/08/us/california-police-beating/index.html. This article tells of police beating and verbally abusing a homeless man who did not initiate aggressive behavior with the officers. Although there are many articles and instances where police initiate excessive force, I believe that the majority of police officers are kind, honest individuals. I think that the character of a person determines his actions and has nothing to do with what line of work he is in. If an individual is a power hungry, violent, angry person, then he will be aggressive in whatever line of work he chooses. However, I do believe that the power involved in being a police officer may bring out bad qualities in some individuals.

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.\
    Some citizens do initiate confrontation with police officials. The most prominent example of citizens purposefully causing confrontation, in my opinion, is riots. Large groups of people protesting something seems to build tension in and of itself. Individuals who have passionate beliefs about a certain topic can sometimes become almost fanatical about that issue. These strong opinions can lead citizens to act out in ways that they normally would not. Citizens forming large groups in protest of a topic can become aggressive, violent, and confrontational. When this conflict grows, police officials have to step in and confront the citizens.

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials?
    I believe that citizens do use excessive abuse against police. Many citizens, even though they are in the wrong, dislike the authority that police officers have over them. This authority by police makes individuals feel threatened which spurs them to lash out at police in an attempt to show that they cannot be controlled. I have read about and heard many instances where police spit at, hit, resist, kick, and verbally abuse police officers. I think that certain variables, such as alcohol, can definitely influence citizens to abuse police officers. If an individual has alcohol in their system and then is stopped and questioned by officials, the citizen is more likely to become agitated and become violent and aggressive with police.

    Do citizens abuse police officers?
    Police officers are abused by citizens. When confrontation arises and the police attempt to restrain or arrest people, citizens sometimes retaliate in the form of abuse against their arresting officer. Many citizens, for one reason or another, have anger against law enforcement officials as a whole. In the following video, a citizen beats a police officer with his own baton without initiation by the officer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFWaW_QmZE.

  121. Well I have definitely seen videos where police officers abuse people for no particular reason. I do believe that some get over their heads and think that just because they have a badge they are allowed to do whatever they please and it shouldn’t be that people. Citizens should feel safe when they see police officers not scared. Is not every single police officer but there is a few of them that should not be trying to enforce the law on anyone when they cant even clearly obey the law themselves.

  122. In my opinion, police officers try their best to provide safety to our communities; however, there are certain circumstances where police use excessive force. Certain circumstances are mainly results of offenders or outsiders who resist an arrest or are extremely disrespectful to the officer.
    My dream and main goal is to become a police officer, such dream is sometimes less appealing due to the surveys and statistics that show that every year there are more police officers using excessive force against citizens. Although, it is not a huge number of officers that use excessive force; in my opinion, there shouldn’t be any police officer using excessive force against no one. http://youtu.be/AFnvSmiD5PY.
    I think citizens do aggravate certain situation such as: protests and strikes, people will challenge the law to try to get what they want, unfortunately most of the time the same protester are the ones that end up getting hurt. In addition, I do think citizens abuse officers and I think this happens more often than we think, officers suffered more verbal abuse than physical abuse most of the time. Citizens get frustrated very quickly whether when they are getting a ticket or being arrested.
    http://youtu.be/399zUJVsFM4

  123. Do police use excessive force on citizens? Yes I think It is clear from many of the dashcam videos that Police do use excessive force in many occasions.

    Are there situations where law enforcement officials aggressively initiated excessive force from the start of a confrontation, without any prior provocation from the person(s) who is being abused? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.—————-
    I can point to numerous instances: IE protesters, Correct there are violent people in the crowd however how many times do you see someone just exercising their rights getting hit while those throwing rocks or other forms of violence go unpunished.
    Also at a traffic stop there are a few cases where a grandmother was asked to get out of the car, she said no, was tasers and dragged from the car. That is NOT Provocation.

    Do citizens promote, aggravate, perpetuate, or purposefully cause police confrontations? You may attach photographs/pictures, videos, movies, or web links to prove or disapprove your argument.
    Again lets point to many protestors. They provoke the response. They are trying to incite the police.

    Do citizens use excessive abuse or force against law enforcement officials? Yes How many times do we open the paper to find a Police officer has been killed

    Do citizens abuse police officers? Yes. I answered that above, but Police Officers are beaten up quite frequently.

    • I agree with you joe that the citizens do use excessive abuse or force against the police officers. We do find these kinds of stories everyday in the news that one officers has been abused or beaten badly. The officer should not allow this to happen anytime they should always be alert at all times .