Use of Force Cases

Use of Force: A police officer is permitted to use reasonable and appropriate physical force (if the use of nonviolent means would be ineffective) against another person when they believe it is necessary to effect an arrest, prevent escape from custody, to defend oneself, or to defend another person from a reasonably perceived physical danger. Tennessee v. Garner (Based on): Fleeing Suspect Doctrine

Scott v. Harris: It is not a violation of a person's civil rights if a police officer exercises force during a vehicle pursuit by intentionally causing a vehicle collision in such a manner which places the fleeing person at risk of serious injury or death if the behavior of the fleeing person constitutes a threat to the lives of innocent bystanders, drivers, pedestrians, etc.. Additional considerations for the justifiability of force using during pursuits (in such a manner which places the fleeing person at risk of serious injury or death) include those provisions set forth in Tennessee v. Garner (Based on): Fleeing Suspect Doctrine.

Graham v. Connor: Excessive use of force claims must be evaluated under the "objectively reasonable" standard. Objectively reasonable force is force that appears to be necessary given the facts and circumstances perceived by the officer at the time of the event. This standard requires courts to consider the facts and circumstances surrounding an officer's use of force rather than with full-knowledge in-hindsight.

Missouri v. McNeely (2013), Exigent Circumstance Doctrine. The Supreme Court clarified, "A variety of circumstances may give rise to an exigency sufficient to justify a warrantless search, including law enforcement's need to provide emergency assistance to an occupant of a home, engage in “hot pursuit” of a fleeing suspect, or enter a burning building to put out a fire and investigate its cause."

Oklahoma v. Elizabeth Rodriguez (2013) Accessory/Association Doctrine. The supreme court ruled that Elizabeth Rodriguez would be charged with 3 counts of first-degree murder, for her role in a home invasion, whereby the 3 individuals whom raided the home, were shot and killed by a resident in the home. Elizabeth Rodriguez was tasked with being the getaway driver, and played no active role breaking into the residential home and attempted to steel goods. Elizabeth Rodriguez initially pleaded not guilty to 3 counts of first degree murder, along with a number of other charges. She then pled guilty to 3 counts of second degree murder, along with a number of another offences.

Last updated