Use of Force

Use of Force

Use of Force

In line with James J. Fyfe

about Use of Force in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

In the United States of America, police authority to use force is defined by criminal statutes. These statutes typically define deadly physical force as force capable of killing or likely to cause death or serious (e.g., crippling or permanently maiming) injury. Physical force is defined as force capable of causing lesser types of injury. In practice, deadly force most often occurs when officers fire their weapons at other people, although, in a few instances, police have killed or maimed people by allowing dogs to attack them or by striking them in sensitive areas of the body. Nonlethal police physical force usually involves restraining grips and holds; striking with hands and clubs, or “batons”; and applying a variety of technological devices, such as chemical sprays and electronic shocking devices, or “stun guns.” State criminal law (there is more information about criminal law in the American Legal Encyclopedia here) statutes distinguish criminal acts (e.g., assault, manslaughter, murder) from justifiable force by police and citizens.

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