State V. Steele Case Analysis

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An Analysis of State v. Steele (2013) for Police Misconduct and Kingsley v. Hendrickson et al. (2015) for Police Brutality


In this case evaluation, the overarching problem of police misconduct and police brutality will be examined in State v. Steele and Kingsley v. Hendrickson et al. In the past ten years, there has been an alarming rate of police misconduct and police brutality, which continues to be a problem in terms of prosecuting corrupt law enforcement officials in the field. A vast increase in the use of deadly force and police misconduct was conducted by Bowling Green State University, which evaluated 6, 724 cases in which a police officer was arrested for some form of police brutality, gun usage, or misconduct from 2005-2011
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Hendrickson et al defines the problem of police brutality in relation to the maltreatment of a suspect in custody. In 2010, Michael Kingsley was allegedly assaulted by five police officers was held face-down in a holding cell, and then shot with a “stun gun” for a period of vive seconds. After this event, the police left Kingsley to suffer in pain for 15 minutes before providing assistance to the stunned suspect. Kingsley sued the five police officers in court, which defines the context of Kingsley v. Hendrickson et al as a pretext to find reckless disregard in the police officer’s intentions. However, Kinsley lost the court case because he could not prove the “subjective” intent of the officers for intentionally malicious purposes, yet instead, he argued for the “objective” context of his confinement. IN the final outcome of the case, the Supreme Court did justify Kingsley’s argument about the objective context of suspects in custody through Bell v. Wolfish 441 U.S. 520 (1979), which allows for a new standard of confinement rights as a precedent for future abuses by police officers of suspects in jail. The use of “objective standard” in police brutality would now be associated with the Bell v. Wolfish case as a new precedent for future allegations: “We conclude with respect to that question that the relevant standard is objective, not subjective” (Kingsley v. Hendrickson et al , 2015, p.5). Certainly, Kingsley lost the court case, but the Supreme …show more content…
Hendrickson et al case defines another major problem in the American legal court system, which demand that Kingsley had to provide a subjective motive of malicious intent by the police officers to use brutal force against in while in custody. In fact, the Judge informed the jury that that Kingsley had already lost the case, unless he could provide evidence of a direct act of malicious intent by the police officers. The video obtained of Kingsley’s allegations of objective police brutality was ignored by the jury, yet the Supreme Court eventually argued in favor of Kingsley’s defense under Bell v. Wolfish that the physical aspects of police maltreatment will be a much more prominent part of future allegations against police brutality of suspects in custody. I agreed with this outcome because the basis of American law is “innocence until proven guilty”, yet Kingsley was being found guilty of non-cooperation with the police as a preordained legal premise that validated the harsh measures taken by the police in this case. In this manner, I did not agree with the outcome of Kingsley’s trial that disproved the police brutality charge, but I did find the Supreme Court decision of the “objective standard” that would provide a new legal precedent in order to evaluate the level of violence that the police use against suspects in holding

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