The Threat Of A Memphis Police Officer Essay

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Simply stated from Justice White; “This case requires us to determine the constitutionally of the use of deadly force to prevent the escape of an apparently unarmed suspected felon. We conclude that such force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others” (Garner, 1985c). According to Tennessee law it is lawful for an officer to use all methods necessary to secure the arrest if the person flees or violently resists. This case demonstrates the actions of a Memphis police officer, Elton Hymon, who shot and killed a young man who was “reasonably sure” (Garner, 1985a) to be unarmed and was either 17 or 18 based on physical characteristics. The officer, who suspected garner of burglarizing a near by house, did order the fleeing suspect [Garner] to stop, but he continued to flee. Consequently, the officer shot Garner in the back of the head killing him immediately. It turned out that Garner was only 15 years old at the time of his death. This case originated after Garner’s father sued for damages claiming that his son’s constitutional rights were violated. The district court judged that because Tennessee law allowed the actions they were able to get involved. This court also stated that Garner might have been responsible for his death because he knowingly fled from the police. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals…

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