The Use of Non-Lethal Weapon: an Alternative Way on Arresting Felons

4876 Words Oct 23rd, 2014 20 Pages
Chapter 1

The terms less-than-lethal, less lethal, and non-lethal are frequently and inappropriately used interchangeably. Almost anything can become lethal if used improperly or if circumstances are extremely unlucky; weapons that are considered to be of Non-Lethal force only decrease the odds of deadly injury. The court addresses the use of less lethal force in the “objective reasonableness standard,” where questions regarding excessive use of force are to be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer coping with a tense, fast-evolving situation. (Graham, Conner, 2009)
This revised standard alleviates some of the “Monday morning quarterbacking” that would otherwise result and respects that
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Over 28% of the officers assaulted suffered personal injury. The majority of these officers were assaulted while responding to disturbance calls, which include domestic disputes and bar fights. The majority of the officers assaulted were assigned to one officer uniformed patrols. Nearly 81% of the assaults were committed with personal weapons, hands feet, fists etc. When officers were assaulted with personal weapons 29.8 % suffered injuries. Firearms only accounted for 3.3 % of assaults on officers. (The Role of Less- Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement 2010)
Most of the complaints in which officers were assaulted started as misdemeanor calls, which generally do not call for the use of deadly force.
Based on the above statistics an officer is most likely to suffer an injury when confronting an unarmed individual while working alone on uniformed patrol and answering a disturbance call. It would therefore be reasonable to provide the officer with the means to protect himself, which is less than the lethal force of a firearm and a greater force than personal weapons. (The Role of Less- Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement 2010)
Editor's note: Iris Baez is a member of the Justice Committee in New York, a longtime activist for accountability and justice in police brutality cases, and the mother of Anthony Baez, who was killed by a New York Police Department officer's use of a chokehold in 1994.
Although details are still

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