Methods to Reduce the Use of Excessive Force by Police Essay

1395 Words 6 Pages
The use of force, particularly with correlation to officer morale and/or inadequate education/training, has become particularly problematic. Measures should be taken to reduce the injury to suspects, particularly physical injury resulting from poor officer tactics or malicious intentions not related to upholding the law. These are problems, which, if properly handled and rectified, will result in improved officer morale, improved relationships with the public as well as ensure a continued upstanding reputation for the oldest police force in the nation.

Use of Electronic Control Devices (ECD’s) such as the widely used taser X26 at the discretion of police officers can be a very useful tool in order to temporarily disable and obtain
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The parents of the child were very disturbed by how the situation was handled while their daughter was left with a babysitter and want the officer disciplined for using excessive force. “Tasers are for grown adults, not 8-year-old girls,” said Bobby Jones, the child’s father. “They say it was for her own safety, but there is no justification for that.” (Hull, 2013)

Another example of ECD use that has recently attracted media attention was the 2009 use of a taser device at a Syracuse traffic stop against a 38 year old mom driving a minivan with her two children. She was stopped for exceeding the posted speed limit by just five miles an hour (iReport for CNN, 2009). With the entire encounter recorded on police dashboard surveillance, it can clearly be seen with no room for misinterpretation that the use of a taser in this situation was unequivocally unjustified and unnecessary. According to the courts, a reasonableness standard applies to the use of ECD’s. meaning an officer, while not required “…to use the least serious level of force but he or she is obligated to use only that level of force (including the taser) that is reasonable given the nature of the threat.” (Pollock, 2012) It could be questioned by some whether there was any level of threat at all in this situation, let alone a level which warranted the use of an ECD. In this particular case, a judge agreed and the woman was awarded a $75,000 settlement from an upstate New York county along with

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