Argumentative Essay Over Deadly Force

1683 Words7 Pages

For decades now, the controversy over deadly force has continued to show up in the news when police officers have acted in a manner that some citizens find just while others deem completely unfair. Many lawsuits stemming from shootings and crimes have found their way to local courts or the Supreme Court to deal with this issue. A portion of the U.S. population finds deadly force unnecessary when non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray or batons just as easily subdue the criminal. In addition, these citizens argue that officers might be liable for cases filed against them if they use excess force on people that seem suspicious but have not actually committed a crime. On the other hand, the opposing argument in favor of deadly force states that …show more content…

This idea came up in a major Supreme Court case in 1985 called Tennessee v. Garner where the judges questioned the constitutionality of shooting at an unarmed suspect. In this case, a police officer from Memphis came out to a neighborhood at night to investigate a complaint of a possible burglary. Upon arrival at the house in question, the officer heard a noise and saw a person trying to escape over the fence. When the suspect did not stop after a warning from the officer, the policeman shot and killed the suspect. After a long series of trials, the previous statute of Tennessee was overturned and replaced with a new one that included a new phrase. According to Michael Douglas Owens, writer of an article published in Mercer University’s 2000 Eleventh Circuit Survey, the new ruling was that “deadly force may be used to apprehend a fleeing felon only if ‘it is necessary to prevent [the suspect 's] 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.’” This helped to outline when officers could lawfully shoot a suspect whose intentions were in question. Also, I believe the ruling satisfied some of the contentions of the argument against force by preventing officers from misusing guns. Safeguarding people against gun misuse while still allowing its utilization in dangerous situations seems to make the most sense to protect as many people as

Show More
Open Document