Deadly Force: The Use Of Police Force

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In the world of law enforcement, Police Officers across the United States operate in a wide variety of functions daily in order to accomplish three simple goals set forth by our governing authority for the well-being our society. To put it simply, Police Officers are charged with enforcing criminal laws, preserving public order and protecting the citizenry from crime. The overwhelming majority of Police Officers regularly carry out these functions widely unnoticed by the general public. The mission of America’s law enforcers is wide and the margin of error for mistakes in the profession is nearly null. In the day to day of law enforcement, it is quite common for Police Officers of all types to make countless interactions with people of the…show more content…
Among the various levels of force used in modern law enforcement, for the sake of the research to follow, these various types can be simply broken down into two categories: non-deadly force and deadly force. The difference between the two is distinguished by the likelihood of its use to gain compliance or to cause great bodily harm or death. So, simply stated the use of deadly force refers to the application of force that is likely to result in lethal consequence. To understand the pervasiveness of Police use of deadly force, it is imperative to fully understand the scope of the functions of Police Officers and the burden of authority placed upon them by law to use coercive…show more content…
This Ultimately authorized officers to apply deadly force as a legitimate means of apprehending individuals who were fleeing from suspected felonies. This doctrine stemmed from traditions traced back to the Middle Ages when most committed felonies were punishable by death. Since then, many police departments have prescribed the circumstances under which deadly force could be used and today modern agencies follow a “Defense of Life Doctrine” where the use of deadly force is mainly authorized in situations where its application will defend and preserve the arresting officer’s life, a citizen’s life, or another officer’s life while in imminent life-threatening danger (Chambliss, 200). Today Police Officers abide by a Use of Force continuum that essentially requires Officers to meet force with force within the scope of reason based off of the totality of circumstances presented in a situation. Of course, deadly force rests at the end of the continuum being the highest level of force

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