Deadly Force Facts

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Just the Facts
If an officer learns after the fact that what he perceived to be a weapon was actually a toy gun, a cell phone, or even a wallet, the standard by which the action will be judged will come from what the officer knew at the time. Officers need not, and often times cannot afford to, wait for a subject to pull the trigger or try to stab them before they react. Instead, they must weigh the totality of the circumstances and make a decision based on the facts available to them at the moment.
Reasonable Choices
The objective reasonableness standard establishes that officers are not just limited to the least amount of force possible. More so, officers are taught in to use only that force that falls within the spectrum of what might be …show more content…

Officers are taught at the police academy to meet deadly force with deadly force. They are trained and given the techniques and skills to make sure they make it home at the end of their shift, and they spend extensive time training in the use of firearms.
It's important to realize that, when discussing the use of deadly force by police officers, the expected result of a subject's actions don't have to be death. Instead, deadly force is described as actions that would likely cause death or bodily harm, which could include permanent disfigurement without necessarily causing death.
The type of weapon in officer chooses to used is an important factor in an officer's decision to use deadly force. To a police officer, deadly force is deadly force, whether the subject is wielding a knife, an ax, a gun or even a baseball bat. All of these have the potential to take a life or cause severe bodily harm. To be justified in using deadly force, officers must be able to articulate that the perpetrator had the apparent ability, opportunity and reasonably perceived intent to commit an act likely to cause death or great bodily …show more content…

Officer and PerpetratorFactors
Another important consideration is the officer himself as compared to the subject in question. An officer who is 5'1" and 105 pounds may be justified in using greater force against a subject who is 6'3" 240 pounds than would a taller, heavier and stronger officer in similar situations.
Uses of Force More Complicated Than First Looks Suggest
All of this goes to demonstrate that uses of force by corrections and police officers are most often far more complicated than a single news report makes them appear. Law enforcement jobs are known to be reasonably dangerous jobs, and officers are often placed in circumstances where they are required to make instantaneous life and death

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