Use of Force: Liability and Reasonableness
- 60 minutes
On any given day, on any given shift, the work of a law enforcement officer is broad and varied. Each year, United States law enforcement officers complete contacts with over 60 million people. Out of all of these contacts, only approximately 1.5% involve the use of force or threat of use of force by the involved officers. While statistically the use of force is a minimal part of the job, it is a crucial and closely monitored element of law enforcement. It can be used appropriately or abused. It requires significant initial and ongoing training. It carries the weight of ensuring safety, of influencing public opinion, and of potential liability. For all of these reasons, the reasonableness and potential liability of the use of force demands examination.