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Use of force by police

If you follow local or national media, you may have heard stories about how police officers have engaged in inappropriate conduct. This may happen in Minnesota or elsewhere and might include physical force. In some cases, this force may end up being deadly and an everyday citizen is killed. Just what can be considered police brutality and what is considered acceptable in the course of an officer doing his or her duty?

According to the city of Minneapolis, a police officer is given some latitude with which to make the decision about whether to or not to use force. This latitude is granted in part due to the situations in which officers find themselves and the sometimes limited amount of time in which they have to make decisions. An officer is given the ability to choose to try methods to de-escalate situations or potentially give a warning that force may be used instead of jumping right into using physical force.

Some factors that are to be considered in making the decision by an officer is the level of or immediacy of any threat to another person including the officer as well as the severity of any crime that may be committed. Also able to be considered is any act on the part of a person that may be construed as resisting arrest.

If you would like to learn more about the laws concerning a police officer's ability to use force, please feel free to visit the law enforcement officer force page of our Minnesota civil rights website.

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