People accused of crimes in New Jersey could face arrest for anything from shoplifting to violent assaults. Their arrest may not be painless and conflict-free but could instead result in serious violence against the person arrested.
Police officers may sometimes need to use force in their attempt to detain someone or to intervene in a situation that puts others at risk. Unfortunately, the use of force can sometimes lead to injuries and trauma for the individual the police officers wanted to detain.
Police officers have the right to use force in the line of duty
Police officers should make decisions that keep them safe and allow them to do their job while causing the least harm to others possible. Although officers may feel compelled to use force when responding to allegations of a violent criminal offense, they sometimes also use force when responding to property crimes or misdemeanors.
Even those accused of minor offenses could become the victims of police brutality. Those accused of crimes that did not pose a threat to public safety may have a stronger claim than others regarding police brutality.
The amount of force used should directly reflect the risk involved
Police officers have the legal right to use physical force to protect themselves, stop someone from fleeing or protect the public. However, the amount of force that they use should directly reflect the threat presented by the individual.
Someone accused of not paying child support or traffic infractions likely doesn’t warrant an aggressive response by police involving the use of tasers or firearms. Police officers should respond to a situation carefully. Although force is often the fastest solution to a problem, it is often not the best one.
Recognizing when the use of force may have been inappropriate could be the first step toward holding the police accountable for their misconduct.