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When is force deemed excessive?

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Romanucci & Blandin


When is force deemed excessive?


This holiday weekend’s unprecedented violence may conjure up questions of excessive force and police brutality.  Among the victims of violence this weekend, five were at the hands of police officers.  As these incidents are under review and the families seek answers, we must examine when force is necessary and when allegations of police misconduct are warranted.


The challenge is that there is no absolute definition for “excessive force.”  This gray area leaves room for interpretation, which can easily be skewed in the tense moment when the officer must make a judgment call.


Sometimes police react too quickly and shoot an innocent person or use deadly force when it was not required. In these instances, the victim should take action.  Other times force is the officers’ only option.  When the incident in question involves gun usage by a police officer it must be determined if this was the only option for the officer.  In the coming weeks we will learn if this action was indeed the officers’ only possible reaction.


To say these cases are complex is an understatement, yet we have found many instances when excessive force can fall under police brutality, including:

  • Baton beatings that occur after a person has been subdued
  • Reckless use of a squad car, including high-speed car chases
  • Improper or violent take-towns
  • Physical violence to a handcuffed or subdued arrestee 
  • Excessive taser usage

If police misconduct, including carelessness and recklessness, has caused a devastating injury or even death to you or a loved one, the offending officer or officers should be held accountable for their actions. We are not afraid to do everything in our power to prepare for and try a case of this type.

Do you have a police misconduct case?  Find out. Call us today at 1-888-458-1145.


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