Law Enforcement are permitted to use deadly force when they are defending
a individual or self-defense. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has
described use of force as the "amount of effort required by police to
compel compliance by an unwilling subject" (Police Use of Force, 2015,
par. 2). Individuals should receive guidance from the Law Enforcement Agency
they work in. No two officers are the same, nor do they use the same amount of
force; however, Law Enforcement Officers should also know that when deadly
force is used lawsuits generally come after.
According to Ryan (2007) “Most of these claims are received in federal
courtsascivilRights claims based upon the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution. These actions are broughtUnder a federal statute “42 U.S.C. §
1983 which creates civil liability when a person, acting under color of law,
violates federally protected rights of another, causing damage. Under § 1983, a
governmental entity, specifically a town, city or county are
not liable for all of the actions of their employees” (par.1). Â§ 1983 has
turned into a maze of procedural and substantive standards. Entangling matters
much further is the way that new issues are continually rising, and the
protected rights at the foundation of all.
Analysis of Popow v. City of
is important to provide an all-round training to the law enforcers. It is not
proper to have an untrained officer carrying out security duties that may cause
danger to innocent civilians. In the Popow
v. City of Margate, an officer shot an innocent person as he pursued a
kidnapper on foot. The court ruled that the training offered to the enforcement
officer was inadequate. The case is influential in law enforcement training in
that it provides for the areas under which officers are supposed to be trained
on. It shows that the training on the use of deadly force alone is not
sufficient in some situations. Officers need training in handling moving
suspects. They also require training on shooting in areas that have low lighten
(Ryan, n.d). The training should consider the aspect of shooting at residential
areas; the officers need to know how to operate under those areas that put
innocent people at risk.
Analysis of Zuchel v. Denver
Zuchel v. Denver case is about
officers responding to a disturbance case in a fast food restaurant where one
officer ended up killing a suspect who would otherwise have been arrested by
the other officer. The case provides a situation that shows that the officers
did not have sufficient training. The case shows that the methods used for
training are not sufficient enough; the use of films and lectures is not
comprehensive enough for an officer to handle some situations. The case brings
out another aspect of training whereby training of the officers must put into
consideration the environments that officers may face while on duty. It also
emphasizes on regular firearm training (Ryan, n.d). A critical area that needs
to be introduced is the training of decision-making skills. The skills are to
help the officers in deciding the situations that require deadly use of force,
which will help agencies avoid liabilities.
What must a municipality or agency
ensure in order to limit their liability?
municipality or agency should ensure a couple of actions in order to limit
their liability. One of the key issues is to have adequate resources to enable
the municipality to maintain quality training programs (Petrowski, 2002). The
training should not just be the usual enforcement officer training, it should
be tailor made to fit in the current trends. The agency needs to pick up the
developing issue that can cause liability and train the officers on those as
they come. None of the developing issues should be ignored, as it may turn up
to be disastrous over time.
The agencies and municipalities need
to have updated policies on training. The polices should be reviewed from time
to time to ensure that they are relevant in the current times (Shtmllair et
al., 2011). The policies created need to be able to adapt to change. For
example, the officer in the Zuchel v.
Denver case had training on shoot and don’t shoot, which was not enough to
handle the situation as the officer needed decision making skills.
municipalities and agencies need also to be ready to spend on certain topics
that may be expensive, but very important in the short or long run. The
expensive trainings can be spared for some officers and only them can handle
cases in such areas. It is also important to have a continuous in house
training program to promote continuous improvement (Petrowski, 2002). The trainers should think of all possible
scenarios and try and find ways that will help the officers to handle such
cases without causing a liability to the municipality or the agency.
the organization’s training is deemed inadequate, is the liability of the
organization affected by whether or not the individual acted outside the limits
of his or her training?
the organization’s training is deemed inadequate, the liability of the
organization is affected by whether or not the individual acted outside the
limits of his or her training. It is expected that officers must get the ideal
training in order to handle different cases. In some cases, the officer is
supposed to use common knowledge to deal with a situation in which case the
agency is not liable. In the event that the officer acts in a way that would
have been as a result of inadequate training, then the agency or the
municipality’s liability is affected.
the matter of claims no organization is invulnerable. With proper documented
training a police agency can avoid a liability. A Law Enforcement Officer can
make a better decision once they are properly trained. The law ensures the
judgment of a cop in circumstances where dangerous power is redundant. Probable
cause needs to be established, and reasonable circumstances proved for being
reasonable. There is investigation after a deadly force incident and the rule of
the law are applied. A Law Enforcement
Officers sacred rights, need to be
secured. Police are held to an elevated expectation. What matters is the rule
of the law, does not weaken every defensive right. As long as the facts known to the officer at the time of
their decision to use force were objectively reasonable, then the use of force
will be lawful.
stated by Dwyer (2010) “Officers who adhere to their training and agencies that
have sound and up-to-date use of force policies in place should never have to
fear the specter of cheap politics and grandstanding” ( p. 3).
Dwyer, T. P.
(2010, May 7). Reviewing and analyzing police use of deadly force - PoliceOne.
Retrieved from www.policeone.com/.../2059075-Reviewing-and-analyzing-police-us...
Petrowski, T. D. (2002). Use-of-Force Policies
and Training a Reasoned Approach. FBI Law
Enforcement Bulletin, 71(10),
Use of Force | National Institute of Justice. (2015, August 13). Retrieved from
Ryan, J. (2007). Training liability
in use of deadly force. Retrieved from
Shtmllair, J. P., Pollock, J., Montague, D.,
Nichols, T., Curnutt, J., & Burns, D. (2011).
Reasonableness and Reaction Time. Police Quarterly, 14(4), 323. Doi:
please double check make changes is
there enough under If the organization’s training is deemed inadequate