The degree of force employed by a law enforcement officer to effect an arrest or to protect himself/herself and or the public is subject to interpretation by the courts as to its reasonableness. There is an abundance of case law which supports the use of force on a continuum by the officer in order to exact compliance by the defendant should said defendant resist arrest or other lawful commands. However, jurisprudence also dictates that the force employed must not be excessive nor should it be applied in a frivolous manner or through methods that cause unnecessary bodily harm or undue fear and embarrassment.
Contact Security Strategies Today for expert assessment on use of force matters as applied by law enforcement officers, bodyguards, “bouncers” or private individuals. If you represent a client in a civil or criminal matter involving potential excessive or unreasonable use of force, you need a private investigator with long-term law enforcement experience who can provide the insight you need to help you craft deposition interrogatories, motions and discovery requests. At Security Strategies Today, your use of force consultant, we will:
- Assess defendant/plaintiff statements and actions, together with those of the intervening officer or security guard/bouncer and provide expert guidance on the degree of force that could have been employed lawfully in the case;
- Interview clients, witnesses, store owners, bar and restaurant personnel or employees of other establishments in an effort to ensure that all witnesses are heard and that their statements are reviewed together with all available evidence. We will review the video of the establishment or dash cam footage and assess how the images corroborate or refute testimony. Finally, we will review officer training and discipline records as well as the state-mandated standard training so as to determine if department and state rules have been adhered to;
- Finally, we provide expert testimony with regard to the use of force in law enforcement scenarios and have testified in multiple federal and state venues;
The use of force between private individuals when they are acting in their personal capacity and where no law enforcement agency is involved, in general terms, is lawful in self defense matters where a physical threat is articulated, apparent or reasonably feared. A reasonable fear of a threat could be, among other scenarios, when a person feigns to be concealing a weapon under his shirt but in reality has no weapon at all. The degree of force employed in such cases also must be consistent with the threat and cannot be excessive. The use of alcohol or drugs on the part of the aggressor per se does not necessarily increase the threat, but may be a contributing factor in the seriousness of the threat posed.
Don’t Risk It. Consult with an Expert. Security Strategies Today provides consultant services in use of force matters and all of Arizona. We will assist you throughout trial preparation and during the trial itself. Give us a call or send us an email today for a free quote.