Police use of force is governed by a complex set of laws, legal precedents, and policies. While a topic of considerable concern to the community, it is not well understood. Today, the Police Foundation adds to the discussion by releasing an infographic intended to educate the public by visually describing the complex considerations that determine when police use of force is lawful, even when it may appear otherwise.
The infographic, entitled When Can the Police Use Force – and What Happens When They Do?, points out that use-of-force is governed by laws at the federal and local levels, and its justification is dependent on the reasonable perspective of the involved officers at the very moment force was used—not on thoughtful, retrospective examination and questioning. Articulating and explaining this information to the public is critical because these incidents bring challenging and complex considerations that are often not apparent to the public.
With this infographic, the public can be better informed about when the police can use force and how police are held accountable for use-of-force situations. The infographic is available here.
Informing the debate over police use of force is closely in line with the Police Foundation’s mission of advancing policing through innovation and science. “Every incident involving the police use of force is an extraordinarily complex event, and law enforcement officers have mere seconds or less to decide the amount of force to use,” said Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation. “Sadly, a number of incidents have ended in tragedy, so it is critical that the Police Foundation and other law enforcement organizations take steps to improve understanding about this topic and to inform current law enforcement procedures and guidelines.”
About the Police Foundation The Police Foundation is a non-profit, independent, and non-partisan organization that has been advancing policing through innovation and science for 45 years. For more information on the Foundation’s efforts, please visit www.policefoundation.org.
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