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NCJ Number: 47782 Find in a Library
Title: GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE
Journal: LAW AND ORDER  Volume:25  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1977)  Pages:48,50-58
Author(s): R J GIGLIOTTI
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLICE GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE IS DISCUSSED, AND SOME POTENTIAL AND ACTUAL GUIDELINES ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: WHENEVER POLICE OFFICERS RESORT TO THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE, INVESTIGATIONS ARE USUALLY INITIATED. IF THE OFFICERS ARE FOUND TO HAVE BEEN NEGLIGENT IN THE USE OF THEIR FIREARMS, THEY MAY BE DISMISSED, ARRAIGNED ON CRIMINAL CHARGES, OR SUED FOR DAMAGES. HOWEVER, A FAILURE TO RESPOND TO A SITUATION WHEN DEADLY FORCE IS JUSTIFIED AMOUNTS TO A FAILURE TO DISCHARGE A POLICE RESPONSIBILITY, ESPECIALLY IF AN OFFICER'S OR A THIRD PARTY'S LIFE IS ENDANGERED. THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE AN OFFICER MAY RELY UPON IN THE FEW SECONDS AVAILABLE BEFORE A DECISION IS MADE CONCERNING THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE WOULD BE THE DEPARTMENT'S GUIDELINES. SUCH GUIDELINES ARE A PART OF POLICE TRAINING AND MUST NOT ADD TO THE CONFUSION OF THE MOMENT BY UNNECESSARY COMPLEXITY. IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GUIDELINES, MORALITY SHOULD NOT BE THE MAJOR ISSUE; THE RESOLUTION OF THE MORAL QUESTION SHOULD BE LEFT TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE AND BE EXPRESSED IN STATUTES. GUIDELINES SHOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT TO MEMORIZE, AS ARE THOSE ADVOCATED BY THE TASK FORCE ON THE POLICY OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE AND REVIEWED HERE. THEY SHOULD BE SO CONSTRUCTED THAT THE OFFICER HAS ONLY TO REMEMBER CERTAIN BASICS IN A CONFRONTATION WITH A CRIMINAL, SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING: OFFICERS CAN DEFEND TEHMSELVES OR OTHERS AGAINST DEADLY FORCE; THEY CAN FORCEFULLY EFFECT AN ARREST OR PREVENT AN ESCAPE OF A PERSON INVOLVED IN A FELONY WHERE DEADLY FORCE HAS BEEN USED OR INTIMATED, PROVIDED SUCH FORCE POSES NO DANGER TO OTHERS; AND THEY CAN DISPATCH AN ANIMAL WHICH PRESENTS A THREAT OR IS SUFFERING SUCH AGONY THAT HUMANITARIAN CONSIDERATIONS REQUIRE ITS DEATH. TO ENSURE UNIFORMITY, GUIDELINES SHOULD BE MANDATED FOR ALL DEPARTMENTS WITHIN A STATE. CONNECTICUT'S LEGISLATED GUIDELINES ARE REVIEWED, AND AN APPENDIX PRESENTS SITUATIONS FOR DISCUSSION. COURT CASES ARE CITED, AND A SIX-ITEM BIBLIOGRAPHY IS INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Connecticut; Lawful use of force; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; Police use of deadly force; Police weapons use; Standards; State laws
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47782

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