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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78231 Find in a Library
Title: Deadly Force
Corporate Author: Hound Dog Films
United States of America
Project Director: R Cohen
Date Published: 1980
Sponsoring Agency: Hound Dog Films
Venice, CA 90291
National Endowment for the Arts
Washington, DC 20037
Sale Source: Hound Dog Films
P.O. Box 1012
Venice, CA 90291
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This film investigates excessive police force, concentrating on the aftermath of a 1977 episode in which a police officer encountered a naked man on a Los Angeles street and, in the struggle that followed, shot and killed him.
Abstract: The film includes interviews with witnesses, friends and relatives of the victim, attorneys, and various courtroom principals. The dominant spokesman for the police department is its attorney. At the inquest, the defendant refused under his fifth amendment rights to answer any relevant questions; no criminal charges were ever brought against him. Details about the incident are unclear, and accounts contradictory. While the victim's common-law wife talks about his affability, the police attorney depicts the dead man as a maniacal individual with bionic strength, allegedly influenced by drugs. The spirit of public disquiet about police brutality, unwarranted use of force, and coverup attempts is captured through scenes of street demonstrations demanding the officer's indictment and in statements by the victim's mother. Lending credence to the allegations leveled against the police is a former member of the force, who testifies to the violence-prone attitudes of police officers, and the introduction of an additional complaint of police use of deadly force.
Index Term(s): California; Complaints against police; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Exclusionary rule; On-duty offenses; Police Brutality; Police community relations; Police internal affairs; Police internal investigations; Police legal advisers; Police legal limitations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Resentment
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. This is a two-reeled, 16mm, black and white film. The total running time is 58 minutes. Rental is available.
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