Police Force: Reasonable Vs. Excessive

The use of force by police officers can range from pushing and hitting to holding a citizen at gunpoint. Many of these encounters are precipitated by citizens resisting the police, arguing with the police, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The five factors that influence the use of force by law enforcement officers are:
-Departmental policies
-Departmental culture
-State, local, and federal laws
-Officer characteristics

In your opinion, when does a reasonable force become an excessive force? What behaviors by citizens, except those mentioned above, can result in the use of excessive force? Which of the five factors do you feel is the most likely to impact the use of force by law enforcement officers? Why? Support your answer with a factual rationale.


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