Law enforcement officers have a responsibility to keep your community safe. The tools they use to do this are powerful and have the potential to be deadly.
Sometimes, officers lose control of a potentially dangerous situation and use violence to regain that control. They might have the right to do so, but that is not always a certainty.
A recent Houston event underscores this. USA Today reported that four officers lost their jobs after shooting a local man to death. The termination of the officers came after an extensive internal investigation.
The investigation found that they shot the man 21 times while he was kneeling on the ground after receiving a previous gunshot wound. He was reaching for an empty stun gun.
If you have ever been in a potentially dangerous situation, then you know that emotions tend to run high. However, society depends on police with advanced martial, de-escalation and nonviolent conflict resolution skills. Nobody has the right to harm you if the situation does not demand it.
Police misconduct and brutality could negatively affect your life. This type of violence could also prevent the state from securing a conviction against you. Did the abuse lead to coerced confessions? Were your injuries a violation of your civil rights? These are important questions.
The news has been full of stories of police brutality. Police officers work in some of the most stressful environments of any type of professional. They also hold immense power. This is why it is important to hold them responsible for how they influence people — and how they might influence criminal cases.