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Police brutality issues: What is the Use of Force Continuum?

| Nov 6, 2020 | Police Brutality |

It would be wonderful if the world had no crime and no need for law enforcement. Unfortunately, crime remains an issue across the entire globe, which means police officers fill a critical role in public safety. Most people appreciate knowing how police officers are there to protect you from harm when a threat occurs.

Unfortunately, whether it is caused by the near-constant danger officers face on the job or simply an officer’s unstable personality, police brutality can and does occur. Lawmakers understand that brutality can arise and recommend the use of force continuum to guide officers through potentially dangerous encounters.

When followed correctly, the continuum ensures that an officer’s response to perceived danger remains in proportion to the threat itself. See the outline below to understand how it works:

  1. An officer’s presence is the first method used in the continuum. Often, it is effective in mitigating the threat.
  2. The second method is using verbal requests and commands to de-escalate potential danger.
  3. The third step involves the officer using his or her body to get control of the situation.
  4. If the three steps above fail to work, an officer should use non-lethal force like tasers, batons or tear gas.
  5. Finally, if all else fails, police officers may resort to lethal force, which usually means opening fire with their weapons.

Now that you understand how law enforcement personnel should treat you in a confrontation, it should be easier to identify possible police brutality. If you believe that you or a loved one in the Denver, CO, area have experienced brutality, consider speaking with a legal advocate. Doing so can provide you with a solution and allow the officer in question to be removed from situations that would put others in danger.