A man was stopped for a seatbelt violation and ended up getting tased. Last week the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it was a case of excessive force and that police must have reasonable grounds for employing the stun gun weapons.
The man in this case was wearing shorts and sneakers, obviously unarmed. When he was tased, he fell to the ground breaking off four teeth and cutting his face. While it was an extreme case, police obviously needed a case like this in order for procedures and policies to be put in place regarding the use of Tasers.
When the cops use force, they typically must act within a “Use of Force Continuum”. This is a training model that requires them to take one step beyond the resistance being offered. In other words a verbal command must come before physical force. And light physical force must obviously be tried before deadly force is used to gain compliance.
When an officer acts outside of this continuum or escalates the interaction without provocation from the arrestee, they run the risk of facing penalties on the job and the city risks lawsuits. Having said that, uses of force complaints are actually pretty rare.
What may begin as a questioning by the police can quickly turn tense, however, if not handled appropriately. You may walk away from such an interaction with bruises and criminal charges. Resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and other similar charges often accompany a police use of force.
The problem with these kind of interactions is that it often ends in a he said/she said situation, where it’s your word against theirs and the police are most likely to be believed. This isn’t only true in use of force situations but also in criminal charges where no force is used.
If you feel like you are facing charges that weren’t warranted, a defense attorney may be one of the only people who take your word for what happened. Contact me to discuss your case, the evidence against you, and what can be done.
Criminal charges can be the result of a misunderstanding, a unwarranted confrontation, or any number of things. But facing them alone isn’t always the smartest thing to do. Having an advocate on your side can put your mind at ease.
A defense attorney will be able to look at the evidence against you and formulate a plan to get the best results possible on your day in court.