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Probable cause? We don’t need no stinkin’ probable cause

β€œAn officer’s use of deadly force is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. In determining whether an officer’s use of deadly force is objectively reasonable, a court must determine what was reasonable under the circumstances, considering the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of crime at issue, whether the suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether the suspect resisted arrest or attempted to evade arrest by flight. It is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment for police officer to seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead, or to use a choke hold to restrain an individual when he or she poses no harm. It is also unreasonable for an officer to use deadly force on a suspect walking towards the police if the suspect’s hands are at his or her sides. Although the initial use of force may be reasonable, the continued use of deadly force in attempting to arrest a suspect may become unreasonable when such force is no longer necessary. An officer must warn a suspect that he or she might shoot, if feasible under the circumstances. The officer may be criminally responsible or civilly liable if the officer uses more force than is necessary to effect the arrest.” – Michele Hughes and Eric C. Surette, American Jurisprudence, Second Edition

Published inPolitics & Law

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