When a police officer shoots someone without the proper justification, it is likely that there will be a lawsuit and negative publicity aimed at the department.
Jackson, MS – Law enforcement in Mississippi is given the ability to use guns and other forms of deadly force to protect the public at certain times. However, there are always conditions on use of force by police, and there can be consequences for officers who use excessive and unnecessary violence to make arrests and achieve other law enforcement goals. If someone is shot or hurt in any other manner by the police, it is possible that the officer responsible and their employer may face lawsuits and other consequences.
Standards for the use of force
Police officers in Jackson and other cities are trained to use force in certain situations. However, there generally needs to be some kind of serious and imminent threat to the officer’s own safety or the safety of bystanders nearby. The amount of force used must also be reasonable based on the surrounding circumstances. For example, this means that a suspect who is armed and dangerous may potentially be shot by police due to the threat they pose, but someone who is unarmed and fleeing from the police should be detained by less violent means because they do not pose the same kind of threat.
There is special arms training that police officers receive before they are sworn in during their time at the police academy. This training tends to focus mostly on proper use of handguns, but larger firearms such as rifles and shotguns are used at times as well. Firearms training will usually focus on safety and achieving a certain level of proficiency with the weapon. However, guns should only be necessary as a last resort in dangerous situations. Critics of the training that officers receive at the police academy have noted that training is not standardized, so it can vary from location to location. Others have also stated that the training should be more extensive and focus on de-escalation techniques, as officers should also be skilled negotiators who are less likely to resort to their weapons unless absolutely necessary.
Lawsuits for excessive use of force
When a police officer shoots someone without the proper justification, it is likely that there will be a lawsuit and negative publicity aimed at the department. If the plaintiff is successful, the city or department may end up paying for their medical issues, lost wages, and other problems that were directly related to being harmed by an officer. This is also true if a family member brings a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf after a fatal shooting.
More information about lawsuits against the police
USAttorneys.com is a site that lists police brutality lawyers, as well as attorneys with other practice areas in Mississippi and other states. Anyone who wants to meet with a legal professional can use the directory to easily find the right kind of help.