Deadly Force

“Deadly force is always a last resort and only upon the imminent risk of injury to the officer or to the public.”

All police officers are trained to use an amount of force necessary to effectuate an arrest.  The “force continuum” is the scale by which all actions of an officer are judged.  At the low end of the continuum are verbal commands.  If verbal commands are not followed, depending upon the circumstances, an officer can use graduated amounts of force, from basic grappling or nerve strikes to use of a baton, asp or even a Taser.  However, deadly force may only be used where the officer or the general public is in immediate risk of serious bodily injury or death.

Unfortunately, police officers often overreact to a situation or exercise bad judgment in circumstances which result in the unlawful and unwarranted use of deadly force.  Studies have shown that from 1980 – 2005 one person was killed every day in the United States in a fatal shooting.  And the number of serious, but non-fatal, injuries is staggering!

The “blue line” can be a difficult one to cross.  Law enforcement, local prosecutors and even our courts all too often side with the police.  Winning a case against a police officer or department takes experience,  thorough knowledge of police procedure, and trial skills.  A. Vince Colella has been representing the victims of police violence for 18 years.  He has fought and won cases in state and federal court, in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan.  In 2003, Mr. Colella obtained a $500,000.00 jury verdict for a man who was injured in a police shooting, despite the local sheriff and prosecutor’s determination that the use of deadly force was “justified.”

If you or a family member has been the victim of unlawful deadly force, call A. Vince Colella at 1.800.MUSTWIN to schedule an appointment today.

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