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What is “Excessive Force” or “Police Brutality”?

EXCESSIVE FORCE. A law enforcement officer has the right to use such force as is reasonably necessary under the circumstances to make a lawful arrest. An unreasonable seizure occurs when a law enforcement officer uses excessive force in making a lawful arrest.

Excessive force is defined as using force that is not reasonable or which is excessive given the circumstances of the situation. Many police officers are trained that force should be applied in incremental steps, like starting with respectful requests and elevating as necessary. It’s also a common practice to use the same amount of force towards a suspect that the suspect is using towards the officer. However, we have seen instances of abuse of power where law enforcement is causing great bodily harm or serious injury to a person. This is improper.

What Excessive Use of Force or Police Brutality Looks Like

Excessive force can occur when police are trying to detain or speak to someone, at a traffic stop, during crowd control at an event, or after an arrest. The situation itself does not have to be violent in nature for police to employ excessive force. Force becomes excessive and illegal when an officer continues the force after the suspect has complied, that is been subdued and arrested. Some ways we have seen it displayed are:

∅ Tackling;
∅ Kicking;
∅ Punching;
∅ Choking;
∅ Tasering;
∅ Martial Arts;
∅ Baton Strikes;
∅ Nachachku;
∅ Excessively Tight Handcuffs or Zip-Ties;
∅ Use of Firearms;
∅ And More.

We use 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 of the U.S. Code to sue individual actors in their individual and official capacities and to vindicate your rights before a judge and jury.

We invite you to review our verdicts, our accolades and awards and what clients have to say about us and give us a call for a free consultation where our lawyers will sit down with you personally. John is licensed to practice in Florida, Georgia and Alabama with passion and compassion and co-counsels cases all over the country. He can be emailed at or call us at (904) 444-4444.