Tulsa Excessive Force Lawyers
In order to show that a police officer used excessive force, the victim needs to demonstrate that the facts and circumstances at the time of the act did not justify the use of excessive force. The officer’s intentions do not play a role in concluding excessive force was used. It does not matter if the officer intended to use excessive force, and used it, or didn’t intend to use excessive force, but still used it. The definition of excessive force is open to interpretation depending upon the circumstances. There is no precise legal definition.
When the excessive force claim arises in the context of an arrest or investigatory stop of a free citizen, it is most properly characterized as one invoking the protections of the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees citizens the right “to be secure in their persons … against unreasonable … seizures” of the person. Therefore all claims that law enforcement officers have used excessive force—deadly or not—in the course of an arrest, investigatory stop, or other “seizure” of a free citizen should be analyzed under the Fourth Amendment and its “reasonableness” standard. Determining whether the force used to effect a particular seizure is “reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment requires a careful balancing of “ ‘the nature and quality of the intrusion on the individual’s Fourth Amendment interests’ ” against the countervailing governmental interests at stake. Graham v. Connor 490 U.S. 386 (1989).
Due to the unclear nature of this standard, it is important to seek a legal opinion regarding your specific facts and circumstances from an experienced Tulsa civil rights lawyer familiar with excessive use of force claims. These cases are complicated and can be difficult to prove, especially since they are being brought against police officers. To speak with an experienced attorney who represents people in Tulsa and throughout the state of Oklahoma in claims involving civil rights violations, call us at (918)592-1144 or contact us online. We will evaluate your claim, at no cost to you, and provide you with an honest opinion whether our firm we can help you with your claim.