Many people talk about excessive force and why it should not be used by the police. What some don’t understand is when it may be necessary. If someone has used force against them, it’s not necessarily going to be considered excessive by the officer, their precinct or by the courts.

Force may be excessive in some instances, though. For example, if you are fighting back against an arrest but aren’t truly a danger to the officers, it would be unreasonable for them to pull out a gun to use against you. On the other hand, if you reach for a weapon, then using force to stop you and protect themselves may be reasonable, depending on the circumstances.

It’s essential that you understand when force is and is not allowed, so that you know what officers can or cannot do. Your rights should never be violated, but to know if they are, you need to study what the authorities are actually allowed to do.

Pinning someone down to handcuff them when they’re fighting back may be fair. Using a taser to subdue a person who is being aggressive after giving a warning may be allowed. Whether or not force was excessive in a situation depends on how aggressive you or your loved one was versus the force that was used in response.

If you believe that you were a victim of excessive force by officers, then you should reach out to learn more about your rights and legal options. The police are not entitled to do anything they want, and they can be held accountable when they go overboard and use too much force on a victim.