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Decision Making Case Study: Excessive Use Of Force In Violent Pursuit Of A Suspect By Policemen

893 words - 4 pages

Decision Making Case Study


Central Issues of this case
The central issues in this case involve the excessive use of force by the police and their engagement in violent pursuit of a suspect. The officer on the spotlight is Officer Ripley who is patrolling the industrial park as an extra job. There has been a report that the industrial park is affected by vandalism and theft of materials used for building. After being confronted by a suspicious vehicle, Officer Ripley approaches it with the spotlight on, and upon seeing the car starting towards him, he releases his unapproved dog in this mission and fires a warning shot into the ground. He also strikes the suspect’s car with a Taser which is unauthorized. The Pineville County Sheriff's Department has been under heavy scrutiny following excessive use of force by the police during their pursuit which led to the death of a 14-year-old juvenile. The department has instigated severe rules to curb such behavior. Officer Ripley’s behavior in investigating the suspect comes at the time when compliance with the rules set to limit excessive use of force during police pursuits is under strict investigation.
Use-of-Force Policy
Deputy Raymond Ripley's behavior was in compliance with the use of force policy. According to the new rules set by the Pineville County Sheriff’s Department, ‘a police pursuit may be cancelled by a supervisor if the pursuit does not involve a violent felony crime or other reasonable circumstances warranting the danger and potential liability’. In this case, Officer Ripley called Dispatch for backup when he suspected that the suspect he had could be involved in theft or vandalism in the area but the commander lieutenant on patrol did not call off the pursuit. When Officer Ripley made the first call, he was not sure what exactly was in the vehicle but his quest to find out was cut short when he got out of his car and the suspect’s vehicle started coming towards him. It is at this point that he fired warning shots. When doing this, he believed he had reasonable grounds to warrant it and he had not been told to cancel the pursuit. Thus he did not bleach the new rules of use of excessive force.
Lieutenant end of Ripley’s pursuit
The Lieutenant should not have ended Ripley’s Pursuit. At the time officer Ripley made the first call, the Lieutenant was not aware of what was in the car, what danger it carried with it or whether it was the key to the patrol to find out the persons behind the vandalism and theft of building materials in the industrial park. The lieutenant was also not aware of the...

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