It seems like every time a police officer uses force it makes the news. Use of force seems more common than it actually is, which paves the way for hostility toward officers. But the statistics don’t indicate the trend occurs as frequently as the media would like for us to believe. In reality, death resulting from a face-to-face contact situation between an officer and a citizen occurs 0.0015% of the time. In other words, only a fraction of a percent of police interactions end fatally.
There are strict guidelines officers must follow when choosing to deploy force in a given situation. When they need to establish control in a situation force may be used. When they need to protect themselves or others force may be used. When they need to make an arrest force may be used. Deadly force may be used in defense of self or others. Whether the use of force is legal is determined by a number of factors, including reasonableness, training, experience, and circumstances. Learn more about the use of force from this infographic!