According to Missouri law, police officers may use reasonable force when making an arrest, but only such force as may be necessary may be used when there is no other apparent means of making an arrest or preventing an escape. In addition to Missouri law, nearly every police department has internal rules as to the use of force by its police officers.
Despite Missouri law and police department policies on the use of force, a police officer has much discretion as to how much force is necessary when effectuating an arrest. However, it is not uncommon for a police officer to apply excessive force when the circumstances do not call for such force.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and believe a police officer has used excessive force in making the arrest, you may have a claim against that officer. An excessive force or police brutality claim is usually brought as a federal civil rights action. Additionally, when the police use excessive force against you when making an arrest, it may be used to gain bargaining leverage to get the charges dismissed or reduced. If you have been arrested and believe that a police officer has used excessive force in making the arrest, call the St. Louis criminal defense law firm of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. for a free consultation.