In response to the recent wave of police-civilian related violence, we thought it would be a good time to remind Floridians when police officers are permitted to use deadly force. Whatever your feelings are concerning the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings, it is good to be informed of the law.
Florida Statute 776.05 clearly lists when officers of the law are permitted to use deadly force. Their guidelines may be more broad than you originally thought…
Law enforcement officers; use of force in making an arrest.—A law enforcement officer, or any person whom the officer has summoned or directed to assist him or her, need not retreat or desist from efforts to make a lawful arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance to the arrest. The officer is justified in the use of any force:
Which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to defend himself or herself or another from bodily harm while making the arrest;
When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have escaped; or
When necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice. However, this subsection shall not constitute a defense in any civil action for damages brought for the wrongful use of deadly force unless the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by such flight and, when feasible, some warning had been given, and:
The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon poses a threat of death or serious physical harm to the officer or others; or
The officer reasonably believes that the fleeing felon has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm to another person.
As you can see, the law is crafted to be intentionally broad. In the state of Florida, police officers are legally allowed to use deadly force when he or she reasonably believe it to be necessary to defend themselves or another person from the threat of death or grave bodily harm.
Without leaning towards any side concerning recent events, its important that all parties treat each other with dignity and respect. Should you want to speak to an attorney about your rights or a recent incident, please give us our office a call. The Kendrick Law Group would be happy to answer any of your legal questions related to a potential or ongoing case.
The Kendrick Law Group prays for all those affected by the recent tragic events around our nation and for peace as violence is never the answer.