|Training exercises (AP Photo / Ted S. Warre)
With the liberation of the police movement in some large, more liberal cities and other good measures that some state legislatures are considering or adopting, a private citizen involved in a self-defense incident may face the misconception of the “least force” necessary to resolve the incident.
At first sight, the requirement to use as little force as possible to solve the problem would seem to be justified; however, when you consider the actual application of this concept in the hot moment, it is clear that this idea cannot be implemented.
In Washington state, for example, recent legislation requires the police to: “Use as little physical force as possible to overcome resistance in the circumstances, which includes considering the characteristics and conditions of the person to determine whether to use force against that person and, if necessary force, determining the appropriate and minimum possible force to carry out the lawful purpose. “
The difference between the use of force by the police and the use of force by private citizens in most countries is that the police can use the necessary force – that is, a step that is one step higher than the criminal’s force when it is necessary to mitigate the incident. arrest or protect yourself or others from harm.
Private citizens, on the other hand, can only use the same or proportional force to stop the threat. In other words, a private person can only respond to the use of other illegal non-lethal force with non-lethal force and may use lethal force only in response to a threat or use of illegal lethal force.
When lethal force enters the equation, there is no difference between the police use of lethal force and the use of lethal force by a private citizen.
The thoughtful article we are referring to below addresses the challenges associated with determining how one would identify the “least” amount of physical strength needed to resolve a situation. This is a good read and is especially useful if you live in a state that adopts or is considering such legislation.
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