Use of force: Defining 'reasonable' versus 'necessary'

For police use-of-force incidents, the definitions of words like ‘reasonable’ and ‘necessary’ are often discussed but sometimes also misused or misunderstood


In the past several years I have heard many different legal “standards” being tossed about regarding how much force an officer can use when effecting an arrest, preventing escape, or overcoming the resistance of a subject. Some of the standards I have heard include:

1.) Minimal Force
2.) Necessary Force
3.) Reasonable Force

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