What Standard Will be Applied to Determine if Derek Chauvin Used “Reasonable” Force?
As the jury heads into deliberations, one cannot help but wonder what legal standard is to be applied. How do you determine what is “reasonable?” Is there only one “reasonable” standard?
The standard that is applied in police use of force incidents is known as the “reasonable officer” standard. This means that officer’s actions must be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene. To make this determination, there are 3 main factors the “reasonable officer” may consider:
- Severity of the crime at issue;
- Whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others; and
- Whether the suspect is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
The jury is instructed to consider these factors in making the determination of whether the officer involved acted as a “reasonable officer” on the scene would have.