Liability for excessive force includes violations of agency policy

Police misconduct is often defined by the use of excessive force. In Oklahoma, these excessive force claims can be proved in two ways.

The first method is grounded in a constitutional standard that substantially borrows from the Fourth Amendment.

There is one primary difference between the state and federal standards: whether the reasonableness of the force used is judged from the perspective of the officer or a layperson.

While the layperson standard protects more victim rights than federal law, this constitutional standard is the more stringent of the two methods for proving excessive force in Oklahoma.

The second method arises from an Oklahoma state statute defining excessive force to include violations of agency policy.

The statutory standard is grounded in the well-settled principle that policies identify a standard of conduct the police consider reasonable. Therefore, a violation of agency policy permits an inference of negligence for which the police may be held accountable.

Knowing the various ways in which police may be held accountable for excessive force could mean the difference in the outcome of your case.

If you have questions about excessive force or police misconduct, contact the attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777, or in Colorado, 970-736-7171.