The debate on the use of physical force and deadly physical forcehas been present for over two decades now. People have questioned hecircumstances under which a person including police officers can useforce including deadly force to subdue another person. Primarily,police use force while make arrests on suspects who are resistant(Alpert and Roger 101). Furthermore, police can use deadly force suchas shootings when they reasonably believe that the attacker poses adeadly threat to them such as possessing a firearm. In suchinstances, this is considered as self defense. In the case of EricGarner, the use of chokehold that resulted in his death wasunjustified. Even though he resisted arrest, it is evident from thevideo that there were many police officers who would have overpoweredhim and arrested him.
The use of force including deadly force is based on two rules namelythe Retreat Rule and Stand Your Ground Rule. Some states are for theRetreat Rule such as New York while others are for the Stand YourGround Rule. The stand your ground rule allows the use of forceincluding deadly force on another person if he or she poses imminentdeath, serious bodily harm, rape, kidnapping or robbery (Alpert andRoger 66). Notably, this is allowed even in instances when the victimhas a safe route to exit or retreat. Conversely, the Retreat Ruleonly allows the use of force including deadly force when the victimdoes not have an avenue for safe retreat. This rule has beencontroversial considering that if an attacker has a gun, there is nopossible safe avenue for retreat.
While concluding, it is clear that the issue of use of force anddeadly force is going to be long. The circumstances under whichpolice or other armed citizens can use deadly force are not explicit.While many states use the Retreat Rule, there are others that use themore controversial Stand Your Ground Rule.
Alpert, Geoffrey and Roger, Dunham. Understanding Police Useof Force: Officers, Suspects, and Reciprocity.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Print.