The United States has a long and tragic history of police brutality. Ohio is no exception. The government agencies that we rely on to protect our lives and property often end up perpetrating appalling acts of aggression against well-meaning citizens. Fortunately, the prevalence of smartphones and social media platforms has enabled citizen journalists to document these aggressions and hold the authorities responsible for their abuses. Facing pressure, the Ohio Community Police Advisory Board recently restated the State’s policies on the use of deadly force.
Recent Cases of Police Brutality in Ohio
The police can no longer use deadly force in unwarranted situations or use excessive force when arresting peaceful suspects without the people taking notice. Ohio’s state and local governments are facing increasing scrutiny for a recent wave of unnecessarily violent police actions, often captured on video by bystanders:
- Fairfield, June 2015 – Police officers employed physical violence and pepper spray against a group of children between 12 and 15 years old after receiving complaints about their swimming attire.
- Columbus, September 2016 – 13-year-old Columbus resident Tyre King was shot dead by police after pulling a toy gun from his waistband. Massive protests ensued.
- Yellow Springs, January 2017 – A few minutes after midnight on New Year’s Eve, the police violently broke up a party attended by comedian Dave Chappelle, who later made headlines by calling the incident a “huge gaffe” at a subsequent community meeting.
- Strongsville, March 2017 – After leading officers on a high-speed chase, unarmed suspect Roy Evans was shot dead by police before being given a chance to surrender.
- Columbus, March 2017 – Three police officers are on suspension after pepper-spraying, beating, and arresting for disorderly conduct a man outside of a hospital who was not acting violently.
Ohio’s Stance on the Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement
As recently restated by the Ohio Community Police Advisory Board, officers of the state’s various law enforcement agencies can only use deadly force in the following situations:
- To defend themselves from a serious physical injury or death
- To defend others from serious injury or death
- A suspect is fleeing and the officer has reasonable cause to believe the suspect poses a significant risk of death or serious injury to others
In any other situation, the use of deadly force is not only wrong, it’s illegal.
A Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need a lawyer who will stand up for your rights. When the police abuse their powers by using unnecessary force, you can and should push back against the system by hiring a skilled and experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer. At Luftman, Heck & Associates we have built our reputation on our ability to stand up for the rights of the accused and to obtain good case outcomes when the odds are against us.
To learn more about how we can help with your case, call us today at (513) 338-1890for a free and confidential consultation.