Police officers in the state of South Dakota are permitted to use deadly force for a number of different reasons including:
- If the officer feels threatened by the suspect with a weapon.
- If the officer believes that the individual or suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm to them or someone else.
- The officer has probable cause to believe that the individual committed a serious or deadly crime.
In other words, an officer must feel their life or someone else’s is threatened which would prompt them to use deadly force. Using deadly force should be a last resort officers should turn to, however, we have learned from recent cases that officers pull out their weapons and use them more frequently than they should.
For instance, Gregory Gunn, who was only 58 years old, was shot and killed by officer Aaron Smith. Gunn was unarmed and although Smith was charged with murder, the fact is, this family no longer has their loved one. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to bring him back but justice can be served.
If police misconduct is responsible for taking the life of someone you love or you were injured by an officer who applied excessive force, it is important for you to know your rights. Our police brutality attorneys located in South Dakota are ready to inform you on what these are and help you seek justice against an officer who abused their rights.
Examples of Police Brutality
In many recent cases shared on social media and news source websites, we have seen one common form of police brutality being displayed, and that is: unarmed people are being shot and killed by officers.
While anyone can become the victim to police brutality, it is clear that unarmed blacks are predominately the ones who suffer the most from this misconduct. Take a look at the following facts:
- Police killed at least 102 unarmed black people in 2015. That’s equivalent to almost two people per week.
- About one in three people black people that were killed by police in 2015 were identified as being unarmed.
- According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, unarmed black people were killed at a rate of five times more than the number of unarmed whites in 2015.
- Out of the 102 reported cases, only 10 resulted in officers being charged with a crime and only two were convicted.
To learn more about other unarmed victims who were fatally shot by police, visit the Los Angeles Times.
If you believe the actions displayed by an officer of the law went above their legal rights which violated yours, you need to schedule for your free consultation with one of our attorneys. It is important that you bring your issue to the light as it can contribute to reducing the number of police brutality cases.
While it is apparent that many officers do in fact protect and serve, there are still those who abuse the power they have and take advantage of individuals. If you have a police brutality matter on your hands, our police misconduct attorneys in South Dakota are ready to assist you.