There are limited circumstances under which an officer may use lethal force.
In police terms, there are four levels of force that an officer is justified in using depending on the circumstances. An officer is legally justified in using one level of force higher than his subject. The levels, in order, are verbal, soft hands, hard hands, and lethal. The boy’s level of force was non existent. The responding officers were therefore justified in using verbal force (ie. instructing the boy to stop). However, the officer proceeded directly to a lethal level of force by shooting the boy repeatedly. This was excessive by any measure and therefore a violation of this boy’s civil rights. It is tragic that the excessive force in this case ended up being fatal. Anyone whose civil rights have been violated should contact an attorney immediately so that evidence might be quickly gathered and preserved. Story here.