Jim Crow Laws: A Dark Era of Racial Segregation in America

Topics: Law

Law enforcement’s use of physical force in the United States has been significantly impacted by the historic ruling the US Supreme Court handed down in the case of Graham v. Connor. This 1989 ruling established the “objective reasonableness” criterion as a way of judging whether or not a law enforcement official’s activities violated the Fourth Amendment’s restriction on unjustified seizures. The decision was taken in an attempt to strike a delicate balance between allowing law enforcement officials the fundamental power they need to carry out their jobs and safeguarding citizens’ civil rights against the use of excessive force.

Dethorne Graham, a diabetic who had an insulin response while inside a convenience shop, was the main subject of the inquiry. Graham asked a close friend to transport him to the nearby home of another acquaintance because he was worried for his safety. Officer Connor, a member of the Charlotte Police Department, had concerns about the circumstance and made the decision to look into it.

A fight started as the car came to a stop, and while it was happening, Graham was violently taken into custody and hurt.

The Supreme Court’s primary task was to determine whether or not Officer Connor’s use of force on Graham was in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Individuals are protected by this amendment against arbitrary searches and seizures by the government, including those conducted by law enforcement. The court’s ruling was an attempt to establish standards for assessing claims of the use of excessive force that would be equitable to both law enforcement personnel and the members of the public with whom they contact.

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The Court came to the conclusion that it was preferable to assess the “reasonability” of an officer’s behavior from the viewpoint of a “reasonable officer on the scene” rather than just relying on the officer’s own subjective goals in order to determine whether or not the officer’s actions were “reasonable.” The information that was available to the officer at the time of the occurrence is taken into account by this objective reasonableness standard. This criteria also considers the high-stress and swiftly changing situations that law enforcement employees often encounter.

Numerous aspects are considered when using the objective reasonableness criterion. The seriousness of the alleged offense, the suspect’s potential threat to law enforcement or the public, and whether or not the criminal is actively fighting arrest or trying to elude capture are some of these considerations. The Court’s intent in taking this action was to provide a framework that could be effectively applied. This framework would ensure that disproportionate force wouldn’t be utilized in circumstances where it wasn’t necessary while also taking into account the difficulties encountered by law enforcement.

Since it was announced, the Graham v. Connor decision has drawn praise and condemnation. The objective reasonableness test is supported by some who claim it gives judges and law enforcement officers clarity when assessing instances of use of force. It acknowledges the reality that judgments made by police officers in a split second are often necessary to safeguard both the public and themselves from possible harm. By emphasizing the officer’s view of the incident while it is occurring rather than looking into the officer’s intentions after the fact, the standard takes into consideration the realities of working in law enforcement.

Some contend that there is still space for subjectivity and interpretation in the requirements for objective reasonableness. The term “reasonable” may have a variety of meanings depending on the context since it is up to interpretation. There are worries that the standard won’t be able to handle situations where racial bias or discrimination may be present in interactions with police enforcement in an appropriate way. Some individuals worry that this might lead to human rights breaches and discrimination, especially against already underprivileged populations.

The use of force by law enforcement officials has been a sensitive topic for debate in both the general public and the community of legal experts in the years after the Graham v. Connor ruling. Numerous demonstrations and demands for reform within the police force have been spurred by high-profile instances of what are said to be disproportionate uses of force. To reduce the amount of needless force used by law enforcement and to foster trust between those agencies and the communities they serve, there is an increasing need for more openness, accountability, and training breakthroughs.

Many police agencies have developed de-escalation training and updated their use-of-force policies to comply with the objective reasonableness requirements in an effort to allay these worries. These initiatives aim to reduce the need for police officers to use physical force by teaching the skills required to defuse difficult situations.

A important foundation for assessing the Fourth Amendment-compliant use of force by law enforcement is the objective reasonableness criterion. It was developed for the Graham v. Connor case. It continues to be the focus of continuing discussion and controversy despite the fact that it aims to achieve a balance between maintaining civil rights and enabling police officers to do their jobs. If one wants to make sure that individuals charged with maintaining the law adhere to the concepts of fairness, justice, and respect for all people, it is crucial to continuously evaluate and improve police procedures.

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Jim Crow Laws: A Dark Era of Racial Segregation in America. (2023, Aug 09). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/jim-crow-laws-a-dark-era-of-racial-segregation-in-america/

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