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Feb 17, 2020 1:00 PM ET

Chesapeake police officer uses deadly force while off duty. Is this legal?

iCrowd Newswire - Feb 17, 2020

An incident in Chesapeake Virginia involved a police officer who works for the Norfolk department. He shot and killed another man as they were arguing on a sidewalk


Verbal interaction between two men becomes violent

The Chesapeake police received a call about an armed individual on a Sunday afternoon near Bainbridge Boulevard’s 2600 block just north of Military Highway. When police went to the area, they found a man who had already been wounded by a gunshot. He was taken to a local hospital and died shortly afterward.

The local police released a formal statement regarding the incident. An off duty Norfolk police officer was in the area and claims that the victim had been threatening him and his family. Both the victim and the officer got into an argument, and the officer claims that he identified himself formally and warned the victim, who was allegedly armed. The shots were fired at some point during this argument.

The Chesapeake department notified the officer’s superiors at the Norfolk department and the incident was still under investigation at the time of the news report. Norfolk claims that the officer in question has been placed on administrative desk duty while they look into the shooting.

The identities of both the officer and the victim were not released.


Use of force protocols

The use of deadly force is reserved for situations where there are serious threats to the safety of an officer or others nearby. Most departments have some kind of relevant protocols that must be followed, and officers do receive training regarding the use of force while they are in a police academy.


Policing by off duty officers

Some incidents of police brutality involve officers who essentially try to act as if they are on duty and working, even when they could request help. Most departments claim that their officers are given the legal authority to make arrests and carry weapons at all times, whether they are actively working and being paid or not. They are normally held to the same standards regarding use of force and violence whether they are on duty or not, but there have been some different legal opinions regarding the issue in recent years.

To learn more about how these issues specifically play out under Virginia law, it is best to speak with a local attorney regarding any interaction with the police that might result in a lawsuit. If the officer was still acting under the authority given to them by the local government while not working, they can be sued in their official capacity like any other government agent.


Get help from lawyers who know local police regulations

To learn more about police misconduct and lawsuits against officers, contact Roy, Larson, Carnes, and Romm. They can provide a consultation to explain your rights and chances of winning a lawsuit.

Contact Information:
1001 West Cypress Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale FL 33309

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