Traffic stops in Texas may involve small matters including expired tags, a broken light, low tire pressure or some mechanical problem that an officer may notice, but other times erratic or strange driving patterns alert police to pull over a driver, or it may be some bias-based profiling. Sometimes aggressive drivers and aggressive police escalate a traffic stop into a full blown excessive force encounter that could have been avoided with de-escalation training.
Use of force.
Texas Peace Officers are allowed the necessary “use of force” in accordance with officer training and department policy, to remove the threat of violence by subduing criminals using what is considered “reasonable” force specific to the encounter which is subjective to the instance when force is used.
Analysis of force.
A balance analysis includes how much force will gain control of the situation versus the possibility of injury. Professional police action will be judged on the “how” and “why” of an excessive force action including:
De-escalation of an encounter.
Officers who are trained in de-escalation behaviors are better equipped to reduce the chance of excessive force behaviors, through quick and concise assessment utilizing de-escalation strategies to slow an encounter down enough to control it. This can be done by physical gestures, tone of voice and measures to reduce crowds and allowing a would-be criminal a chance to talk and explain their actions.
Damages after an excessive force encounter may include hospital/medical expenses; past and future permanent disability payments; emotional distress including depression and anxiety; loss of enjoyment of life; physical pain and suffering; and loss of love and companionship due to a death or serious injury caused by police brutality.
Seek legal counsel.
If you feel you have been a victim of excessive force by a police officer in Odessa, Texas, you should seek professional legal help by calling the Cooper Law Firm to file a claim and have an attorney review your case to see if you can sue for damages.