Course Level Assessment Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement
Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement. In it you are tasked with examining police liability issues. The case and fact pattern that you are given is that of the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, a case that would become headline news across the country and an impetus for review of police use of force.
The focus of this assignment is to consider whether the facts of the Brown shooting should have lead to Officer Darren Wilson being held legally liable for Brown’s death. For this assignment you have the fact pattern directly excerpted from the U.S. Department of Justice investigative report and the case of Tennessee v. Garner which is the seminal case concerning law enforcement use of force. Bearing in mind that police officers are bound by Constitutional protections, the Fourth Amendment in this case, as well as case law (such as Garner), liability may attach to officers who act improperly, unlawfully or unconstitutionally. This means that officers can be charged with crimes for such violations as well as sued in a civil action (Section 1983 of the United States Code) for violations of one’s Constitutional rights and protections.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT is to consider the facts as well as the decision of Tennessee v. Garner as the foundation by which Officer Wilson’s actions will be found proper or improper and write a response arguing whether (in your opinion based on the facts and the Garner decision) Officer Wilson violated or did not violate Michael Brown’s rights and whether Wilson should or should be held liable for a crime or civil damages. Also, you are to consider whether there are things that could be done to reduce police liability in such situations where force may or is required (consider training issues, methods of interacting with the public which might reduce the need for use of force, different types of appropriate force which may have been used to protect both Brown and the officers, etc.). This response must be not less than 750 thoughtful and well-reasoned words and I suggest that this level of response will likely not rise to the level of complete and thorough, therefore I would strongly recommend that you write your response, and if it falls short of the required word count, polish it.
This assignment will be due no later than 11:30PM on Friday, 2/12/16. (and I do realize that the Research Paper assignment is also due by this date). The coursework for the remaining module has been adjusted accordingly to allow for ample time. As with the Research Paper, there will be no extensions on the due date for any reason.
Fact Excerpt – DOJ Michael Brown Report.pdf
FLETC Deadly Force & Tennessee v Garner.pdf
Tennessee v. Garner.pdf