Deadly Force

Deadly Force

What is the standard for deadly use of force in the State of Oregon?
161.239 Use of deadly physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.235, a peace officer may use deadly physical force only when the peace officer reasonably believes that:
(a) The crime committed by the person was a felony or an attempt to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or
(b) The crime committed by the person was kidnapping, arson, escape in the first degree, burglary in the first degree or any attempt to commit such a crime; or
(c) Regardless of the particular offense which is the subject of the arrest or attempted escape, the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend the peace officer or another person from the use or threatened imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(d) The crime committed by the person was a felony or an attempt to commit a felony and under the totality of the circumstances existing at the time and place, the use of such force is necessary; or
(e) The officer’s life or personal safety is endangered in the particular circumstances involved.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section constitutes justification for reckless or criminally negligent conduct by a peace officer amounting to an offense against or with respect to innocent persons whom the peace officer is not seeking to arrest or retain in custody.

What is the standard for deadly use of force under Federal Law? The shooting of someone is considered a “seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and subject to a reasonableness requirement. Deadly force is not justified unless the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses an immediate threat to the officer or to others, such as threatening with a weapon or probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a criminal involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm. A warning should be given where feasible. See, Tennessee v. Garner,471 U.S. 1, 105 S. Ct. 1694(1985).

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