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Duty to Intervene: An Officer's Dilemma

NCJ Number
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice Volume: 4 Issue: 2 Dated: (May 1988) Pages: 93-105
B B Ferrell
Date Published
13 pages
When a law enforcement officer uses excessive force or engages in other prohibited conduct, other officers on the scene have a duty to stop such action.
The duty to stop tortious conduct by a fellow officer creates conflict for police officers. Courts also need guidance in defining police actions that are reasonable under the circumstances, and they would welcome specific guidelines developed by the law enforcement community. An officer's failure to intervene can create serious legal consequences, and action can be brought against him under common law tort principles or under Federal statutes.The law enforcement community can alleviate confusions on this issue by developing regulations and training directives. 31 references.