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5.1-2  Use of Excessive Force (Claim of Failure of Police Officer to Intervene)

Revised to January 1, 2008

The plaintiff claims that the defendant police officer, <insert name of officer>, violated (his/her) constitutional right not to be subjected to use of excessive force by failing to stop Officer <name of other officer> from using excessive force.  The law is that an officer who is present at the scene and who has an opportunity to intervene to prevent use of excessive force is equally liable to the plaintiff if (he/she) fails to take reasonable steps to protect the plaintiff from another officer’s use of excessive force.

Liability for failure to intervene may be imposed only if the officer had a realistic opportunity to intervene in a timely fashion.  You should consider how close the officers were to one another and the rapidity with which the events occurred in making this determination.


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