Under no circumstances is a South Orange Police Officer permitted to use excessive force. Per agency policy and the New Jersey Attorney General Guidelines on Use of Force: “In determining to use force, the law enforcement officer shall be guided by the principle that the degree of force employed in any situation should be only that which is reasonably necessary. Law enforcement officers should exhaust all other reasonable means before resorting to the use of force. Law enforcement officers will use only that force which is objectively reasonable and necessary.”
The application of force that is objectively reasonable and necessary is the current national legal standard on use of force which has been determined by the Supreme Court of the United States in their decisions rendered in such cases as: Tennessee v. Garner (1985), Graham v. Connor (1989), and White v. Pauley (2017). In addition, SOPD as well as all New Jersey law enforcement agencies and officers are also bound by the New Jersey State Constitution and legal precedents determined by our State Supreme Court that may impose additional requirements or restrictions on the Use of Force.