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Police Brutality Incidents in NYPD New York state law and police department policy provide that officers may use only the minimum amount of force which is necessary to achieve a legitimate purpose eg effect an arrest or prevent the commission of an offence when other options are not available or have been exhausted New York City Police Department guidelines set out the following five stages through which force can progress 1 verbal persuasion 2 unarmed physical force 3 force using non-lethal weapons eg pepper spray or mace 4 force using impact weapons eg police batons and 5 deadly force which may be used only when an officer or another persons life is in direct danger The guidelines also state that flashlights radios and handguns are not designed as impact weapons and make clear that they should not be used as such in most circumstances Police regulations also state that any officer at the scene of a police incident has an obligation to ensure that the law and regulations are complied with and to intervene if the use of force against a subject becomes excessive The guidelines note that failure to do so constitutes an offence under the law as well as departmental policy Chevigny 66 Although reports of police brutality are not new the number of people bringing claims for police misconduct against the City of New York has increased substantially in recent years from 977 in 1987 to more than 2000 in 1994 The amount paid out by the city each year in settlements or judgments awarded to plaintiffs in police abuse cases has also risen from 135 million in 1992 to more than 24m in 1994 However there remains a problem of police brutality and excessive force in the department Dudley 17 There have been many allegations of excessive force which include people being repeatedly struck with fists batons or other instruments often
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