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- # When is the use of non-lethal force justified?
- #### Less than Lethal force is authorized when an individual is evading police on foot and or ignoring verbal commands, or when an individual is evading police in a vehicle and ignoring verbal commands, or when an individual is openly carrying a firearm, or when an individual is confirmed to be robbing a location or another individual without any weapons. Keeping in mind the differentiation between the use of non-lethal force and the use of a physical restraint such as handcuffs, a police officer who is confronting a suspect may determine to use non-lethal force to prevent the escape of the suspect should they attempt to flee or otherwise avoid custody. The police officer must have verbal contact with the suspect prior to taking action and give a clear and direct order to the suspect to stop. The suspect must then not comply with the order of the officer for use of non-lethal force to be authorized. The rare exception to this is if the suspect presents an immediate threat to the life safety of the police office, the general public or the suspect themselves; in such cases an officer may immediately determine to use non-lethal force to preserve the life safety of the foregoing.
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