Las Vegas is a hotspot for the use of excessive force activity. Private security personnel, such as bouncers at nightclubs and casino or hotel security, are the most likely culprits of using excessive force. This is because these individuals have a job to do, and therefore, they sometimes take things too far. Not only can the use of excessive force cause injuries to the victim, but the use of excessive force could even cause the death of a victim.
What Is Excessive Force?
It is important to note that law enforcement officers and other professionals whose jobs involve security or the removal of unruly patrons from the premises can legally use force to control the actions of another by intentionally causing the victim pain or injury. However, this can only be exercised to a reasonable and justified degree based on the circumstances. Too much force that is unnecessary is when an excessive use of force comes into play. It is the use of force against the victim that goes above and beyond what is needed to control the situation. Excessive force can take many forms, some of which include:
- Excessive use of physical force. This can include unwarranted hitting, striking, assaulting, or battering of a victim. The unnecessary use of a gun, or threatening to shoot a victim, in addition to misuse of other control-type arms, such as batons or tasers, can be an excessive use of force when it is unreasonable, unjustified or unwarranted. If a victim is fully cooperating, there is no need to use further force since the victim has been subdued.
- Unnecessary use of physical restraints.Unreasonably handcuffing a victim’s wrist, especially after the victim has agreed to cooperate, and is in fact cooperating, is an excessive use of force in addition to humiliating. Holding a victim down after he or she has been cuffed is an unnecessary use of force, and can cause positional asphyxiation, which can kill the victim.
- Improper use of chemical agents. Sometimes chemical agents, such as pepper spray, are used to control situations that get out of hand. Chemical agents are supposed to be used as defensive measures for when the victim is acting aggressively and cannot be calmed by words or other means. Most people have a good sense as to when the use of chemical agents is simply too much force in light of the situation. Chemical agents can be dangerous, especially if the victim has a particular sensitivity or is allergic to the substance.
- Unnecessary verbal abuse. There is no need for verbal abuse, even if a situation is a little heated. Use of racial or ethnic slurs or epithets is completely unnecessary and can be considered an impermissible excessive use of force.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of excessive force from a bouncer or hotel security person and it resulted in personal injuries, you should contact an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer immediately. Our team of experienced personal criminal lawyers at the De Castroverde Law Group helps defend those accused of excessive force.