Non-Contact Excessive Force By Police: Is That Really A Thing?

Michael J. Jacobsma

When people hear the words “police” and “excessive force,” they usually associate those words with an unjustified assault and battery, or lethal force made against suspects by law enforcement officers during an arrest or investigation. When such acts occur, the victim of the excessive force has the right to pursue a civil action against the police officer pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 if committed by state or local police, or a Bivens action if committed by federal agents.

But can a police officer be sued for excessive force without making any physical contact with the plaintiff? The answer to that question is yes.

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