Legitimate and illegitimate uses of police force

John Kleinig

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Utilizing a contractualist framework for understanding the basis and limits for the use of force by police, this article offers five limiting principles --respect for status as moral agents, proportionality, minimum force necessary, ends likely to be accomplished, and appropriate motivation--and then discusses uses of force that violate or risk violating those principles. These include, but are not limited to, unseemly invasions, strip searches, perp walks, handcuffing practices, post-chase apprehensions, contempt-of-cop arrests, overuse of intermediate force measures, coerced confessions, profiling, stop and frisk practices, and the administration of street justice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-103
    Number of pages21
    JournalCriminal Justice Ethics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2014


    Dive into the research topics of 'Legitimate and illegitimate uses of police force'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this