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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

Under the Fourth Amendment, when police officers use force, they must adhere to a "reasonableness" standard. This abstract standard, however, has left much room for interpretation, creating a common misperception of Fourth Amendment protections of personal security. Specifically, many courts use the concept of danger to decide whether force is reasonable-that is, force is justifiable so long as danger is posed to the police officers.

This Article argues that other factors-other than danger-should guide whether force is reasonable. Moreover, this Article provides specific guidelines to ascertain when the Fourth Amendment is violated.

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