Officer-Involved Shootings Attorneys in Kansas City
Police officers are there to protect us from danger. Unfortunately, the nature of their work can result in the loss of innocent lives and long-lasting injuries in Kansas and Missouri. If you’ve been in this situation, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps.
While there are statutes in place to protect law enforcement officers from liability when performing their duties lawfully, our officer-involved shooting attorneys proudly represent injury victims in tort claims against officers when their use of deadly force was unjustified. If you were wrongfully shot by a police officer in or near Kansas City, Missouri, or you're pursuing a wrongful death claim for a loved one who was killed in an officer-involved shooting, contact our attorneys at Denning Law Firm, LLC. We know the use of force statutes and standards of official behavior in Missouri and Kansas and will help you seek the justice you deserve.
Our law firm proudly serves injury victims and their families in Kansas City, Missouri as well as Kansas City, Kansas, and throughout Overland Park. Call us now to get set up with an initial consultation to discuss your case.
Statutes on the Use of Deadly Force in Missouri & Kansas
The use of force by law enforcement officials has been subject to debate and interpretation throughout the 50 states and across the globe. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has described the use of force as the “amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.” However, this definition does not address when deadly force may be justified.
Chapter 563 of the Missouri Revised Statutes lists conditions under which deadly force is justifiable. Such conditions include a suspect’s attempting to flee by use of “a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument,” and when the suspect “may otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury to the officer or others unless arrested without delay.” Kansas' Self-defense & Defense of Others Statutes outline this same parameter.
Supreme Court Guidelines on the Use of Force
Though there is no national definition or legal standard applying to the use of force — including deadly force — by those in law enforcement, the Supreme Court has issued two decisions that bear directly on the issue. In its 1985 decision in Tennessee v. Garner, the high court introduced the concept of “objective reasonableness.” The ruling stated that police could not shoot at a fleeing suspect simply to prevent their escape unless that person posed a threat of “death or serious harm” to the community. This notion reinstates the aforementioned statutes in Missouri and Kansas.
In its 1989 decision in Graham v. Connor, the court further expounded on the concept of objective reasonableness, stating that "the reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation."
I Was a Bystander Who Was Shot by Police. Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
Emergency personnel and government officials are usually protected from liability during the performance of their duties. This immunity rule shields cops who accidentally shoot bystanders while lawfully pursuing dangerous suspects.
To help innocent victims in these cases, both Missouri and Kansas have victim compensation programs. However, if you or a loved one endured gunshot wounds from a police officer who you believe was unlawfully using deadly force, you may have a civil lawsuit.
Injuries from firearms are often fatal. When they’re not fatal, depending on where the bullet strikes, survivors are looking at spending anywhere from a few days to multiple months in the hospital recovering. Once released, shooting victims can experience ongoing mental and physical limitations that prohibit them from working and returning to life as they once knew it.
State victim compensation programs will likely not be able to cover as much as you need, which could leave you and your family with mountainous debt — on top of the trauma that you’re already enduring. No one should go through this difficult process on their own. Our attorneys are here to help you through this tremendously challenging time and pursue the fair compensation you deserve.
Officer-Involved Shootings Attorneys Serving
Kansas City, Missouri
Have you been caught in the crossfire of a police shooting? Have you lost a loved one during an unlawful arrest? Our attorneys can help. Contact us at Denning Law Firm, LLC, to enlist experienced and compassionate advocacy. You do not have to face these challenges alone. We proudly serve clients in Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; and Overland Park, Kansas. Book a consultation with our team today.