Tennessee v. Garner and Missouri’s Use of Force Statute


by Eric Vought

A grand jury is currently convening in the matter of the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson and whether the shooting was a justified use of force by Darren Wilson. This post will detail some of the issues of law in Missouri in determining that question and perhaps lead to a debate of what the laws *should be*.

Use of deadly force in Missouri is detailed in Chapter 563. All citizens of Missouri, and especially any who own or carry firearms should read and understand this chapter. RsMo 563.046 “Law Enforcement use of force in making an arrest” item 3 details permissible use of force by law enforcement. Again, the entire item is important, but in brief, a peace officer may use deadly force to effect an arrest or stop a fleeing suspect if the suspect:

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay

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