Over the last several years, officer use of force incidents have become the center of attention across the United States. With the widespread use and availability of video, hardly a day goes by that a police use of force incident is released to the public. Video recorded on cell phones has become the norm and as more and more police agencies begin using body worn video, this trend will continue to expand.
Once you have an officer use of force incident, especially if it is a shooting, all of the attention of the community, media and social media will laser focus on the officer. Numerous parties will dissect his or her life, work history and personal opinions. The media, the public, and haters across the globe will search for any information they can find, hoping to get more information about the officer in question. Some of these individuals searching hope to confirm some predisposed opinion of the officer that may or may not match the reality of the incident under scrutiny.
Three precautions can be taken to help protect an officer if he or she is ever involved in a use of force incident that garners such widespread attention.