§ 36.12  USE OF DEADLY FORCE.
   (A)   Objectives.
      (1)   To construct a framework of legal consideration concerning the use of deadly force by presenting statutory references to definitions, lawful requirements and liability both criminal and civil; and
      (2)   To provide the officer an understanding of moral and ethical obligations complimenting the legal aspects of using deadly force.
   (B)   Introduction.
      (1)   When a peace officer resorts to the use of deadly force, he or she must be correct both legally and morally. His or her decisions, sometimes made instantaneously, must be able to withstand the glare of publicity and dissection in the courts. This requires the officer to have prepared himself or herself by the knowledge of the law, and the understanding attitude of human nature, and developed professional skills in the employment of force.
      (2)   His or her actions must be consistent with the rights of all citizens, accorded them under constitutional laws, in order to reflect credit upon himself or herself and his or her Department.
      (3)   How well he or she attends to all these considerations in the classroom may well decide a favorable or unfavorable outcome of a confrontation in the field. In general, a peace officer may consider this as his or her motto: Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex (The Safety of the People is the Supreme Law).
   (C)   Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      DEADLY FORCE.  The use of means intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
      DEADLY WEAPON.  Any device capable of inflicting death or serious physical harm and designed or specifically adapted for use as a weapon, or used as a weapon. Examples: firearm, knife, baseball bat, razor blade.
      FORCIBLE FELONY.  A felony which involves the use or threat of physical force against any individual. It includes:
         (a)   Treason;
         (b)   Murder;
         (c)   Voluntary manslaughter;
         (d)   Aggravated battery;
         (e)   Rape;
         (f)   Robbery;
         (g)   Burglary;
         (h)   Arson;
         (i)   Kidnapping (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 2-8);
         (j)   Armed violence; and
         (k)   Home invasion.
      REASONABLE BELIEF.  The person concerned, acting as a reasonable person, believes that the described facts exist (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 2-19). This infers “a reasonable man acting under the same facts and circumstances”.
   (D)   Statutory references from ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, §§ 7-1 et seq.
      (1)   Justified use of force (any person including police officer):
         (a)   In defense of person (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 7-1).
            1.   To defend against another’s imminent use of unlawful force; and
            2.   Deadly force is justified only when necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or commission of a forcible felony.
         (b)   In defense of dwelling (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 7-2).
            1.   To prevent or terminate another’s unlawful entry or attack on a dwelling; and
            2.   Deadly force is justified only if:
               a.   Entry is attempted in a violent, riotous manner;
               b.   Necessary to prevent assault or personal violence to himself or herself or another; or
               c.   Necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.
         (c)   In defense of other property (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 7-3).
            1.   To prevent or terminate another’s trespass or criminal interference with real or personal property; and
            2.   Deadly force is justified only if necessary to prevent forcible felony.
         (d)   To summarize the preceding: in general, deadly force is justified to prevent death or serious injury to a person, another or to prevent commission of a forcible felony.
      (2)   Peace officers’ use of force in making arrest (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 7-5).
         (a)   He or she is justified in the use of any force which he or she reasonably believes is necessary to affect the arrest or to defend himself or herself or another while making the arrest.
         (b)   He or she need not retreat or desist because of resistance or threat of resistance.
         (c)   He or she is justified in use of deadly force when the person in question:
            1.   Has committed or attempted a forcible entry;
            2.   Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon;
            3.   Otherwise indicates he or she will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay; and
            4.   The officer reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape.
         (d)   Force likely to cause death or great bodily harm (deadly force) includes (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 7-8):
            1.   Firing in the direction of a person to be arrested even though no intent exists to kill or inflict bodily harm; or
            2.   Firing at a vehicle in which the person to be arrested is riding.
      (3)   Use of force to prevent escape (ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 7-9).
         (a)   A peace officer is justified in the use of the force, to prevent escape of an arrested person from custody, as he or she would be if he or she were arresting the person.
         (b)   He or she is justified in the use of deadly force, to prevent escape from a penal institution, of a person who he or she reasonably believes to be lawfully detained under sentence or awaiting trial or commitment for an offense. There is no distinction as to type offense involved, reason for confinement, or whether the person is armed.
      (4)   The key to the use of deadly force is not whether the officer believed the force was necessary, but rather, under all the circumstances, whether a reasonable person would believe deadly force was necessary.
      (5)   A peace officer making an arrest on an invalid warrant is justified in using any force he or she would be justified in using if the warrant were valid; unless he or she knows that the warrant is invalid.
      (6)   There are nine instances under Illinois law in which a peace officer is justified in using deadly force. The key element, in all circumstances, is whether or not the use of a deadly force is reasonably necessary, The nine circumstances include:
         (a)   To protect himself or herself from death or great bodily harm;
         (b)   To protect another from death or great bodily harm;
         (c)   To prevent arrest from being defeated by resistance and person to be arrested has committed a forcible felony;
         (d)   To prevent arrest from being defeated by resistance and person to be arrested is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon;
         (e)   To prevent arrest from being defeated by resistance and person to be arrested indicates that he or she will endanger life or inflict great bodily harm, unless arrested without delay;
         (f)   The arrestee is escaping and has committed a forcible felony;
         (g)   The arrestee is escaping by means of a deadly weapon;
         (h)   The arrestee is escaping and indicates that he or she will endanger human life or inflict great bodily harm unless arrested without delay; and
         (i)   To prevent the escape from a penal institution (including jail) when there is a reasonable belief that he or she is lawfully detained, and he or she is awaiting trial, under sentencing or awaiting commitment.
   (E)   Other considerations.
      (1)   Warning shots.
         (a)   Nothing under Illinois law prohibits the firing of warning shots directly into the air or into the ground. Their use is highly condemned because of possibility of:
            1.   Injury to innocent people; and
            2.   Injury to the officer.
         (b)   Warning shots fired in the direction of the person to be arrested, when deadly force is not justified, are illegal.
      (2)   Moral and ethical aspects.
         (a)   In addition to Illinois and federal law, each officer must make his or her own moral and ethical judgements concerning the use of deadly force.
         (b)   Before firing his or her weapon, the officer has an instant decision making process that involves both legal and moral considerations. Even if the action is justified legally, he or she still has to live in the community and with himself or herself.
            1.   Communities are slow to forget.
            2.   American tradition values life over property.
            3.   The officer’s family may be affected.
      (3)   Civil law.
         (a)   Even when legally justified in using deadly force, an officer can be held civilly liable when he or she discharges his or her weapon in a willful and wanton manner.
         (b)   Before firing his or her weapon, an officer must be aware of:
            1.   His or her location and physical surroundings;
            2.   Innocent people in the vicinity; and
            3.   His or her own accuracy with the weapon under existing conditions.
         (c)   Section 2-2.02 of the Local Government and Governmental Employers Tort Immunity Act (ILCS Ch. 745, Act 10), says that a peace officer is not liable for acts of negligence which are committed while enforcing the law, but:
            1.   They are liable for acts or omissions, in the execution or enforcement of the laws, which constitute willful and wanton negligence.
               a.   WILLFUL means self determined, voluntary, deliberate, intention.
               b.   WANTON means characterized by extreme recklessness, foolhardiness, heartlessness or maliciousness.
            2.   “Engaged in the execution or enforcement of the law” does not mean merely “on duty”. It is a factual determination which must be made in light of the circumstances.
   (F)   Federal Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 241 and 242). Federal Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 through 1985).
      (1)   After the Civil War, some states refused to pass legislation making it illegal for local government officials to violate the civil rights of citizens. The federal government then passed legislation designed to preserve the right to due process of law and equal protection of law under the 14th Amendment.
      (2)   Section 242 prohibits any person while acting under color of law from depriving anyone of his or her federal rights. This includes different punishments or penalties on account of nationality, race, color or creed.
         (a)   The term COLOR OF LAW implies exercise of official authority. Every on-duty peace officer performing his or her normal functions is acting under color of law.
         (b)   Specific intent must be proved, but open defiance or reckless disregard for individual rights will establish specific intent.
      (3)   Section 242 is a misdemeanor punishable by $1,000 fine or one-year imprisonment unless death results. It then is punishable by life imprisonment.
      (4)   Section 241 is a conspiracy statute and prescribes punishment for persons conspiring to threaten, oppress or injure another in the exercise of federal rights.
      (5)   Prosecutions of peace officers have resulted from:
         (a)   Beatings to obtain confessions;
         (b)   Releasing prisoners so they could be intercepted and assaulted;
         (c)   False arrests; and
         (d)   Obtaining false warrants.
   (G)   Conclusion. A peace officer’s use of deadly force is often based on a split-second judgment in the midst of a complex situation. Many factors are involved in the decision. They include both criminal and civil legal aspects plus moral and ethical considerations. The officer can best be prepared to make the decision by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the factors involved.
(Ord. 389, passed 2-4-1985)