Much of the nation’s attention has been focused on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a young African American man, by a police officer has led to riots, looting and tension between law enforcement officials and the citizens of Ferguson.
Pitt Law Professor David Harris evaluated the police department’s response to the incident.
“What you have here is not just the killing of one person by another, but the killing of a person by an agent of the state, a police officer."
Because of these stipulations and "the possibility that the police officer went beyond his duty to protect with reasonable force while depriving the person of their 'constitutional right to life without due process,'" Harris said there is a possibility of both state and federal court cases.
If the officer is charged, which Harris said is "a big if", the court case would still be a long process. Harris pointed out that a police officer has the right to use force to effectuate the job.