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Encyclopedia of Race and Crime

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Encyclopedia of Race and Crime

Helen Taylor Greene & Shaun L. Gabbidon

Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Tennessee v. Garner

Philip Matthew Stinson

Tennessee v. Garner (1985) is a U.S. Supreme Court case whereby the Court held the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the use of deadly force by a police officer to prevent the escape of a suspected felon unless (a) the use of such force is necessary to prevent the escape and (b) the police officer has probable cause to believe that the suspected felon poses a significant threat of serious bodily injury and/or death to the police officer and/or other persons. This decision invalidated as unconstitutional a state statute in Tennessee that allowed police officers to use all necessary means to effectuate the physical apprehension and arrest of a fleeing suspect without consideration of whether the suspect was armed with a dangerous weapon. In the years leading up to Tennessee v. Garner , there were numerous reported shootings by police officers of unarmed Black men throughout the United ...

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