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Some guidance on excessive force during an arrest

In Vance v. Wade, et al., the Sixth Circuit provided some guidance with regard to when an arresting officer can be held responsible for using excessive force in making an arrest.  Vance was arrested when a restaurant in which he was a part-owner was searched.  He claimed that he suffered injury as a result of the handcuffs being attached too tightly, and  because he was "crammed" into the backseat of the police cruiser with excessive force.

The Court noted that the handcuff complaints could not be considered excessive force because Vance admitted that they were loosened as soon as he complained.  On the other hand, the Court held that Vance had created a question of fact with regard to the complaints about how he was "crammed" into the floor of the rear seat of the vehicle, as the arresting officer admitted that he left Vance alone, outside the cruiser, for several minutes before placing him in the vehicle.  Since Vance engaged in no disorderly conduct during this period and did not resist in any manner, there existing a question of fact with regard to whether the manner in which he was placed in the van constituted Constitutionally-prohibited excessive force.

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