New research into the excessive use of lethal force by the police has found that SA scores above an accepted threshold for the use of force.
The research, conducted by the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), Network for African Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) and the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, was released on Tuesday.
The excessive use of force by the police or by armed forces performing functions of public security is a challenge that not only points to the existence of serious human rights violations such as extrajudicial killing, but also includes situations where lethal force by public agents may not have been illegal, but could have been avoided.
Understanding the use — and abuse — of lethal force, what drives it and possible strategies to limit it, were the critical issues explored by the researchers. Together they worked to measure the incidence of use of force and found that SA scores well above the accepted threshold for use of force.
Researcher Prof Ignacio Cano of the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence from the State University of Rio de Janeiro said the excessive, unaccounted for and unregulated use of force was a concern as it led to incidents such as the death of George Floyd, which had sparked other events.