Missouri Revised Statutes Title XXXVIII. Crimes and Punishment; Peace Officers and Public Defenders § 563.046. Law enforcement officer’s use of force in making an arrest

1. A law enforcement officer need not retreat or desist from efforts to effect the arrest, or from efforts to prevent the escape from custody, of a person he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense because of resistance or threatened resistance of the arrestee.  In addition to the use of physical force authorized under other sections of this chapter, a law enforcement officer is, subject to the provisions of subsections 2 and 3, justified in the use of such physical force as he or she reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.

2. The use of any physical force in making an arrest is not justified under this section unless the arrest is lawful or the law enforcement officer reasonably believes the arrest is lawful, and the amount of physical force used was objectively reasonable in light of the totality of the particular facts and circumstances confronting the officer on the scene, without regard to the officer’s underlying intent or motivation.

3. In effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody, a law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only:

(1) When deadly force is authorized under other sections of this chapter;  or

(2) When the officer reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or prevent an escape from custody and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested:

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony offense involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury;  or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;  or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury to the officer or others unless arrested without delay.

4. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.


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