Was Alton Sterling killing justified? Depends what officers were thinking

Hindsight is 20/20, right? Well, an officer’s split-second decision-making during a heated moment is not. Enter the “objective reasonableness” standard, by which police use of force is measured today.

Citing the 1973 federal appeals court decision in Johnson v. Glick, the court noted that not “every push or shove” is excessive, “even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge’s chambers.”

The ruling continued, “The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments — in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving — about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.”