Question: Are the any legal precedents (U.S. legal system) that have firmly addressed the administration and usage of sedatives on apprehended individuals by or at the request of law enforcement ?

To be clear I am asking if any court has established that the administration of sedatives by or at the request of law enforcement is fair game and not in violation of ones right's: state, federal or otherwise. Law enforcement might be broken into two cases. (1) federal law enforcement to include: "Border Patrol,"FBI", Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Marshals. (2) local law enforcement in all of its combinations and permutation.

1 Answer 1


It would probably be plain illegal for police officers to themselves administer sedatives under current law. There have been allegations that doctors or EMTs have done so at the suggestion of police, see Powell v. Staycoff (an EMT administered ketamine to a detainee in the back of a police car under the orders of a doctor). The court addresses the legal issues in 3(b), mostly disposing of plaintiff's inapplicable legal arguments. The court does not that liability could arise if an officer knowingly makes a false report to medical authorities about a detainees behavior. In this case, police also assisted in the injection by restraining the detainee, but the court finds that officers have some obligation to assist medical personnel in this way.

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