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This is a good question. Since we live in a very individualized world, all terms will have different shades of meaning. Therefore, "excessive force" will certainly have different meaning to all people.
So, for one people excessive force can be simply verbal. For others excessive force might be the use of any physical coercion. Still others might see excessive force in a more relative way by saying something like excessive force is when someone uses more force than necessary to get the job done.
What complicates matters is the perspective of the police as well. If they feel threatened, they might use greater force. In other words, there is an element of subjectivity that we need to appreciate. In conclusion, yes the words, "excessive force" will mean different things to different people.
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