Officers currently lack guidance about when force is necessary as well as what tactics and maneuvers are appropriate. The Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provide the only national standard for police officer use of force. The standard loosely authorizes force that is “reasonable under the totality of circumstances.” Most states have enacted use of force standards but few provide more guidance than the Supreme Court rule and an increasing number of state courts have incorporated the federal framework into state jurisprudence.
To broaden the reach and relevance of our legislative advocacy efforts, the National Police Accountability Project has produced white papers on issue areas we are focusing on each legislative session. These papers are intended for both policy makers and the public to provide a robust contextualization of both why we think these issue areas are critical in defending against police violence, and how to implement legislation that is effective and impactful. A selection of these papers are available below.
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