Peace Officer-Caused Death Investigations

Due to recent events, police across the country are under immense scrutiny when they make the decision to use deadly force. The use of deadly force is one of the most solemn and difficult decisions a law enforcement officer can make, and it is important that it is used righteously. Also, it is important for the public to know that investigations into peace officer caused deaths are transparent and are performed correctly. To address this, legislation has been introduced that would lay out guidelines on how incidents involving great bodily harm caused by peace officers are investigated. The bill says investigations must be conducted by an outside agency not involved in the incident. Furthermore, it says the results of the investigation must be promptly turned over to the county attorney who then decides if charges will be brought, if any. If no charges result from the investigation, the report would then become available to the public. Supporters of the bill say these new standards remedy a perceived conflict of interest during these investigations. The bill is supported by defense attorneys, the NAACP, government accountability advocates, and the liberty caucus. Law enforcement groups remain split on the bill.

STATUS: The bill is on the Senate Floor. (S.F. 466)

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