The Institute for American Police Reform today released a comprehensive and interactive Map of State Laws Governing Deadly Force charting current laws governing police use of deadly force in all 50 states. This public resource is the simplest and most complete resource of its kind.
Visitors to the site can easily navigate the interactive map to learn about their state’s laws. The map also contains interesting facts about current and proposed legislation governing police use of deadly force and allows state-to-state comparisons of the authority granted to police officers.
The Institute for American Police Reform (IAPR) is committed to comprehensive reform of American policing and prioritizes catalyzing public engagement to accomplish this goal. IAPR is dedicated to increasing the public’s understanding of existing police systems. Currently, no uniform legal standard on police discretion in the use of deadly force exists in the United States, including the use of deadly force to suppress riots, mandates to consider risks to innocent bystanders, and requirements to exhaust all reasonable options before using deadly force. IAPR believes these standards are too widely inconsistent across the country.
Police officers serve as the frontline of public safety. IAPR believes that the authority and governance of policing must be uniformly applied in order for law enforcement to carry out their duties reliably and predictably.
When IAPR’s comprehensive research on police use of force began in late 2020, 17 states had no laws governing police use of deadly force. Since then, 10 of those 17 states have passed new legislation addressing police use of deadly force. Despite new and existing laws, significant disparity exists between states. Adopting a uniform standard of policing is essential to creating trustworthy and predictable policing nationwide.
The Institute for American Police Reform is a nonpartisan and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to a vision of standardized, trustworthy, and human-dignified policing in all U.S. states and territories. Our police use of force research project and the Map of State Laws Governing Deadly Force was generously sponsored and conducted in partnership with Hogan Lovells US LLP. IMS Consulting and Expert Services (formerly The Focal Point LLC) provided site design and technical support.
Media contact: Nicholas Sensley, email@example.com