Map of State Laws Governing Deadly Force

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There is no uniform legal standard across states in police use of deadly force.

States that do   States that don't   N/A (no laws)
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9
States expressly allow police to use deadly force to suppress a riot when reasonable or necessary. (AZ, DE, ID, MS, NE, NV, OH, PA, WA)
7
States require police to consider the risks to innocent bystanders before using deadly force. (CA, CO, DE, HI, NE, NJ, NY)
9
States require police to exhaust all reasonable options before using deadly force (last resort). (CA, CO, DE, IA, MN, OR, TN, VA (and DC))
35
States plus D.C. require an officer's decision to use deadly force to be "reasonable".

Although more states are passing new laws, the disparity between them is significant. We believe a uniform standard in policing is one way to create trustworthy and predictable policing nationwide.

*This page only addresses state laws pertaining to deadly use of force by law enforcement. It does not encompass the city or county regulations or the policies of specific law enforcement agencies.
**last updated May 1, 2021