Police Use of Force Policy Analysis

McKesson, DeRay; Sinyangwe, Samuel; Elzie, Johnetta; Packnett, Brittany

Recognizing that systemic change can only be achieved through comprehensive action, Campaign Zero proposes ten categories of policy solutions to end police violence in America. Among these, the policies that govern how and when officers are allowed to use force against civilians requires immediate attention and intervention. The police killed over 600 people in America in the first seven months of 2016, enabled and protected by laws and policies that allow police to use force, both deadly and otherwise, with little to no accountability.The first section of our report details our analysis, conducted in collaboration with legal scholars, lawyers, and activists from around the country. Our findings demonstrate that there are vast differences in the degree to which America’s largest city police departments restrict officers from using force against civilians. Furthermore, none of these departments have adopted all of the policies identified in our analysis. The second part of our report examines the relationship between police department use of force policies and the likelihood that those departments kill civilians. We discovered that police departments that implement more restrictions on police use of force kill significantly fewer civilians.