AZ Introduces Use-of-Force Measure to Hold Law Enforcement Accountable for Deaths

By Dalia Bautista Rodriguez

PHOENIX – A law enforcement use-of-force measure to hold officers liable for implementing deadly force was introduced by Arizona Rep. Regina Bolding this week, and has big support.

House Bill 2765, with the support of AZ Attorney General Mark Brnovich. would ensure law enforcement officers are considered liable for implementing deadly physical force upon an individual, causing death, and an investigator from an alternate law enforcement will lead the investigation.

“If enacted, the legislation would require an outside law enforcement agency, the Attorney General’s Office, or a County Attorney from another county to investigate an officer’s use of deadly force,” and at that point, the investigator is required to give the results of the investigation to the Attorney of the specified county.

Rep. Bolding believes that initiating House Bill 2765 would help “avoid conflicts of interest and ensure fairness and accountability.”

Attorney General Mark Brnovich adds, “Transparency and accountability should not be partisan issues … It is in everyone’s best interest to maintain public confidence in the investigations following officer-involved shootings.”

“If we are going to restore the trust between law enforcement and the communities that they are supposed to serve and protect, we must ensure that officers who engage in police brutality or improperly use deadly force are held accountable,” said Rep. Bolding.

A case that changed the point of view in which deadly force was used is, Tennessee v. Garner (1985). The Tennessee v. Garner case was held upon by the Supreme Court of the United States that, under the Fourth Amendment, an officer is not permitted to use deadly force upon an individual who is fleeing, unarmed, or a peaceful suspect, unless the officer believes that the individual poses a threat. Courts must use this test now.

Another relevant case is Graham v. Connor (1989). During Graham v. Connor, the Supreme Court decided that the use of excessive force should be additionally examined under the norm of the Fourth Amendment.

The individuals who are more in danger of police brutality and use of deadly force are bound to be people of color, according to a study by Frank Edwards, Hedwig Lee, and Michael Esposito.

“Our results show that people of color face a higher likelihood of being killed by police than do white men and women, that risk peaks in young adulthood, and that men of color face a nontrivial lifetime risk of being killed by police,” the study noted.

Dalia Bautista Rodriguez is a third year-transfer at UC Davis and majoring in Community & Regional Development. She is originally from Guadalupe, CA.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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