With police shootings higher this year than ever before, it’s no surprise that the United States failed international standards for the use of lethal force by law enforcement.


A recent report by Amnesty International suggests that it isn’t required in the United States for police to make preservation of life a priority. Deadly force is stated as a last resort in the United Nations’ Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials. However, the laws in the United States differ from these international standards.


According to the report, nine states do not have laws on police use of lethal force. The report also found that 42 states don’t require law enforcement officials to give a verbal warning before using deadly force.


Steven Hawkins, Executive Director, of Amnesty USA

Steven Hawkins, Executive Director of Amnesty USA, has expressed his concerns with the allegiance the country’s use of legal force and the lack thereof. (zimbio.com)

Executive director of Amnesty USA, Steven Hawkins, isn’t pleased with the lack of laws regulating lethal force. “While law enforcement in the United States is given the authority to use lethal force, there is no equal obligation to respect and preserve human life,” said Hawkins to the Guardian.


A task force issued by Barack Obama responsible for creating more policies to prevent deadly force , feels that a “clearly stated ‘sanctity of life’ philosophy must also be in the forefront of every officer’s mind.” With the public knowledge of Amnesty International’s report, an increase in deadly force policies will not come as a surprise.


What do you think about the lack of lethal force laws? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.