Police departments in the United States do not meet international standards for the use of deadly force, according to a new report from Amnesty International.
The 41-page report claims states fail to legally mandate that deadly force should be used only as a last resort, and that 13 states are actually operating in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The report also claims that when deadly force is used, police reporting and accountability are “severely lacking.”
“The fact that investigations are handled internally and that prosecutors have to maintain good working relationships with the police… has led to calls being made for independent investigations and prosecutors,” the report says.
However, police unions were quick to dismiss the report, claiming it painted a misleading picture.
“They are criticizing out of ignorance rather than an informed position,” said James Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police. “They would lead you to believe by inference that the United States operates totally without any controls over use of deadly force which is absolutely untrue.”
Pasco went on to say that his organization agrees with many of the report’s recommendations, and has been working with Congress and the Justice Department to see that they are implemented. This includes creating a federal database to track all police-related killings as well as instances where officers themselves are killed in the line of duty.
(Source: USA Today)