Amnesty International report finds alarming use of lethal force by police nationwide

According to the study, more than 10 states do not comply with constitutional standards of lethal force and 20 states including Mississippi, New York and California, give citizens permission to use lethal force if they are assisting an officer with arrest. Additionally, there are no provisions anywhere in the United States that establish accountability for the use of lethal force.

International law only permits use of deadly force by police officers as a last resort and in the event officers must protect themselves from death or serious injury.

The report, Deadly Force: Police Use of Lethal Force In The United States, however argues that police often consider the use of force to be “a normal part” of protocol, rather than “the exception.” Amnesty International’s data looks mainly at police use of firearms, or what they call “a weapon designed to kill,” including the number of shots fired. Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was shot six times.