Completely Independent Investigations


A Recap of I-940’s Accountability Framework

(1)    Professionalism and best practices (de-escalation training, mental health training, first aid training);

(2)    Sanctity of life (requirement to render first aid and use deadly force only when necessary, as a last resort, and in good faith);

(3)    Rule of law (removes de facto immunity and applies an objective and subjective good faith test to officer use of deadly force)

(4)    The community (diverse community stakeholders are at the table to develop policy); and

(5)    Impartial determination of facts (completely independent investigations.)

Initiative 940 requires a completely independent investigation of the incident/crime scene if the use of force results in “death, substantial bodily harm, or great bodily harm.”

Values – Transparency and Credibility

The goal of a “completely independent investigation” is to:

  • Remove bias and influence.
  • Address conflicts of interest.
  • Create an appearance of fairness. 

Consideration should be given to investigations:

  • Being conducted by professionals with specific expertise; and
  • That include civilians to observe the process.  

The result in an investigation that is credible from many perspectives and achieves maximum appropriate transparency.

I-940 Requires a Public Process

The Criminal Justice Training Commission must adopt procedures with input from:

  • The attorney general;
  • Law enforcement agencies;
  • Tribes; and
  • Community stakeholders, to include:
    • Persons with disabilities; members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community; persons of color; immigrants; non-citizens; native Americans; youth; and formerly incarcerated persons.


PERF Guiding Principles on the Use of Deadly Force

PERF calls for “All critical police incidents resulting in death or serious bodily injury should be reviewed by specially trained personnel.”

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

The Report calls for “external and independent criminal investigations in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.”

Amnesty International USA.  Deadly Force: Police Use of Force in the United States.   

AIUSA calls for “independent, impartial, and transparent investigation”



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