Cleary Gottlieb Partners With Policing Project to Draft Model Use-of-Force Legislation

April 12, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb partnered with the NYU School of Law Policing Project in its effort to develop for the American Law Institute model legislation on policing and use-of-force that will serve as a drafting template for state legislatures.

Cleary attorneys compiled existing and proposed use-of-force legislation, prepared memoranda summarizing the state of the law and providing examples of statutory language, and drafted proposed statutory language.

The model legislation includes limits to the circumstances in which use-of-force is authorized, the manner in which force can be used, and the types of weapons that can be used and how an officer can use them. The model also includes proposed duties for officers, such as the duty to intervene to prevent unauthorized force, the duty to report unauthorized force, and the duty to provide truthful information about incidents. It further includes recordkeeping and reporting obligations, investigation requirements, and enforcement mechanisms.

The goal of the model legislation is to give states tangible enforcement tools in combatting the overuse of force, including deadly force. It is an attempt to answer the calls for accountability in policing that have reached their height in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

The model legislation is nearly finalized and available here. It will soon become available to state legislatures as a template for drafting use-of-force legislation.