Zachary Kaufman, Legal academic, political scientist, and social entrepreneur

Zachary D. Kaufman

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<< Back to Officer Duty to Intervene Database

Welcome to Professor Zachary D. Kaufman’s database of “Officer Duty to Intervene Laws”: statutes that impose a legal duty upon law enforcement officers to intervene in their fellow officer’s misuse of force. This database currently contains 24 state or local duty-to-intervene laws currently enacted in the United States. Professor Kaufman analyzes these laws’ features in his article, Police Policing Police.

Citation of Database

Preferred citation of this database in Bluebook format is: Officer Duty to Intervene Laws, Zachary D. Kaufman, http://www.zacharykaufman.com/ODTIs (last visited [date last visited]). Preferred citation in Chicago Manual of Style format is: Zachary D. Kaufman, “Officer Duty to Intervene Laws,” accessed [date last visited], http://www.zacharykaufman.com/ODTIs.

Updates

This database will be updated periodically. If you would like to suggest an addition or amendment to this database, please contact Professor Kaufman using this form.

Acknowledgments

Professor Kaufman gratefully acknowledges contributors to this database here.

Related Publications

Professor Kaufman is currently writing a series of publications about Bad Samaritan laws, bystanders, and upstanders that will culminate in his next book (under contract with Cambridge University Press). His publications to date on the topic, which draw on this database and/or his Bad Samaritan laws database, include:

  1. Police Policing Police (article forthcoming in the George Washington Law Review)
  2. Digital Age Samaritans (article published by the Boston College Law Review)
  3. Protectors of Predators or Prey: Bystanders and Upstanders amid Sexual Crimes (award-winning article published by the Southern California Law Review)
  4. Lessons from Rwanda: Post-Genocide Law and Policy (article published by the Stanford Law & Policy Review)
  5. Officers Should Intervene as a Matter of Law, Not Just Policy (op-ed published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  6. Prosecutors Can Abuse Discretion to Seek Charges. We Propose Some Fixes (op-ed with Ken Levy published by the Chicago Tribune)
  7. Laws Needed to Encourage Assisting Those in Peril (op-ed published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  8. Prod Bystanders to be “Upstanders” like Darnella Frazier (op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle)
  9. What Makes People Save Lives? Learning from Upstanders and Bystanders (op-ed published by the New York Daily News)
  10. No Cover for Abusers; California Must Close Gap in its Duty-to-Report Law (op-ed published by the San Francisco Chronicle)
  11. When Speaking Up is a Civic Duty (op-ed published by the Boston Globe)
  12. Give the Nobel Peace Prize Posthumously (essay published by Foreign Policy magazine)
  13. Islam is (Also) a Religion of Peace (essay published by Foreign Policy magazine)

Searching and Filtering the Database

Clicking on the hyperlinked title of an Officer Duty to Intervene law allows you to view more information about that particular law. This database can be used to search and filter these statutes. Keywords can be entered into the search bar at the top of the page. The filters (more than one of which can be applied simultaneously) listed along the right side of the page are, in the following order:

  • Level: This filter allows you to select for Officer Duty to Intervene laws based on whether the laws were passed at the state or municipal level. Officer Duty to Intervene laws that were passed at the state level apply to all officers within the applicable state’s jurisdiction. Officer Duty to Intervene laws that were passed at the municipal level only apply to law enforcement officers acting within the relevant municipality.
  • Direct or Indirect Duty: This filter allows you to select for Officer Duty to Intervene laws based on whether the duty is directly or indirectly incorporated within their effective jurisdiction. An Officer Duty to Intervene creates a direct duty when the mandates embodied in the law are automatically, directly imposed upon all law enforcement officers within the relevant jurisdiction without requiring any policy change within law enforcement agencies. In contrast, an Officer Duty to Intervene law creates an indirect duty when the law instructs law enforcement agencies within the applicable jurisdiction to adopt policies that conform with the requirements of the law.
  • Force: This filter allows you to select for Officer Duty to Intervene laws based on the impermissible use of force that triggers the duty. There are two options for filtering under this category. First, “General” relates to a broad array of conduct that constitutes a triggering misuse of force under the Officer Duty to Intervene. Second, with “Specific” force, the prohibited force is narrowed to only apply to a specific misuse of force, such as the use of a chokehold or ketamine.
  • Punishment: This filter allows you to select for Officer Duty to Intervene laws based on the punishment that the statute permits. There are six options for filtering under this category. First, “Mandates Disciplinary Action” requires an officer who violates the Officer Duty to Intervene law to receive a disciplinary penalty. Second, “Allows Disciplinary Action” gives police departments the discretion to impose disciplinary penalties for violations of the Officer Duty to Intervene. Third, Officer Duty to Intervene laws which carry a penalty categorized as “Fines, Imprisonment, or Both” require violators of the law to face potential fines, imprisonment, or both fines and imprisonment. Fourth, Officer Duty to Intervene laws which penalize violators under “Accomplice Liability” require the violators of the law to face potential accomplice liability under the relevant state statute. Fifth, Officer Duty to Intervene laws that impose “Disciplinary Action, Civil, and/or Criminal Liability” allow the violating officers to be penalized using all three methods of potential punishment. Lastly, the Officer Duty to Intervene laws categorized as “None” do not carry any outlined penalties for those who violate the law. Each law may be filtered to fall under one of these categories.
  • Training: This filter allows you to select for Officer Duty to Intervene laws based on whether the law requires specific training for law enforcement officers on discharging the duty to intervene. Officer Duty to Intervene laws categorized as “Mandatory Training” require law enforcement officers to undergo specific training on how to uphold the duty to intervene. The remaining laws that are categorized as “None” do not require specific training on the duty to intervene as a part of the law.
  • Anti-Retaliation: This filter allows you to select for Officer Duty to Intervene laws based on whether the statute includes an anti-retaliation provision. There are two options for this filter. “Anti-Retaliation Provision” includes all Officer Duty to Intervene laws which include an anti-retaliation provision to protect officers who uphold the duty to intervene. Officer Duty to Intervene laws categorized as “None” do not contain such anti-retaliation provisions applicable to the officer’s duty to intervene.

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