Missouri Legal Update

2022 Lesson 14: Officer-Involved Shootings: Law, Human Factors & Investigations – Part 2

Technical

Release Date: 

9/1/2022

This is part 2 of a two-part course designed to provide Missouri law enforcement officers with a better understanding of the law and agency policy governing the use of force decisions, human factors that affect an officer’s use of force, and the administrative and criminal investigations of an officer’s use of force, with a focus on officer-involved shootings.


Section six addresses the immediate aftermath of an officer-involved shooting. It provides checklists for officers regarding their responsibilities towards the suspect and scene preservation. It explains what a “public safety statement” is and why officers may be asked to provide one. It also addresses the responsibilities of backup officers and supervisors in the immediate aftermath of a shooting.


Section seven addresses criminal investigations of officer-involved shootings. It describes the role and responsibilities of the investigator. It explains which officer statements are likely to be admissible in which proceedings. It also explores whether officers should review video of an incident before providing an official statement.


Section eight addresses administrative investigations of officer-involved shootings. It explains how statements an officer makes under threat of discharge may and may not be used. It also explains an officer’s due process rights during an administrative investigation. Finally, it considers actual examples of administrative investigations of law enforcement officers.


Section nine examines the role of the defense attorney.


Section ten provides a case study of a Missouri police officer’s use of deadly force and the investigation that followed. It shows how the issues addressed in prior sections of this lesson applied in this case, including: applicable criminal statutes; agency policy regarding shooting at moving vehicles; how human factors could have affected the involved officer; the officer’s actions in the immediate aftermath of the shooting; why the officer’s statements may have differed from the physical evidence; and which officer statements were admissible.