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Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States

By Human Rights Watch & Campaign Zero

Insight: Local prosecutors (district, county or state’s attorneys) may prosecute police officers who engage in behavior, on- or off-duty, that violates the law. When officers are prosecuted, it is usually under state law for crimes such as murder, manslaughter, assault, battery, or rape. Comprehensive statistics on prosecution efforts, reasons for prosecutorial decisions, or prosecutorial success rates are generally not available to the public. But our investigation leads us to conclude that local prosecutions of police officers on charges relating to the excessive use of forceare rare.

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