H536: Law Enforcement Duty to Intervene. Latest Version

AN ACT to establish a duty for law enforcement officers to intervene in and report excessive use of force.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 15A‑401 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(d1)    Duty to Intervene and Report Excessive Use of Force. – A law enforcement officer, while in the line of duty, who observes another law enforcement officer use force against another person that the observing officer reasonably believes exceeds the amount of force authorized by subsection (d) of this section and who possesses a reasonable opportunity to intervene, shall if it is safe to do so, attempt to intervene to prevent the use of excessive force. Additionally, the observing officer shall, within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 72 hours thereafter, report what the officer reasonably believes to be an unauthorized use of force to a superior law enforcement officer within the agency of the observing officer, even if the observing officer did not have a reasonable opportunity to intervene. If the head of the law enforcement agency of the observing officer was involved or present during what the observing officer reasonably believes to be unauthorized use of force, the observing officer shall make the report to the highest ranking law enforcement officer of that officer's agency who was not involved in or present during the use of force.

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2021, and applies to use of force that occurs on or after that date.