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Attorney General October 17, 1995 Memorandum on Resolution 14 (Attachment)



U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Investigative Agency Policies




Pursuant to the Attorney General's Order Number 1814-93, dated November 18, 1993, and in my capacity as Director of Investigative Agency Policies, I hereby issue the following resolution concerning the use of deadly force.


The Supreme Court has addressed the constitutional restrictions on the use of deadly force. In view of those precedents, the investigative agencies of the Department of Justice ("DOJ") have, over the years, adopted policies to govern their employees' use of deadly force. To date, however, those policies have not been standardized. The Attorney General requested that the Office of Investigative Agency Policies ("OIAP") consider whether there should be a uniform DOJ deadly force policy and, if so, to draft it for her consideration.

Attached to this Resolution is a uniform deadly force policy and accompanying commentaries. Attachment A sets forth the uniform deadly force policy. Attachment B sets forth the commentaries governing the use of deadly force in non-custodial and custodial situations.

The deadly force policy and commentaries have resulted from many months of discussion, negotiation, and analysis among personnel from: the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the United States Marshal Service; the immigration and Naturalization Service; the Bureau of Prisons; the Office of the Inspector General; and, DOJ's Criminal Division, Office of Legal Counsel, and Civil Rights Division.


According to the terms of the Order creating the OIAP, I have been authorized, "in the areas of overlapping jurisdiction of the criminal investigative agencies," to:

[a]ssure, to the extent appropriate, consistent operational guidelines for the criminal investigative agencies of the Department [of Justice]; [and] ... [p]rovide advice to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General on all investigative policies, procedures and activities that warrant uniform treatment or coordination ...

Order Number 1814-93, Sections (b)(2) and (9).


I am satisfied that this policy and the commentaries uphold the sanctity of human life and provide clear direction to law enforcement officials who, in the face of extraordinary danger, must resort to the use of deadly force. I have reviewed them with members of the OIAP Executive Advisory Board ("EAB") and there are no objections to them.


As I noted above, this Resolution and attachments have been approved by the EAB. Further, I have been advised that no OIAP member agency will appeal this Resolution or the attachments.

Louis J. Freeh
Director of Investigative Agency Policies

Dated: October 16, 1995
Washington, D.C.

Attachment A: (Policy Statement on the Use of Deadly Force)

Attachment B: (Commentary on the Use of Deadly Force in Non-Custodial Situations); (Commentary on the Use of Deadly Force in Custodial Situations)


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Updated March 8, 2017