Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 19.2. Criminal Procedure
Chapter 7.1. Law-Enforcement Officer Conduct During an Arrest or Detention
7/28/2021

§ 19.2-83.5. Use of deadly force by a law-enforcement officer during an arrest or detention.

A. A law-enforcement officer shall not use deadly force against a person unless:

1. The law-enforcement officer reasonably believes that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect the law-enforcement officer or another person, other than the subject of the use of deadly force, from the threat of serious bodily injury or death;

2. If feasible, the law-enforcement officer has provided a warning to the subject of the deadly force that he will use deadly force;

3. The law-enforcement officer's actions are reasonable, given the totality of the circumstances; and

4. All other options have been exhausted or do not reasonably lend themselves to the circumstances.

B. In determining if a law-enforcement officer's use of deadly force is proper, the following factors shall be considered:

1. The reasonableness of the law-enforcement officer's belief and actions from the perspective of a reasonable law-enforcement officer on the scene at the time of the incident; and

2. The totality of the circumstances, including (i) the amount of time available to the law-enforcement officer to make a decision; (ii) whether the subject of the use of deadly force (a) possessed or appeared to possess a deadly weapon and (b) refused to comply with the law-enforcement officer's lawful order to surrender an object believed to be a deadly weapon prior to the law-enforcement officer using deadly force; (iii) whether the law-enforcement officer engaged in de-escalation measures prior to the use of deadly force, including taking cover, waiting for backup, trying to calm the subject prior to the use of force, or using non-deadly force prior to the use of deadly force; (iv) whether any conduct by the law-enforcement officer prior to the use of deadly force intentionally increased the risk of a confrontation resulting in deadly force being used; and (v) the seriousness of the suspected crime.

2020, Sp. Sess. I, c. 37.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.