Text: H.R.7206 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/15/2020)


116th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 7206


To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the use of excessive force under color of law by law enforcement and correctional officers, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 15, 2020

Mr. Espaillat introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the use of excessive force under color of law by law enforcement and correctional officers, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Excessive Force Prevention and Accountability Act of 2020”.

SEC. 2. Excessive force.

(a) In general.—Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 242 the following:

§ 242A. Excessive force

“(a) Intentional acts.—Whoever, acting under color of law, causes bodily injury to another through the intentional use of excessive force shall be imprisoned not more than ten years; and if death results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

“(b) Reckless acts.—Whoever, acting under color of law, causes bodily injury to another through the reckless use of excessive force, shall be imprisoned not more than five years; and, if death results, shall be imprisoned not more than 20 years.

“(c) Failure To intervene.—

“(1) Whoever, acting under color of law, is contemporaneously aware of an ongoing violation of subsection (a) or (b), has the opportunity to stop or prevent the use of excessive force, and chooses not to intervene shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years; and if death results, shall be imprisoned not more than 20 years.

“(2) It shall not be a defense under this subsection that the person who fails to intervene is of a lower rank than, junior in status to, or employed in a different agency or component from the person using excessive force.

“(d) Non-Defenses.—In a prosecution for an offense under this section, there need not be proof that the defendant had familiarity with this code section, or had any knowledge that any particular constitutional amendment, Federal or State law, or any policy or regulation prohibited the use of force at issue.

“(e) Definitions.—

“(1) INTENTIONAL.—Purposefully using more force than what the person knows is reasonably necessary under all the facts and circumstances.

“(2) RECKLESS.—Consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that excessive force will result from the person’s actions. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and purpose of the person’s conduct and the circumstances known to that person, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person, acting under color of law, would observe in the person’s situation.

“(3) EXCESSIVE FORCE.—Force that is more than what is reasonably necessary to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement function. In a jail, prison, or other correctional setting, force that is more than is reasonably necessary to accomplish a legitimate penological function.

“(4) COLOR OF LAW.—A person acts under color of law if the person is performing a legitimate law enforcement or penological function as an employee, contractor, or otherwise on behalf of, a Federal, State, or local government.”.

(b) Technical and conforming amendment.—The table of sections for chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 242 the following:


“242A. Excessive force.”.


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