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Note - Recalibrating the Graham Standard Using an Evidence-Backed, Community-Based Model


Millions of protestors across the world have marched and rallied to denounce the police violence that led to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. However, Floyd and Taylor represent only two names of the countless lives lost to police killings each year. Many go unreported and forgotten, save for loved ones and activists who hope to keep their name in the public consciousness. The 2020 protests galvanized the country into reimagining policing, even prompting Congress to push for police reform. However, excessive force jurisprudence has remained relatively stagnant for the past thirty years. Now is the perfect time for the Supreme Court to modernize the excessive force doctrine by incorporating evidence of the full police encounter as well as judging officers’ conduct by their own internal standards. Ultimately, police violence should not be tolerated as a fact of life. Political will, societal rejection, and a willingness by the Supreme Court are needed to end it.