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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

609.066 AUTHORIZED USE OF DEADLY FORCE BY PEACE OFFICERS.
    Subdivision 1. Deadly force defined. For the purposes of this section, "deadly force" means
force which the actor uses with the purpose of causing, or which the actor should reasonably know
creates a substantial risk of causing, death or great bodily harm. The intentional discharge of a
firearm, other than a firearm loaded with less lethal munitions and used by a peace officer within
the scope of official duties, in the direction of another person, or at a vehicle in which another
person is believed to be, constitutes deadly force. "Less lethal munitions" means projectiles which
are designed to stun, temporarily incapacitate, or cause temporary discomfort to a person. "Peace
officer" has the meaning given in section 626.84, subdivision 1.
    Subd. 2. Use of deadly force. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 609.06 or 609.065,
the use of deadly force by a peace officer in the line of duty is justified only when necessary:
(1) To protect the peace officer or another from apparent death or great bodily harm;
(2) To effect the arrest or capture, or prevent the escape, of a person whom the peace officer
knows or has reasonable grounds to believe has committed or attempted to commit a felony
involving the use or threatened use of deadly force; or
(3) To effect the arrest or capture, or prevent the escape, of a person whom the officer
knows or has reasonable grounds to believe has committed or attempted to commit a felony
if the officer reasonably believes that the person will cause death or great bodily harm if the
person's apprehension is delayed.
    Subd. 3. No defense. This section and sections 609.06, 609.065 and 629.33 may not be used
as a defense in a civil action brought by an innocent third party.
History: 1978 c 736 s 2; 1986 c 444; 2001 c 127 s 1