Wisconsin Law on Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement

July 2022

Wisconsin has a statute that requires law enforcement officers to use every effort to preserve and protect human life and the safety of all persons.  Wis. Stat. 175.44  The policy further provides that deadly force should only be used as a last resort when the officer reasonably believes that all other options have been exhausted or would be ineffective.  A law enforcement officer may also use deadly force to stop behavior that has caused or imminently threatens to cause the death to the law enforcement officer or another person.  Wisconsin law states the if both practicable and feasible the law enforcement officer should give a verbal warning before using deadly force.


If you have a relative who has suffered a death due to deadly force used by law enforcement, you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney.  A decision by a district attorney not to prosecute an officer for the use of deadly force does not stop a family from filing a lawsuit for a violation of the deceased's civil rights.