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How the Attorney General's Office investigates officer-involved shootings

PORTLAND (WGME) --The Attorney General's Office reviews every officer-involved shooting in Maine.

After a review of the cases, CBS 13 found the attorney general has deemed every shooting legally justified since 1995.

The Attorney General's Office declined an interview for this story, but did provide us with the guidelines they use in their investigation.

Investigators look at, "whether self-defense or the defense of others was reasonably generated by the facts."

Under Maine law, to be justified in using deadly force in self-defense, two requirements must be met.

First, the person must actually and reasonably believe deadly force is imminently threatened against them or someone else, and, second, the person must actually and reasonably believe deadly force is necessary to counter that imminent threat.

The review does not include whether the use of deadly force could have been avoided.

Jamesa Drake is an attorney with the ACLU of Maine.

She says in order to decide if a shooting was reasonable, it's crucial to ask whether or not it was preventable.

“We have to conduct a better more in-depth analysis of training and community resources, procedures,” Drake said. “We have to ask how these deaths could have been prevented or if they could have been prevented.”

According to state records, Maine officers have been involved in 121 shootings since 1995, with the most recent shooting happening in Waldoboro this weekend.

Right now states track this data on their own. The FBI is working on a system to track violent police encounters nationwide.

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