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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 2.139 Officer Shootings

On September 1, 2015, Texas enacted Article 2.139 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires law enforcement agencies to report officer-involved injuries or deaths to the office of the attorney general. The purpose of the law is to increase transparency and accountability in cases where a peace officer discharges a firearm, causing injury or death to another.


The law defines a "deadly weapon" as a firearm or any object that is manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, or any object that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. An "officer-involved injury or death" means an incident during which a peace officer discharges a firearm, causing injury or death to another.


The office of the attorney general is required to create a written and electronic form for reporting by law enforcement agencies. The form must include the following information:

  1. The date and location of the incident.

  2. The age, gender, and race or ethnicity of each peace officer involved in the incident.

  3. The age, gender, and race or ethnicity of each injured or deceased person involved in the incident, if known.

  4. Whether the person was injured or died as a result of the incident.

  5. Whether each injured or deceased person used, exhibited, or was carrying a deadly weapon during the incident.

  6. Whether each peace officer involved in the incident was on duty during the incident.

  7. Whether each peace officer involved in the incident was responding to an emergency call or a request for assistance and, if so, whether the officer responded to that call or request with one or more other peace officers.

  8. Whether the incident occurred during the execution of a warrant or a hostage, barricade, or other emergency situation.

The law requires law enforcement agencies employing an officer involved in an incident to complete and submit a written or electronic report, using the form created by the office of the attorney general, not later than the 30th day after the date of an officer-involved injury or death. The report must include all information described in the form.

The office of the attorney general must post a copy of the report on its website not later than the fifth day after the date of receipt of the report submitted by the law enforcement agency. Also, not later than March 1 of each year, the office of the attorney general must submit a report regarding all officer-involved injuries or deaths that occurred during the preceding year to the governor and the standing legislative committees with primary jurisdiction over criminal justice matters. The report must include the total number of officer-involved injuries or deaths, a summary of the reports submitted to the office, and a copy of each report submitted.


Overall, Texas law Article 2.139 requires law enforcement agencies to report officer-involved injuries or deaths to the office of the attorney general using a specific form. The law aims to increase transparency and accountability in cases where peace officers discharge firearms causing injury or death. The office of the attorney general must compile and report the information to the governor and the relevant legislative committees annually.





Art. 2.139. REPORTS REQUIRED FOR OFFICER-INVOLVED INJURIES OR DEATHS. (a) In this article: (1) "Deadly weapon" means: (A) a firearm or any object manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or (B) any object that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. (2) "Officer-involved injury or death" means an incident during which a peace officer discharges a firearm causing injury or death to another. (b) The office of the attorney general by rule shall create a written and electronic form for the reporting by law enforcement agencies of an officer-involved injury or death. The form must include spaces to report only the following information: (1) the date on which the incident occurred; (2) the location where the incident occurred; (3) the age, gender, and race or ethnicity of each peace officer involved in the incident; (4) if known, the age, gender, and race or ethnicity of each injured or deceased person involved in the incident; (5) whether the person was injured or died as a result of the incident; (6) whether each injured or deceased person used, exhibited, or was carrying a deadly weapon during the incident; (7) whether each peace officer involved in the incident was on duty during the incident; (8) whether each peace officer involved in the incident was responding to an emergency call or a request for assistance and, if so, whether the officer responded to that call or request with one or more other peace officers; and (9) whether the incident occurred during or as a result of: (A) the execution of a warrant; or (B) a hostage, barricade, or other emergency situation. (c) Not later than the 30th day after the date of an officerinvolved injury or death, the law enforcement agency employing an officer involved in the incident must complete and submit a written or electronic report, using the form created under Subsection (b), to the office of the attorney general. The report must include all information described in Subsection (b). (d) Not later than the fifth day after the date of receipt of a report submitted under Subsection (c), the office of the attorney general shall post a copy of the report on the office's Internet website. (e) Not later than March 1 of each year, the office of the attorney general shall submit a report regarding all officer-involved injuries or deaths that occurred during the preceding year to the governor and the standing legislative committees with primary jurisdiction over criminal justice matters. The report must include: (1) the total number of officer-involved injuries or deaths; (2) a summary of the reports submitted to the office under this article; and (3) a copy of each report submitted to the office under this article. Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 516 (H.B. 1036), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015. Amended by: Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 808 (H.B. 245), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.


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