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Police Use of Force Project


How police use of force policies help to enable police violence.

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Police Use of Force Project


How police use of force policies help to enable police violence.

 

POLICE USE OF FORCE POLICIES LACK BASIC PROTECTIONS AGAINST Police violence

These policies often fail to include common-sense limits on police use of force, including: 

  1. Failing to make life preservation the primary principle shaping police decisions about using force

  2. Failing to require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force

  3. Allowing officers to choke or strangle civilians, in many cases where less lethal force could be used instead, resulting in the unnecessary death or serious injury of civilians

  4. Failing to require officers to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to a supervisor

*Additional ways that police use of force policies fail to limit police violence are mentioned on the next page.

 
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Use of Force Policy Review


We reviewed the rules governing police use of force in America's largest city police departments to determine whether they include meaningful protections against police violence.

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Use of Force Policy Review


We reviewed the rules governing police use of force in America's largest city police departments to determine whether they include meaningful protections against police violence.

POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICIES DEFINING WHEN AND how POLICE USE FORCE

Additional findings from the reviewing police use of force policies include:

  


Examples of PROBLEMATIC Police Use of Force RULES

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Use of Force Lacks Transparency


Important information about police use of force is hidden from public view.

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Use of Force Lacks Transparency


Important information about police use of force is hidden from public view.

POLICE OFTEN KEEP USE OF FORCE INFORMATION HIDDEN FROM PUBLIC VIEW

  1. Baltimore, Houston, St. Louis, and New York police departments do not make their use of force policies available online

  2. Many police departments redact significant portions of their use of force policies before making them public

  3. Only three of the seventeen police departments in our analysis require police to report every time they used force, including incidents where police point a firearm at civilians.

  4. Minneapolis, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Seattle police departments do not post police shootings data online. Other police departments, including Philadelphia and Houston, routinely refuse to release the names of people their officers kill.


Examples of Redacted Use of Force Policies

Houston Police Department


El Paso Police Department