Revising the rules of engagement

David Couper’s blog today offers a message that police leaders could use to convince their command staff and officers that policing is facing such a serious crisis of legitimacy over deadly force that long-established policies and tactics must be reconsidered.

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2 Responses to “Revising the rules of engagement”

  1. Ashley Says:

    Chief Couper and I have previously discussed his point regarding Graham and fear. In my view, it’s not as if the cops believe “I was in fear for my life” is some kind of incantation that allows them to shoot without justification. They understand the fear has to justify the objectively reasonable use of force. But, in the vernacular, no cop is going to say “I was in fear for my life, and that fear was objectively reasonable, therefore, I fired my weapon.” No one speaks like that in ordinary conversation.

    I don’t hold this view in a vacuum, either. I’m in the Third Circuit, where the use of force analysis includes pre-seizure conduct, which, as a practical matter, is a much higher standard than moment-in-time.

    However, and more substantively, I agree with the Ninth Circuit that “a simple statement that an officer is in fear for his life is not an objective factor.” But that statement isn’t the end of the inquiry. In fact, quite the opposite. It’s the starting point. Courts (and agencies) will determine whether the use of force resulting from that fear was objectively reasonable.

  2. Mark Bond Says:

    Reblogged this on e-Roll Call Magazine.

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