San Diego Police Department
Police Department Use of Force Policy
FOIA Request Submitted Via MuckRock
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:
- Failing to make life preservation the primary principle shaping police decisions about using force
- Failing to require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force
- 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
- Failing to require officers to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to a supervisor
WHAT IS THE POLICE USE OF FORCE PROJECT?
Today, we launch The Police Use of Force Project, examining the ways in which police departments’ use of force policies help to enable police violence. Visit the website at UseOfForceProject.org.
WHY ARE WE FOCUSING ON POLICE USE OF FORCE POLICIES?
The Police Use of Force Project expands upon our initial recommendations in the “Limit Use of Force” section of our comprehensive platform to end police violence, Campaign Zero.
Our analysis discovered that police department use of force policies often fail to include common sense limits on how and when police use force against civilians. Most police departments in our analysis did not have policies that require officers to de-escalate situations, when possible, or refrain from using life-threatening moves such as chokeholds. Fewer than half require officers to intervene when they witness another officer using excessive force. And several of the nation’s largest police departments don’t even make their use of force policies public.
Our analysis also shows that while many police departments have adopted value statements claiming to prioritize the preservation of life, their actual use of force policies do not reflect this commitment.For example, while Baltimore City Police Department’s use of force policy claims protecting life is its “highest priority,” their training manual explicitly instructs officers, when deemed appropriate, to shoot unarmed civilians, recommending that police shoot areas of the body where it is most likely to result in death.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Review the latest study of police use of force policies by visiting UseofForceProject.org and also become familiar with the police use of force policy in your respective city. We have created the first comprehensive public database of police use of force policies and it is important that you familiarize yourself with them.
In the coming weeks, we will be forming a collective of legal scholars, academics, and activists to continue analyzing police use of force policies in the nation’s largest 100 cities as we work to develop a model use of force policy that is fair and in the interest of the public good.
If you would like to assist us in this project, please reply to this e-mail directly.
// DeRay, Netta, Brittany, & Sam
P.S. MuckRock has been incredible partner in this project by creating a citizen-led platform that allowed us to FOIA the police use of force policies.
|# of people the police killed in 2015: 1,196
# of people the police have killed to-date in 2016: 44
# of days to-date that the police have not killed someone in 2016: 2