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Police Reform Ideas

"..... and justice for all"

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Breonna Taylor (1993 - 2020)

There are no national standards for use-of-force, so standards and practices are determined by states and local jurisdictions. Some cities and police departments have already adopted some of these ideas (e.g., banning chokeholds), but overall such efforts are limited in scope. 

  • Require or promote de-escalation techniques whenever possible
  • Establish a force continuum that restricts the most severe types of force to the most extreme situations
  • Create clear policy restrictions on the use of each police weapon and tactic
  • Require officers to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers and to report such incidents immediately to a supervisor
  • Require officers to give verbal warning in all situations before shooting or using other forms of deadly violence
  • Require police to exhaust all non-violent or less violent alternatives before shooting
  • Ban chokeholds, strangleholds, or neck restraints of any kind
  • Ban head strikes with a hard object
  • Ban the use of force against people already in handcuffs
  • Ban officers from shooting at moving vehicles in all cases
  • De-militarize the police
    • In recent decades, many police forces have acquired surplus military equipment. Cities and states should evaluate how much of this equipment is actually relevant and/or necessary for police work
    • Authorities should ask if such equipment make police feel more invulnerable and make them more aggressive
    • A fair number of police are military veterans. Do they bring attitudes from the battlefield where opponents are viewed as enemies into policing and treat civilians as enemies? 
    • When the protests started after the killing of George Floyd, police came dressed in riot gear. What kind of message does this send?