On Tuesday the Los Angeles Police Commission passed a proposal to give LAPD officers more training before deploying lethal force.
The commission also said there needs to be an “increase [in] the number of staff who review how officers use less serious force, such as less-lethal weapons or punches, to take someone into custody.” The argument behind new requirements for less-lethal force is that such force is used more often than lethal.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the commission also wants the LAPD to increase the amount of information released when an officer-involved shooting occurs.” Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa said, “After a shooting occurs, there are often questions from the community — and rightfully so — about what happened and whether the shooting was necessary. I believe transparency is vitally important in addressing those concerns.”
The commission’s vote was “unanimous” and “reflects a nationwide atmosphere of heightened scrutiny of police use of force and demands for greater openness about why officers fire their guns.”
The union representing LAPD officers criticized the commission for supporting new requirements for officers while rejecting calls to increase the number of officers on the street. The union’s board of directors released a statement, saying, “The commission has become nothing more than a group of pandering apologists in support of misinformed professional protesters. These latest batch of proposals are more of the same, solutions in search of a problem.”
Breitbart News reported that Chicago Police Department officials proposed new use of force restrictions on October 7, including a requirement that officers consider the race of the suspect before drawing their guns. A female Chicago officer was beaten to the point of hospitalization two days before the new proposals were issued. She described thinking she was going to be killed, yet she refused to draw her gun for fear of a public backlash.
As in LA, the union representing Chicago police officers was not pleased with the proposals. The New York Times quoted union president Dean Angelo Sr. saying:
At the end of the day, when an officer is confronted in that alley or an officer is confronted in a life-or-death situation, they are going to do what they is necessary to go home. If they getting written up for it, so be it. My concern is that these guys and girls go home to their families.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.