The Los Angeles Police Commission has decided to make things more difficult for cops who will now, more than before, surely second guess every move they make in highly dangerous situations where split seconds are the difference between life and death. The commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to require that police officers attempt to “deescalate” situations before using force.
The commission vote. The Los Angeles Times reported:
The Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to require officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense encounters before firing their guns — a policy shift that marks a significant milestone in the board’s attempts to curb shootings by police.
The new rules formally incorporate a decades-old concept called “de-escalation” into the Los Angeles Police Department’s policy outlining how and when officers can use deadly force. As a result, officers can now be judged specifically on whether they did all they could to reduce tensions before resorting to their firearms.
The revised policy — approved at a meeting where activists denounced the fatal police shooting of a 31-year-old man in South L.A. last summer — tells officers they must try to de-escalate a situation “whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so” by taking more time to let it unfold, moving away from the person and trying to talk to him or her, and calling in other resources.
An extension of the past two years. Over the past two years, the civilian board has pushed LAPD higher ups to furnish officers on the streets with less lethal weapons and training to deescalate encounters whenever possible.
“This policy represents one of those key changes,” board president Matt Johnson said. “It reaffirms the commission’s and the department’s commitment to de-escalating incidents without compromising officers’ safety or their ability to safeguard the community.”
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and the union speak out. “Hopefully that will result in more lives saved,” Beck said.
The LAPD officers’ union noted: “Preserving innocent lives and de-escalating dangerous situations has always been, and will continue to be, a core value for Los Angeles police officers.”
Why is this important? Once again, the onus is placed completely on police officers and not the citizens on the other end to obey the law and officers’ orders.
That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be efforts to keep from unnecessary shootings, as I’d imagine most officers don’t want to have to use lethal force. However, there has to be accountability on both ends, and these pushes by social justice warriors don’t seem to want to address the other side.
Moreover, it sure seems like these efforts to constantly second-guess officers and not allow them to do their jobs will result in danger for law enforcement. If they have to second-guess everything they do in split-second decisions and end up choosing “deescalation” or weapons that are less effective, it could be extremely dangerous for them, and the public should they be in the vicinity.