The Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday unanimously approved a revised use of force policy for the Los Angeles Police Department to comply with a California law that goes into effect on Jan. 1.
To comply with Assembly Bill 26, which was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 30, the department’s use of force policy was changed to:
- require an officer who is present and observes another officer using excessive force to immediately report it, whereas the previous policy did not explicitly state that reporting had to be immediate;
- prohibit an officer who sustained an excessive force complaint from training other officers for a period of at least three years from the date of the complaint;
- prohibit any retaliation against those who report excessive force and require that any incident of retaliation must be reported immediately and considered a serious misconduct; and
- require officers to intercede when present and observing another officer using excessive force, and failure to intercede will result in discipline in the same manner as the officer who perpetrated the excessive force.
According to the policy, interceding includes physically stopping the excessive force and recording the incident on a body-worn camera. The new policy’s training will be added to in-service and recruit training.
The department’s use of non-deadly force policy allows officers to use “objectively reasonable” force to defend themselves, defend others, effect an arrest or detention, prevent escape or overcome resistance.
Deadly force is permitted if the officer “reasonably believes” that the force is necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or another person, or to apprehend a fleeing person for any felony that threatened or caused death or serious bodily injury if the officer “reasonably believes” that death or serious bodily injury could happen to another person if the suspect is not immediately apprehended.