Baltimore Police Review Weapons Policy After Trainee Accidentally Shot


Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts announced an across-the-board review of how city officers use weapons after the accidental shooting of a trainee during exercises last week, the Baltimore Sun reports. Batts said he will review how police use guns, Tasers, and other weapons in “every facet of policing this city.” “We had a major procedural breakdown in our systems, and we’re working to correct those,” Batts told reporters as instruction resumed at the academy after a weeklong suspension. “We’re expanding this [review] to ensure we have proper protocols and we’re serving this city in a constitutional way.”

Batts released no new details on the incident that left a University of Maryland police officer battling for his life. Batts “knows what happened out there” and “has a good feel for the procedural breakdown.” An independent panel that looked into the “friendly fire” death of Baltimore Officer William Torbit in 2011 focused on fatal officer-involved shootings and procedures on use of deadly force. The review, which cost $75,000, led to policy changes, including making sure that police conducted “after-action” training reviews to analyze shooting incidents and learn from them. The panel recommended that the Police Department enhance firearms training and emphasize alternatives to lethal force. James “Chips” Stewart, the law enforcement consultant who chaired the panel, said there is still plenty of room for police to further evaluate their use of weapons.

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