Or. Chief Wants To Curb Officer Shots At Vehicles


Portland, Or., Police Chief Derrick Foxworth wants to restrict officers from firing at moving vehicles, unless they have no other way to escape a deadly threat. The proposed change to the use-of-force policy is one of several Foxworth is seeking in response to community concerns, a report by outside consultants who studied police shootings, and the police department’s own review of its procedures and those of major police agencies, reports The Oregonian. “If you look at some of the shootings we’ve had here in years past where officers have fired at moving vehicles, it’s honestly been ineffective,” Foxworth said. “It didn’t have the desired result or outcome. A better option would have been to seek cover or reposition.”

Until now, officers had been taught that a moving vehicle heading at them could constitute a deadly threat. They were permitted to fire if they thought their lives or the lives of others were in jeopardy. Boston, New York, and Chicago also prohibit officers from firing into moving vehicles unless someone inside is shooting. Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina who studies police shootings nationwide, praised Foxworth’s proposed changes. “That’s exactly what they should be doing,” Alpert said. “For officer safety reasons, your attention needs to be on getting away, out of the path of the car and into safety.”

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/111045970118140.xml

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