Los Angeles Police officers must now exhaust all forms of non-lethal means before shooting a suspect.
The L.A. Police Commission approved a wide array of law enforcement reforms Tuesday including training for officers to help in de-escalation and verbal skills when faced with a violent perpetrator.
According to Police One, the academy already teaches recruits to use all non-lethal means prior to shooting their service weapon, but establishing a policy at the department level means LEO’s may be punished for not using another means instead of their firearm.
The officers’ union criticized the proposal saying it will only force cops to hesitate to fire their weapon, which places them in harm’s way, KPCC reported.
“Unfortunately, the Police Commission is once again pandering to a small group of professional protesters that have built a cottage industry out of attending and disrupting weekly police commission meetings. It’s sad. The commissioners are missing in action when it comes to ensuring neighborhoods have minimum patrol staffing levels or when it comes to improving officer safety,” The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the officers’ union, said in a statement in response to the reforms.
“They proffer zero solutions on reducing violent crime and they avoid any condemnation of those intent on breaking the law, possessing a gun, or shooting and killing a police officer. The commission has become nothing more than a group of pandering apologists in support of misinformed professional protestors. These latest batch of proposals are more of the same, solutions in search of a problem,” the LAPPL said.
Black Lives Matter activists were not present when the reforms were first announced, as screaming protesters from the group were thrown out of the room earlier, KPCC noted.