Overall, I would say that it’s a pretty well-written draft
Emphasizing the importance of human life…
“There’s nothing more important than that,”
The man who’s been tasked with overseeing a slew of changes to how and when Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers use deadly force says the department agrees with many of the recommended changes its use of force policies made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada this week.
Capt. Kirk Primas, told the Las Vegas Review Journal Metro agreed with the ACLU’s suggestion to add language that officers “emphasize the importance of human life” when using force. “There’s nothing more important than that,” he said.
The 62-page report released Monday by the ACLU compared the LVMPD’s policies to those of agencies in six other cities, including those in Los Angeles, Denver and Washington, D.C., as well “best practices” nationwide.
Some of the suggestions had been arrived at independently by the department’s own internal review team, even before the ACLU the delivered a preliminary copy of the report to department officials last week
“We spent the last week kind of looking at their recommendations a comparing them to ours,” Primas said. “Overall, I would say that it’s a pretty well-written draft.”
The ACLU isn’t the only organization reviewing Metro’s use of force policies. Policy changes will be at the heart of several reviews by officials looking into how and why officers shoot at people. In addition to the ACLU’s report, Primas’ team is doing its own review and the U.S. Department of Justice has contracted with a nonprofit group. The Center for Naval Analysis, to study the agency’s shootings over the last two decades.
Whatever changes Primas’s team decides to implement will appear in an updated use of force policy the department expects to release in early May. The department’s use of force policy hasn’t been updated for more than a decade. Primas said, while most of the changes will be in policy language, man will focus on some of the latest trends in policing theory, such as emphasizing de-escalation techniques to officers, another policy recommended by the ACLU.
The ACLU also suggested Metro modify its Taser policy to impose a limit on the amount of times a suspect can be tased. Metro agrees as the department implemented a policy where officers are not allowed to use a Taser more than three times on a suspect. At that point the officer must consider the device “ineffective” and look to other means to subdue the person. Nothing has yet been mentioned as to whether or not Metro will bring their Taser policy in line with a recent court ruling that Tasers may not be used simply to force compliance.
While that have often been considered non-lethal tools, Tasers have been at the center of hundreds of deaths nationwide, including several in Las Vegas.
In light of Decembers deadly shooting of unarmed veteran Stanley Gibson, Metro has also revised its policies about using fire less-lethal beanbag rounds in tandem with live-round rifles. Officers will now be required to alert dispatchers every time they take a rifle out of their car, and officers must make certain to communicate any plan to fire a beanbag shotgun with all officers on the scene.
Miscommunication like this was blamed as a factor in Gibson’s death. Officer Jesus Arevalo fired an AR-15 rifle several times into the back of Gibson’s car after he heard another officer fired a beanbag shotgun in an attempt to break one of the vehicle’s windows in order to safely remove Gibson from his car.
Other recommendations include requiring officers to record every time they points their firearm at a suspect and changes to the department’s foot pursuit policy, bringing in more in agreement with national standards.
- ACLU Ask the DOJ to Reconsider Investigating Metros FOIS’ (clarkcountycriminalcops.wordpress.com)