Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has announced the reworking of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s policy guiding how officers can use force while on the job.

The changes, which became effective immediately on Thursday, are:

  • Officers must give verbal warnings before using deadly force unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Officers cannot use force before trying to de-escalate situations when possible. The outlined strategies include disengagement, area containment, waiting on subjects, summoning reinforcements and calling in specialized units.
  • Police cannot use chokeholds unless they are in an emergency and do not have other weapons available.
  • Police cannot shoot at moving vehicles unless the people inside of them pose immediate deadly threats.
  • Officers are now required to intervene to stop their colleagues from using excessive force. They are also required to report when they see another officer use excessive force.

While BRPD Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said the department already trains officers in the practices announced by the administration, he agreed that writing them into policy was necessary to ensure that officers who do not follow them can be punished, the Advocate reports.

Broome’s pledge to implement new policies at BRPD was partially spurred by the shooting of Alton Sterling in July by a BRPD officer, an incident that sparked protests and rioting in the city. While Baton Rouge was experiencing the unrest, a gunman killed three officers and wounded three others. He was killed by police during the attack.

 

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