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Police leaders at odds over use-of-force reforms




Los Angeles Police Department officers in riot gear look at protestors following a prayer vigil against the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Los Angeles,California.
Los Angeles Police Department officers in riot gear look at protestors following a prayer vigil against the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Los Angeles,California.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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A police group's proposal that law enforcement officers be required to do more than what's minimally required by law in violent encounters has spurred anger and pushback from leading national groups representing chiefs and rank-and-file sworn officers.      

The Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank, last month unveiled its 30 new principles that re-envision how officers use force after national outrage over questionable shootings and violent arrests initially sparked by the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, police in 2014.

The police research group's recommendations include an unprecedented acknowledgement by police professionals that officers should go beyond the Supreme Court-adopted basic legal standard that asks what a reasonable officer would do in such situations, and encourage officers to focus on preserving all lives, not just their own.

The report states, “Agency use-of-force policies should go beyond the legal standard of “objective reasonableness” outlined in the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision Graham v. Connor. This landmark decision should be seen as ‘necessary but not sufficient,’ because it does not provide police with sufficient guidance on use of force.” (Listen to AirTalk debate Graham v. Connor here.)

Two of the most influential police groups, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Fraternal Order of Police, said they have problems with the proposals.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police says it's "extremely concerned" about recommendations that it worries could ultimately endanger officers and the public.


With files from the Associated Press.

Guests:

Tim Williams, founder of TT Williams Investigations, a private investigation firm in Los Angeles; Retired LAPD Senior Detective Supervisor (Robbery-Homicide Division), 1974-2003; Expert on police procedure and use-of-force for state and federal court

David A. Klinger, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Missouri--St.Louis ; former LAPD patrol officer