Monday, January 25, 2016

Assessing police use of force policies

Austin, Houston and San Antonio figure into a chart from the national Black Lives Matter campaign's new police use of force project, with Houston PD's use of force policy faring particularly badly by their analysis.They based their analysis on four criteria:
  1. Failing to make life preservation the primary principle shaping police decisions about using force
  2. Failing to require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force
  3. Allowing officers to choke or strangle civilians, in many cases where less lethal force could be used instead, resulting in the unnecessary death or serious injury of civilians
  4. Failing to require officers to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to a supervisor.
And here's the chart assessing use of force policies on those grounds:

11 comments:

Jardinero1 said...

But doesn't one have to compare the policy with the results? How does HPD compare with its peers? Do Houston Police Officers use less force or more force?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

The data on that is secret, Jardinero, but we know Houston has major problems with use of force and ineffective discipline.

Anonymous said...

Do the figures/assessment on Houston take in consideration the Katrina refugee matter?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

That was quite a long time ago, 7:34 (10.5 years), and its effects were at most a temporary statistical blip, and barely that. So, yes.

Anonymous said...

Great job at reporting this GFB!
Now, TDCJ has had similar, and worse problems for a century. Any stats on that?
Thanks.
For the general public these are interesting findings.
For those who care, these stats are unacceptable.
For the victims of police and TDCJ abuses and brutality, these stats represent their nightmares, grief, and anger.
And for the politicians? They mean "re-election" as the general public may interpret the data as "being tough on crime."
For Texas: another shameful chapter in its shameful history of racism, bigotry, and third-world-country politics. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

DENVER — The death of a 112-pound jail inmate who choked on his own vomit suffocated after Denver sheriff's deputies restrained him during a psychotic episode is drawing new attention to the way he was subdued: face-down on his stomach with five deputies holding him to the floor.

Experts warn the common but risky police tactic of restraining someone in a prone position can be lethal, especially on those with medical problems and the mentally ill, whose distress is sometimes confused with resistance.
http://www.correctionsone.com/investigation/articles/67867187-Denver-jail-death-puts-new-light-on-common-restraint-tactic

Richard Boland said...

Austin Police officers just view their policies as "guidelines" anyway.

Anonymous said...

Remove §9.51(e) to give them an "out".

Anonymous said...

Penal Code

Anonymous said...

Just read the online version of the Houston Press. Had an unredacted copy of HPD's policy posted online. Weird stuff was redacted as if HPD was protecting themselves from disciplining their officers for violating policy instead of redacting tactical information to protect officers in the field. They redacted, for example, instructions requiring all officers to carry batons when responding to disturbance calls. They also redacted portions that made the department look good such as their procedures when someone was maced. Weird. :~)

Anonymous said...

Redacted versus unredacted use-of-force policy.

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/this-is-what-hpd-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about-its-use-of-force-policy-8105389