When a reasonable announcement is totally crazy

Well, on the surface, this from the LAPD sounds good (via LA Times):

The Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to require officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense encounters before firing their guns [emphasis mine]— a policy shift that marks a significant milestone in the board’s attempts to curb shootings by police.

The new rules formally incorporate a decades-old concept called “de-escalation” into the Los Angeles Police Department’s policy outlining how and when officers can use deadly force. As a result, officers can now be judged specifically on whether they did all they could to reduce tensions before resorting to their firearms…

The revised policy — approved at a meeting where activists denounced the fatal police shooting of a 31-year-old man in South L.A. last summer — tells officers they must try to de-escalate a situation “whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so” by taking more time to let it unfold, moving away from the person and trying to talk to him or her, and calling in other resources.

What??!! How is that not the policy already?  Really, existing policy was shoot first, deescalate later?  This twitter take very much captured it for me:

So, yes, good.  Step in the right direction.  That said, tells us so much that this is a new policy.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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