DOJ requires officers to intervene if they see another use excessive force as part of broader reform effort
The Biden order also is expected to encourage local and state law enforcement to meet minimum training and state certification standards, the people who have been briefed said.
The Justice Department’s use-of-force policy change, the first since 2004, is contained in a memo issued Friday by the attorney general. The President’s executive order also is expected to expand this policy to other federal law enforcement agencies outside the Justice Department, the people briefed said.
The new policy issued to Justice Department agencies — including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, US Marshals Service and FBI — takes effect in July.
“Officers will be trained in, and must recognize and act upon, the affirmative duty to intervene to prevent or stop, as appropriate, any officer from engaging in excessive force or any other use of force that violates the Constitution, other federal laws, or Department policies on the reasonable use of force,” the new policy reads.
It also says officers have a duty to render aid in these cases.
“It is the policy of the Department of Justice to value and preserve human life,” the policy reads. “Officers may use force only when no reasonably effective, safe, and feasible alternative appears to exist and may use only the level of force that a reasonable officer on the scene would use under the same or similar circumstances.”
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