8CANTWAIT

The #8CANTWAIT campaign calls for law enforcement to adopt the the following policies:

  1. BAN CHOKEHOLDS & STRANGLEHOLDS
  2. REQUIRE DE-ESCALATION
  3. REQUIRE WARNING BEFORE SHOOTING
  4. REQUIRES EXHAUST ALL ALTERNATIVES BEFORE SHOOTING
  5. DUTY TO INTERVENE
  6. BAN SHOOTING AT MOVING VEHICLES
  7. REQUIRE USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM
  8. REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE REPORTING

Policy Presentation

Police Chief Brent Phelps gave a presentation on #8CANTWAIT to the City of Lenoir City Council Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Chief Phelps discussed the City of Lenoir Police Department policies related to the campaign. The presentation starts at 9 minutes and 30 seconds.

City of Lenoir Police Department Policies

Below are the City of Lenoir Police Department (LPD) policies relating to the eight and some explanations from Police Chief Brent Phelps.

1. BAN CHOKEHOLDS & STRANGLEHOLDS

LPD POLICY: “The use of vascular neck restraints by properly trained officers shall be considered a viable option when other methods of control and/or defense have failed or are diminished. A vascular neck restraint in no way should affect the airway of the suspect.”

  • "The purpose of this technique is to allow an officer to control a resisting suspect without having to strike them with fists or batons. This is a method for officers in to use to attempt to stop a suspect without injuring them. This is an area of debate for our profession and the current climate in our country." Chief Phelps
  • "The department’s leadership team is reviewing the policy for the use of the vascular neck restraint to determine the best option of force in stopping a suspect’s actions in these situations." - Chief Phelps

2. REQUIRE DE-ESCALATION

  • "Our department encourages by policy and practice the use of de-escalation in dealing with members of the public. We routinely have de-escalation training for officers and send some officers to specific training sessions for de-escalation." - Chief Phelps
  • "We have been working to have all our officers attend the 40 hour training class “CIT, which is Critical Incident Training.” Our practice is to always attempt to de-escalate situations and force is a last resort if possible." - Chief Phelps

3. REQUIRE WARNING BEFORE SHOOTING

LPD POLICY: The force used by an Officer shall be the minimum degree reasonably necessary, under the circumstances at the time, to overcome the suspect’s level of resistance. Officers shall never use more force than is reasonably necessary at the time to control a suspect.

  • "Our use of force policy does not mandate a warning before an officer fires a weapon. Officers are encouraged to de-escalate and use other methods of control if reasonably necessary before using deadly force." - Chief Phelps

4. REQUIRES EXHAUST ALL ALTERNATIVES BEFORE SHOOTING

  • "Officers are trained to use other options first if reasonably necessary at the time. It is not practical or realistic to mandate that officers ’exhaust all alternatives.’" - Chief Phelps
  • "If we get to place where we do not allow Officers to protect themselves against acts of violence, we will have a hard time finding anyone to serve our communities as Law Enforcement Officers." - Chief Phelps

5. DUTY TO INTERVENE

LPD POLICY: Officers of the Lenoir Police Department are required to intervene, if a reasonable opportunity exists, when they know that another Officer is using excessive force.

  • "For more than two decades the law in almost every federal circuit has been clearly established that officers have a duty to intervene when unreasonable force is being used as long as it is apparent to the officer that unreasonable force is being used and there is an opportunity to safely intervene." - Chief Phelps

6. BAN SHOOTING AT MOVING VEHICLES

LPD POLICY: Firing at a moving vehicle is prohibited except where the immediate probability of serious injury or death exists for a police officer and/or for an innocent third party if the Officer does not do so. Before discharging a firearm at a moving vehicle, Officers must reasonably believe that the only immediate means of protecting themselves and/or an innocent third party is the use of deadly force.

  • "If someone is using a moving vehicle as a weapon, officers may need to fire at the person and vehicle." - Chief Phelps

7. REQUIRE USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM

Lenoir Police Control Options ChartLPD refers to a continuum as a Control Options Chart.

LPD POLICY: The Lenoir Police Department Use of Force Options Chart is a model to show the various use of force options available to trained Officers for the effective and reasonable control of suspect resistance, based upon suspects actions and the Officer’s perception of threat.”

LPD POLICY: The force used by an Officer shall be the minimum degree reasonably necessary, under the circumstances at the time, to overcome the suspect’s level of resistance. Officers shall never use more force than is reasonably necessary at the time to control a suspect.

8. REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE REPORTING

LPD POLICY: When an Officer uses force, he/she will submit a Use of Force Report by the end of their next tour of duty.

  • "Our Officers are required to report and document all incidents in which force was used. Reviews are done for the purpose of ensuring compliance with department policy and coaching for best practices." Chief Phelps
  • "Our department requires officers to report pointing a firearm at a citizen, even if they do not discharge the weapon. This has been in our policy my entire 25 years at the Lenoir Police Department." - Chief Phelps