Unable to find a publicly available “Use of Force Policy” Directive at either the City of Racine or Racine Police Department website, it would appear that Chief Art Howell has left that question “open for debate”; or perhaps hidden behind an open records request.
Posted 9:50 pm, September 15, 2015, by Bret Lemoine
RACINE — A police officer’s use of force was the subject of discussion inside Racine’s city hall on Tuesday evening, September 15th. The police chief addressed policies just a few weeks after cell phone video showing officers tasering and kneeing a wanted man sparked outrage.
In front of the Common Council’s committee of the whole, Racine Police Chief Art Howell was asked to address the department’s policies on ‘use of force.’
“When people comply, 95 percent of the time, there’s no problem,” said Howell.
FOX6 News asked the chief about one stat that was missing. We wanted to know how many cases have been investigated and determined that an officer was unjustified in their use of force.
“You can make an open records request for any of that data,” said Chief Howell.
A simple google search returned the following results –
Further research discovered that the Village of McFarland, WI Police Department provides a publicly available “Use of Force” Directive available on their website which has “adopted the system of Defensive and Arrest Tactics (commonly referred to as DAAT), techniques and mechanics sanctioned by the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board. This policy incorporates the Disturbance Resolution Model (See appendix A).
The following sections of the Wisconsin State Statutes are recognized as legal authority or privilege, within their defined limits, in the use of force:
939.45(4) Conduct in reasonable accomplishment of a lawful arrest.
939.48 Use of force in self-defense and defense of others.
939.49 Use of force (but not deadly force) in defense of property.
968.14 Use of force in executing a search warrant.
968.25 Authority for officers under defined circumstances to search a person during temporary questioning.”
The document is available for viewing at the link: http://www.mcfarland.wi.us/index.asp?SEC=B054DA5E-894E-4CD6-83B0-F99A03B27815&DE=20431E38-641F-4181-932D-381A0E85DEDD&Type=B_BASIC
Or you may download a copy from the link: MPD Use of Force Policy
So when is using lethal force authorized, in compliance with the current training manuals, published by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Law Enforcement Standards Board?
A. Deadly Force: Deadly force refers to the intentional use of a firearm or other instrument, the use of which would result in a high probability of death.
1. An officer may use deadly force when a subject has caused or imminently threatens to cause death or great bodily harm to the officer or another
2. Deadly force is to be used to respond to behavior, but only if no other reasonable option is available.
3. In a limited number of instances, an officer may use deadly force in attempting to make an arrest or prevent escape. The arrest must be for a serious offense in which the suspect has used or threatened to use deadly force against some member of the public, such as murder, rape, assault with a weapon, etc. The officer must reasonably believe there is no other way to make the arrest or retain custody of the person once arrested. Even if the suspect is fleeing from the officer, there has to have been a use or threat of use of deadly force by the suspect, in order to authorize deadly force by the officer.
4. Where feasible, before using deadly force, officers shall identify themselves and state their intent to use deadly force.
B. Less Than Lethal Force
1. Where deadly force is not justified, officers should attempt to de-escalate the incident and may only use that level of force that is objectively reasonable to bring the incident under control.
2. Officers are authorized to use departmental approved, nondeadly force techniques and issued equipment when one or more of the following apply:
a. To protect the officer or others from physical harm.
b. To restrain or subdue a resistant individual.
c. To bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.
Thanks to the McFarland Police Department for providing the public with a Directive on the Use of Force so that citizens can properly judge if Police Officers under the control of the Mayor have acted lawfully. Open and honest government should always be the rule; but in Racine County – it is severely lacking – it is because they have something to hide?
Let’s start with the taxpayer funded $100,000 settlement plus Lawsuit:
From Journal Times:
From Cop Crisis –