Big policy change in the works E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

The LAPD may be making major changes to the way it judges police shootings. The commission said it will consider a proposal to take into account an officer's decision to pull the trigger in addition to the actions in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Up until now, the commission has focused almost exclusively on the narrow question of whether an officer faced a deadly threat at the moment he fired his or her weapon.

However, if the changes are adopted, the new approach might help end the debate over whether the commission can consider whether an officer’s actions helped create the situation where deadly force was necessary.

"This is one of the most significant policy decisions we've made in my seven years on the commission," Commissioner Robert Saltzman said.

The change would only involve the addition of a few words to the existing policy language.

But as Saltzman told the Los Angeles Times,  "the clarification is significant. Some have interpreted our current policy to suggest the commission should ignore all the officer's pre-force activity, no matter how relevant those earlier actions are."


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