8 Can’t Wait Initiative Considered
Community Interactions with Police
One of the primary goals of the City of Beaverton is to be a welcoming and inclusive place. Our police department strives to reflect those values and to be responsive to the needs of everyone in our community. In the end, we want everyone to feel safe and to feel as though they have been treated with respect and dignity after interacting with our police department.
The Beaverton Police Department (BPD) is aware of movements calling for police reform from organizations like Campaign Zero and their 8 Can’t Wait initiative. Like Campaign Zero, the Beaverton Police Department strives to improve community interactions with the police by reducing the number of violent encounters. The Beaverton Police Department has considered all eight tenants in the “8 Can’t Wait” initiative, and currently has policies and training related to each of them. Differences between BPD polices and the reform practices will require pragmatic examination of policy, law, and possible outcomes.
Below, in bold, are the eight policies/procedures presented by the “8 Can’t Wait” initiative and reviewed by the Beaverton Police Department at the request of our community. Subsequently, BPD’s current policy/practice is included in plain text with actual BPD policy language in italics.
- Ban chokeholds & strangleholds: The Beaverton Police Department does not train our officers these tactics. We teach/train to control the head, hips, and limbs. BPD specifically teaches officers to AVOID the neck/throat area during any use of force situation. We do not ban these tactics because officers may need to use them in deadly force situations to defend others or themselves.
For more information please refer to BPD Policy 300 Use of Force and Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decisions Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner.
- Require de-escalation: The Beaverton Police Department has trained officers for years in de-escalation techniques with the goal of reducing risk of injury to everyone involved in an altercation. During our 2020 annual training, officers attended a class on de-escalation which included a Jim Glennon video and scenario-based training.
- Require warning before shooting: The Beaverton Police Department does not require a warning because officers may not have time to safely provide one prior to acting to protect themselves or others.
The Beaverton Police Department policy is as follows: BPD Policy 300.4 (b) “Under such circumstances, a verbal warning should precede the use of deadly force, where feasible.” For more information please read SCOTUS decisions Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner and 9th Circuit Court Decision Deorle v. Rutherford.
- Exhaust all alternatives before shooting: The Beaverton Police Department does not require all alternatives to be used before shooting because officers may not have the time. The Beaverton Police Department policy is based on SCOTUS decisions Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner and other courts rulings such as 9th Circuit Court decision Scott v. Henrich. BPD Policy 300.4 Deadly Force Applications allows officers to use deadly force under the following circumstances:
- An officer may use deadly force to protect him/herself or others from what he/she reasonably believes would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
- An officer may use deadly force to stop a fleeing subject when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed, or is likely to commit, a felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious bodily injury or death, and the officer reasonably believes that there is an imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death to any other person if the subject is not immediately apprehended. Under such circumstances, a verbal warning should precede the use of deadly force, where feasible. Imminent does not mean immediate or instantaneous. An imminent danger may exist even if the suspect is not at that very moment pointing a weapon at someone. For example, an imminent danger may exist if an officer reasonably believes any of the following:
- The person has a weapon or is attempting to access one and it is reasonable to believe the person intends to use it against the officer or another.
- The person is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death without a weapon and it is reasonable to believe the person intends to do so.
- Duty to intervene: BPD Policy 300.2.1 The Beaverton Police Department policy is as follows: DUTY TO INTERCEDE “Any officer present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances shall, when in a position to do so, intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force. An officer who observes another employee use force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law should promptly report these observations to a supervisor.”
- Ban shooting at moving vehicles: The Beaverton Police Department does not ban officers from shooting at moving vehicles but our policy limits it.
BPD Policy 300.4.1 SHOOTING AT OR FROM MOVING VEHICLES “Shots fired at or from a moving vehicle are rarely effective. Officers should move out of the path of an approaching vehicle instead of discharging their firearm at the vehicle or any of its occupants. An officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others. Officers should not shoot at any part of a vehicle in an attempt to disable the vehicle.”
- Require use of force continuum: The Beaverton Police Department trains and requires officers to use objectively reasonable force in accordance with established case law such as Graham v. Connor and Tennessee v. Garner. Tools and tactics that are more likely to cause injury, serious injury or death are restricted in their use.
- Require comprehensive reporting: BPD Policy 300.5 The Beaverton Police Department policy is as follows: REPORTING THE USE OF FORCE “Any use of force by a member of this department shall be documented promptly, completely and accurately in an appropriate report, depending on the nature of the incident. The officer should articulate the factors perceived and why he/she believed the use of force was reasonable under the circumstances.” Additionally, we conduct administrative reviews of use force under the following circumstances:
- A “Use of Force Incident Review” will occur if there is a physical injury to a community member or officer, use or attempted use of physical force, or as deemed appropriate by sergeant or lieutenant.
- A “Use of Force Review Board” will occur if the Professional Standards Division or Command Staff deems it necessary, or use of force involves a less lethal deployment, Taser, canine bite, and/or Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver.
- An “Internal Affairs Investigation” will occur if a policy/ethics/civil rights violation occurred or criminal behavior is suspected.