The U.S. Justice Department has issued an updated use-of-force policy by federal law enforcement agents for the first time in 18 years to limit ‘police violence’ that will take effect on July 19, 2022. The new policy was approved by the heads of the ATF, DEA, FBI, and USMS.
The memo, dated May 20, states, “the policy reflects the excellence we have come to expect from the Department’s officers and agents while protecting their safety and the safety of the people and communities we serve.”
The new policy will order its federal officers to intervene if they see any officers engaged in excessive force and to administer medical aid injured by police.
“Officers may use only the force that is objectively reasonable to effectively gain control of an incident, while protecting the safety of the officer and others,” the memo stated. “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.”
The Hill reported:
The memo, signed Friday but not publicly released until Monday, comes just days before the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, whose death as he was pinned down by a now-former Minneapolis police officer sparked nationwide protests.
“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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in the memo.
The policy applies to officers of the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshal Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The new policy bars use of deadly force on a subject who is fleeing and also prohibits shooting into a moving vehicle solely to disable it. It also bars deadly force on those seen as a threat only to themselves.
“It is the policy of the Department of Justice to value and preserve human life,” Garland wrote.