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8 Can't Wait

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National criminal justice reform advocates created the #8cantwait campaign at regarding eight policies intended to reduce violent interactions involving police officers.

Below is a brief analysis of Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) policies in comparison with the #8cantwait list. (Click here for a printable flyer.)

In general, narrow exceptions included in OKCPD policies allow officers to act differently in extreme situations. For example, an officer arriving to an active shooting scene who encounters a shooter firing into a crowd could immediately use deadly force. You can see our full Policy and Procedure Manual here.

Ban choke holds and strangleholds: Not authorized or taught in any OKCPD training.

We do not teach, authorize or allow choke holds, strangleholds or lateral vascular neck restraint tactics. We have no plans to ever change this and allow this to be acceptable. We are drafting a Chief’s Directive to specifically document this.

Require de-escalation: Established in OKCPD Procedure 153.0 “De-Escalation”

OKCPD has had a formalized de-escalation procedure since 2018. It requires de-escalation to be evaluated every time force is used. A Use of Force Screening Committee evaluation determines if appropriate de-escalation tactics were used to try and resolve the situation.

Require a warning before shooting: Established in OKCPD Policy 554.50 “Deadly Force Restrictions”

If circumstances permit, officers should give a warning before using deadly force. There are some circumstances where this is not possible.

Exhaust all other means before shooting: Established in OKCPD Policy 554.20 “General Use of Force Requirements”

Officers shall only use the degree of force permitted by law. The force used must be reasonably necessary based on the totality of the circumstances.

Duty to intervene: Established in OKCPD Policy 554.70 “Intervening to Prevent Excessive Force”

In December 2019, we updated our Use of Force policy to mirror state law, which requires an officer to intervene when they witness another officer using excessive force. We previously relied on the state law that allows the filing of a criminal charge, but we also felt it should be added to our policy.

Ban shooting at moving vehicles: Established in OKCPD Policy 554.50 “Deadly Force Restrictions”

We do not shoot at moving vehicles unless the officer or someone else is being fired upon or threatened to be fired upon, or if a vehicle being used as a weapon. An example from recent high-profile terrorist attacks is a vehicle running into a crowd. 

Require use of force continuum: Included in mandatory OKCPD training material

OKCPD uses a Use of Force Options Matrix (continuum) as part of our use of force training. The matrix identifies appropriate use of force options for officers based on the actions of the person they are interacting with. This is mandatory training for officers.

Require comprehensive reporting: Established in OKCPD Procedure 150.0 “Use of Force Investigations”

We investigate every incident where the force used is beyond routine handcuffing, escorting, searching where no physical resistance occurred, or applying restraint devices.

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