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Lafayette County Dems ask Oxford, Lafayette to Adopt New ‘Use of Force’ Rules

The Lafayette County Dems organization is requesting Oxford and Lafayette County officials and law enforcement agencies to consider adopting new initiatives in regard to the “use of force.”

“Recent tragic events have brought a renewed focus on both issues of public protection and public rights. The incidents and rhetoric of the last few years – brought to a focus by the murder of George Floyd – have illustrated the need, now, for real solutions concerning ‘use of force’ policies going forward,” states the initiative sent to local leaders.

The lafayette County Democratic Party offered the initiative “Eight Can’t Wait” as a starting point and advocate that county and city officials, supervisors, and all law enforcement agencies review local ‘use of force’ policies and consider adapting them to include the following eight initiatives: 

1. Requiring officers to intervene to stop another officer from using excessive force.
2. Restricting, or prohibiting, the use of chokehold, strangleholds and carotid restraints.
3. Requiring officers to de-escalate situations, when possible, before using force.
4. Using a Force Continuum or Matrix that defines and limits the types of force that can be used to respond to specific types of resistance.
5. Requiring officers to give a verbal warning before using deadly force.
6. Prohibiting officers from shooting at people in moving vehicles unless the person poses a deadly threat by means other than the vehicle.
7. Requiring officers to exhaust all other reasonable alternatives before resorting to using deadly force.
8. Requiring comprehensive reporting that includes both use of force and threats of force.

After sending this statement, Lafayette Dems were notified that the Oxford Police Department has already adopted all eight of the above initiatives, according to an Oxford alderman. The city and OPD are working on making a joint statement in the coming days in regard to the policies currently in place.

For more information on CampaignZero and Eight Can’t Wait, go to https://8cantwait.org/.

Staff report

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