What is different in the “Use of Force” policy released by the Syracuse Police Department?

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — This new use of force policy from Syracuse Police Chief Kenton Buckner and his team goes into almost exhaustive detail on when to use and when not to use force.

The current “use of physical force” policy seems to focus more on documenting an incident and reporting it.

The new document states right up front the purpose of the new policy is to provide guidelines on the reasonable use of force for officers as part of their sworn duty to serve and protect.

“While there is no way to specify the exact amount or type of reasonable force to be applied in any situation, every member of this department is expected to use these guidelines to make such decisions in a professional, impartial and reasonable manner.”

One section outlines that chokeholds are not allowed unless it is reasonable to believe there is an imminent threat of serious physical harm or death to an officer or third party.

Another area deals with what they label “Duty to Intercede”, when an officer observes another officer’s use of force that exceeds the degree of force permitted by law.

A third section addresses de-escalation, like using verbal commands or warnings, non-verbal and even physical contact or action

The new policy specifies Syracuse Police are not allowed to fire warning shots.

Another section specifies officers are not allowed to shoot at or from moving vehicles unless an officer reasonably believes or perceives a person in the vehicle is using or about to use deadly physical force.

A Syracuse Police spokesperson tells us Shaolin Moore’s arrest was reviewed under the lens of the “current” policy.

Police still haven’t said when that “new” policy developed by Chief Buckner and his team will take effect.

Editorial Note: NewsChannel 9 was made aware of the video on Saturday, June 1st, but decided not to report its contents until now. After several lengthy discussions between our news team and managers, it was decided that, in order to avoid escalating tensions, NewsChannel 9 would hold off on reporting any details of this situation until police announced plans to publicly release the results of their review.
 

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