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Use of Force Handbook LAPD 1995

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LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
August 1995

DNC 06884

,

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Department Policy ............... ......... ... .......... ... 1
Use of Force-Policy 1

Use of Force Options ......... ... ..... .................. . 2
Verbalization 2
Compliance Techniques 5
OC Chemical Agent 8
Taser 9
Swarm Technique 11
Baton 12
Kicks 15
Deadly Force Options-Policy 16
Fleeing Felon Defined 1 7
Upper Body Control Holds 18
Firearms 20

Situation Examples ....................... .. .... ....... .. 25
Individual's Actions:
Cooperative 2 5
No Response To Commands 27
Uncooperative 28
Aggressive/Combative 29
life Threatening 32

Medical Treatment ................. ........ ... ......... . 35
Use of Force Reporting Guidelines ... ... ..... .. 36
Reportable Use of Force Incident 36
Notification and Reporting:
On-Duty Employee 38
Off-Duty Employee 39

DNC 06885

Table of Contents

DEPARTMENT POLICY

Use of Force Investigative Responsibility .... 40
Supervisor 40
Officer-Involved Shootings and Use of Force
Incidents Resulting in a Suspect Being
Hospitalized 50

USE OF FORCE- POliCY
In a complex urban society, officers are dail y
confronted with situations where contro l must be
exercised to effect arrests and to protect the
public safety. Control may be achieved through
advice, warnings, and persuasion, or by the use
of physical force. While the use of reasonable
physical force may be necessary in situations
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1~'115 vJ II{~

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t

which cannot be otherwise controlled, force ma}'l

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vJ~rYk

not be resorted to unless other reasonable

o/tt ' ~ 0 \i ) ~t;!V.<f{(,f'v.-~ alternatives have been exhausted or would clearly
(W.i~ vHfi'~

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y.

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·

be ineffective under the parti cular ci rcumstances.
Officers are permitted to use whatever force that
is reasonable and necessary to protect others or
themsel ves from bodily harm. California Penal
Code, Section 835a, states th at officers may use

1

DNC 068 86

peers;

force to effect an arrest, prevent escape, or
overcome resistance

\),1\1 (_ -

"'(;> '(e_ s .lS t &..-"'- u....

\v(z.L... ' ·

*

recognizing that a suspect's remarks are not
a personal attack against the officer; and

*

USE OF FORCE OPTIONS

allowing

a

suspect

to

retain

dignity,

whenever possible.

Verbalization - When the "Individual's Actions

Officers

are Cooperative", verbalization is the most

confrontations

commonly used technique to effect the arrest of

techniques prior to, during, and after any use of

a suspect.

physical force.

Verbalization techniques include

advising, warning, or persuading.

should
by

attempt
utilizing

to

de-escalate
verbalization

Actual field

experience have shown that certain techniques of

Professional Courtesy of Addressing Individuals

ve rbalization ,

Cursing

coupled

with

advantage, and a mature,

a

position

of

at

people;

calling

them

by

professional attitude

uncomplimentary names; or referring to them by

and appea'rance can prevent further escalation of

skin color, ethnic origin, physical appearance,

a situation. These techniques include:

gender, religious affiliation or socioeconomic
status are totally unacceptable and may escalate

*

explaining any actions about to be taken;

*

allowing a suspect to save face in front of

...

2

the situation. The proper method of address is

3

DNC 06887

Sir or Madam or Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss and the

HEAD"; "SPREAD YOUR FINGERS"; are terms

last name even when the situation is a difficult

which

one. A misunderstanding could cause the suspect

movement

to make a move contrary to the officer's intent.

threatening.

Keep it Simple

Firm Grip· When the "Individual's Actions show

Commands should be given in clear, concise

NO Response to Commands", and verbalization

terms. Unarmed suspects who believe they have

proves ineffective, a firm grip may be all that is

no reason to be fearful of the police may not

necessary to overcome a suspect's resistance.

discourage

a

which

suspect

can

be

from

making

construed

as

comply with anything less than a clearly defined
verbal command. The use of jargon or profanity

A firm grip which results in an injury requires a

should be avoided. Terms like "freeze" or "hold

use of force report.

it" may not be readily understood by the
suspects. It is impossible to dictate what should
be said in each situation but one rule applies;

.Actions

Keep

be

techniques such as twist locks, wrist locks, OC

"DON'T MOVE"·I

spray and baton compliance techniques (non-

it

simple.

Commands

straightforward instructions.

should

"SLOWLY, RAISE YOUR HANDS OVER YOUR

4

are

Uncooperative",

compliance>

striking) may be useffi

5

DNC 06888

The following instances would be appropriate

The use of alternate control techniques should be

situations

evaluated with regard to the situation at hand. I

for

employing

a

firm

compliance technique on an
suspect

where

reasonable

grip

or

uncooperative

all ·nstances, the officer must use .o nly that

attempts

ameunt of force which

at

verbalization have been exhausted.

*

is reasonable and

necessary to control the suspect.

The officer is reasonably confident that

Each time a compliance technique is used on any

control can be achieved by a firm grip or

person a use of force report shall be completed.

compliance technique.
Exception:

*

That

force

necessary

to

The officer is reasonably certain that control

overcome passive resistance due to physical

can be attained with the support of the

disability or intoxication which does not

partner officer or others.

result in an injury; e.g.; the use of wrist lock
to assist an intoxicated person to a standing

In

those · instances

when

a firm

grip

or

compliance techn ique is ineffective, the officer

position, does not require the completion of
a use of force report.

should return to a position of advantage.

6

7

DNC 06889

OC Chemical Agents - When the "Individual's

Federal law and may also result in civil litigation.

Actions are Uncooperative", OC chemical agent
may be used.

The use of OC ·chemical agent

When Medical Treatment is required in the Use

should be considered in situations when an

of OC Chemical Agent

officer's attempts at verbalization are not effective

Normally, medical treatment for suspects who

and the officer reasonably believes and tan

have been sprayed with OC is not required. A

articulate that approaching the suspect would

suspect who has been sprayed with OC and who

escalate the incident to a higher level of force.

experiences continued difficulty in breathing or

Moreover, OC may be used to overcome and

vision impairment for an extended duration shall

control a suspect's uncooperative or aggressive

be immediately taken for medical treatment.

actions if verbalization is not successful. Verbal

When in doubt, officers shall seek advice from a

threats of violence by a suspect do not alone

supervisor

justify the use of OC.

Any threat must be a

treatment should be obtained. When officers use

credible one, one which would cause officers to

the OC chemical agent a use of force report shall

.

reasonably believe that it would be unsafe to

who

will

determine

if

medical

be completed.

approach the suspect. Therefore, officers must be
prudent in the use of OC as abuse or misuse of

lASER - When the "Ind ividual's Actions are

thi s device can be a violation of State and/or

Aggressive/Combative", a taser may be used. The

8

9

DNC 06890

Taser is a nonlethal control device which may be

Medical Treatment Required
Control Device is Used

When

laser

used to control aggressive or combative suspects
Whenever the T ASER control device is used to
when an officer reasonably believes the following
control a suspect in custody, or being taken into
conditions exist:
custody, and the TASER darts make contact with
that suspect's clothing or skin, the suspect shall

*

Deadly

force

does

not appear to

be
be immediately examined by medical personnel.

justifiable and/or necessary; and
If the suspect loses consciousness, officers shall

* Attempts to subdue the suspects with other
immediately request an ambulance.
non-deadly tactics have been or will likely
be ineffective in the situation; and
Note:

*

Medical personnel shall include a

There is a reasonable expectation that it will
doctor or a nurse at a contract hospital or
be unsafe for officers to approach to within
jail dispensary, or a paramedic.
contact range of the suspect.

Swarm Technique - When the "Individual's
When a Tt\SER is discharged and contacts any
Actions are Aggressive/Combative", the Swarm
person, a use of force report shall be completed
technique may be used. This tactic utilizes the
with the exception of an accidental discharge
combined body weight of several officers to
involving Department personnel only.
control the suspect.

10

The Swarm technique

11

DNC 06891

requires

pre-planning

and

a

coordinated,

decision to draw or exhibit a baton mu st be

simultaneous effort by all involved officers. This

based on the tactical situation. For example, the

technique reduces the risk of injury while

drawing of a baton may be reasonable in a

allowing maximum control of the suspect.

situation of an officer entering a bar or other
location of prior disturbance calls, or exhibiting

The swarm technique should not be attempted on

the baton in a situation whe re there is an

a suspect who is believed to be armed. Physical

escalating risk to the officer's safety.

contact should not be made until all means of

situation continues to escalate, the baton can

verbal control have been exhausted and sufficient

provide a viable method of controlling a suspect.

officers are present. When a swarm technique is

The

used a use of force report shall be completed.

compliance

baton 's

uses

include

techniques,

If the

come-a-longs,

takedowns,

striking

movements, and blocks.

Baton - When the "Individual's Actions are
Aggressive/Combative", a baton may be used as

Note:

an

striking move ment to gain compl iance to

impact

device.

The

baton

may

be

oaton sFaall not be used in a

appropriately displayed as a show of force if

vg[l}.a

verbalization techniques appear to be ineffective

agg essive actions by the suspect.

commands absent combative or

w hen used on a physically aggressive suspect. A

12

13

DNC 06892

tactical

takedowns, or striking any person, a use of force

supervisor shall prepare the appropriate after

report is required.

action report documenting the officer's actions.

When a baton or the

situation

has

been

resolved .

The

When a baton is used for compliance techniques,

equivalent is used as a "show of force" or for
blocking, a use of force report shall not be

A Use of Force Report is required when officer(s)

completed .

use the baton in a crowd control situation and
become involved in an isolated incident with an

A Use of Force Report is not required when

individual in the crowd that goes beyond the

officer(s) become involved in an incident in

movement of the crowd.

which the baton is used in a crowd control
situation to push or move unruly individuals who

Kicks • When the "Individual's Actions are

exhibit unlawful, hostile behavior and who do

Aggressive/Combative", kick techniques may be

not respond to verbal directions by the police.

used.

This procedure will apply only to officers working

round house kicks can be applied as alternate use

in organized squad and platoon sized units.

of force techniques. Officers proficient in the use

Additionally, should the baton be utilized under

of kicking techniques have an available tactic that

these ci rcumstances, officers shall notify their

can be quickly utilized when attempti ng to

immediate supervisor of the use of force once the

control a combative suspect.

14

Kicks such as the front, side, rear, and

15

DNC 068 93

When an officer uses a kick on any person, a use

others if apprehension is delayed.

of force report shall be completed.
Officers shall not use deadly force to protect
DEADLY FORCE OPTIONS
THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE - POLICY

themselves from assaults which are not likely to
have serious results.

An officer is authorized the use of deadly force
when it reasonably appears necessary to:
Deadly force shall only be exercised when all
reasonable alternatives have been exhausted or

*

protect the officer or others from

an
appear impracticable.

immediate threat of death or serious bodily
injury, or
"IDOL",

*

in

"Immediate

Defense

Of life"

prevent a crime where the suspect's actions
situations, officers would be justified in the use of
place persons in jeopardy of death or
deadly force.
serious bodily injury, or

*

apprehend a fleeing felon for a crime
Fleeing Felon Defined -An officer is justified in
involving serious bodily injury or the use of
using deadly force to effect the apprehension of
deadly force where there is a substantial risk
a fleeing felon only when certain criteria have
that the person whose arrest is sought wi II
been met.

In conformance with Department

cause death or serious bodily injury to
16

17

DNC 06894

policy, deadly force may be used, when

alternative in life threatening or endangering

necessary, to effect the arrest of anyone an officer

situations whenever the use of deadly force is

reasonably believes is fleeing from and has

warranted.

committed a violent felony crime, including
murder, mayhem, rape, robbery, and in some

When an upper body control hold is used on a

cases of ADW, attempted murder or arson.

person, a use of force report shall be completed.

Further, will the escape of the perpetrator
constitute a continued threat to the welfare and
If apprehension is

Medical Treatment Required When A Carotid
Upper Body Control Hold Is Used

delayed and serious bodily injury or death might

Whenever a modified carotid, full carotid, or

occur as a result of the delay, then deadly force

locked carotid upper body control hold is used,

is warranted.

t~e

safety of the community?

suspect shall be immediately examined by a

physician at a contract hospital or jail dispensary.
Upper

Body

Control

Holds - When

the

"lndividuaf's Actions are Life Threatening", the

Note:

modified carotid, full carotid, and lqcked carotid

unconscious

are upper body control holds available for use by

consciousness immediately, officers shall

officers.

request an ambulance.

These holds can be used as an

18

If

the

suspect

and

fails

is
to

rendered
regain

19
DNC 06895

Firearms - When the "Individual's Actions are

fire at a "fleeing felon" if the officer has any

Life Threatening", a firearm may be used. If the

doubt whether the person fired at is in fact the

situation becomes life threatening, the officer may

person against whom the use of deadly force is

be compelled to escalate to the ultimate level of

permitted under this pol icy.

force.

The use of deadly force is a last resort,

dictated by the life endangering actions of a

Note: (See: Fleeing Felon D efined)

suspect toward an officer or another person.
An officer's decision to use deadly force shall be
Justification for the use of deadly force must be

based on the acronym BALKS:

limited to what reasonably appear to be the facts

B-Background

known or perceived by an officer at the time the

A-Age

officer decides to shoot.

L-Last resort

Facts unknown to an

officer, no matter how compelling, cannot be
considered at a later date to justify a shooting.

K-Knowledge of the total
circumstances
5-Seriousness of the crime

An officer shall not fire at a person who i s called
upon to halt on mere suspicion and who simply

This Department has always utilized extreme

runs away to avoid arrest. Nor should an officer

caution with respect to the use of deadly force

20

21

DNC 06896

against youthful offenders. Nothing in this policy

inherently dangerous and places other officers

is intended to reduce the degree of care required

and community members at risk.

in such cases.
Drawing or Exhibiting Firearms - Unnecessarily

Officers shall not use deadly force to ·effect the

or prematurely drawing or exhibiting a firearm

arrest or prevent the escape of a person whose

limits an officer's alternatives in controlling a

only offense is classified solely as a misdemeanor

situation, creates unnecessary anxiety on the part

under the Penal Code.

of citizens, and may result in an unwarranted or
accidental discharge of the firearm. Officers shall

Generally, warning shots should not be fired.

not draw or exhibit a firearm

Additionally, firing at or from moving vehicles is

circumstances surrounding the incident create a

generally prohibited.

Experience shows such

reasonable belief that it may be necessary to use

is rarely effective and is extremely

the firearm in conformance with this policy on

action

hazardous to innocent persons. Further, officers

unless the

the use of firearms.

are reminded that all other available options
should be considered prior to using a firearm to

Note:

shoot out a street light for tactical operations.

September 29, 1977, the Board of Police

The discharge of a firearm at a street light is

Commissioners adopted the following as a

22

During a special

23

meeting on

DNC 06897

valid interpretation of this Section:

Unnecessarily

or

prematurely

drawing

SITU AliON EXAMPLES
or

The following are examples of suspect actions as
on

the

use

of

force

chart.

exhibiting a firearm limits an officer's alternatives

described

in controlling a situation, creates unnecessary

Additionally, examples of appropriate and

anxiety on the part of citizens, and may result in

inappropriate responses by officers are also

an unwarranted or accidental discharge of the

provided in each of the examples.

firearm. An officer's decision to draw or exhibit
a firearm should be based on the tactical situation

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS COOPERATIVE

and the officer's reasonable belief there is a

EXAMPLE 1:

substantial risk that the situation may escalate to

discovers that a violator is wanted on ·an

the point where deadly force may be justified.

outstanding traffic warrant.

When an officer has determined that the use of

cooperative

deadly force is not necessary, the officer shall, as

directions.

During a traffic stop an officer

and

responds

The violator is
to

the

officer's

soon as practicable, secure or holster the firearm.
Under these conditions the appropriate response
by the officer is verbalization.

24

25
DNC 06898

SITUATIONAL USE OF FORCE OPTIONS
*

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS

REPORTABLE FORCE

UNCOO~ERATIVE

*
·

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
NO RESPONSE TO COMMANDS

--- .. -

.

*

GRIP

-

.

.

.

OIC SPRAY
CHEMICAL AGENTS

·. . INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
·:· . . J\GGREss!vt; /~OMBAT~~

/

:

*

VERBAL

***
•

:

WAIST LOCKS
TWIST LOCKS
WAIST LOCK DOWN I ARM BAR

*

*

TASER

*
*

..
'

·

PROFESSIONAL

CONTROL SEARCH
& HANDCUFF

NON-VERBAL

POLICY
FORCE MUST BE:
A Last Resort
Reasonable and Necessary
With Minimum Force
Known Facts at the time
Defensive or Reactive

FIVE ELEMENTS OF
TACTICS:
1. Planning
2. Communicating
3. Observing
4. Approaching
5. Flexibility

KICKS I LEG SWEEPS

BATON COMPLIANCE
TECHNIQUES·
(NON-STRIKING)

REPORTABLE IF INJURED

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
COOPERATIVE

:.'<-: ';

LOS ANGELES POLICE
DEPARTMENT

SWARM TECHNIQUE
WRESTLING TECHNIQUES

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
LIFE THREATENING

*

UPPER BODY
CONTROL HOLDS

*

:

~

FIREARMS

IDOL
BALKS
VIOLENT FLEEING FELON

LAW 835(a)PC

J
Position of Advantage

\

FORCE CAN ONLY BE USED TO:
Effect an Arrest
Prevent Escape
Overcome Resistance

Verbalization should be continued to de-escalate a Use of Force situation

DNC 06899

An inappropriate response is for the officer to do
anything more than verbalize absent any other

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
NO RESPONSE TO COMMANDS
EXAMPLE:

An officer orders an intoxicated

factors that may show that the suspect is not
subject to stand up, sit down, step back, turn
cooperative.
around, etc., and the subject does not respond.

EXAMPLE 2: Officers arrest a 72-year-old man

Under these conditions the appropriate response

for the murder of his wife. The suspect follows
by the officer is the use of a firm grip or that
the directions of the officers.
force necessary to overcome passive resistance
due to physical disability or intoxication with
As in all contacts with the public, officers must
continued verbalization to affect the suspect to
be mindful of the situation and conditions at
comply with the officer's orders.
hand. Under these circumstances the appropriate
response by officers is verbalization.

A use of

force situation could occur if the suspect became

An inappropriate response by the officer would
be the immediate use of O.C. spray, or the use of

uncooperati.ve requiring officers to resort to an
an arm bar, twist lock, or higher level of force
appropriate use of force to control the situation.
absent other mitigating factors.
However, absent any other factors, any response
other than verbalization is inappropriate.

26

27

DNC 06900

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
UNCOOPERATIVE

INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
AGGRESSIVE/COMBATIVE

EXAMPLE 1: A suspect being taken into custody

EXAMPLE 1: A suspect is advised that he/she is

suddenly goes rigid and refuses to comply with

under arrest and assumes a fighting stance or

officer's directions.

pulls away from the officer. The suspect states,
"You're not taking me to jail." Even though the
the

suspect is not currently attacking the officer, the

deployment of O.C. chemical agent or other

suspect is actively and aggressively resisting the

compliance techniques mentioned in the previous

officer's attempt to arrest him or her.

An

officer's

appropriate

response

is

example.
An officer's appropriate response may be the use
The use of tasers, kicks, leg sweeps, impact

of OC chemical agent, a taser, swarm/wrestling

devices, swarm and wrestling techniques by the

techniques, kicks/leg sweeps, or impact device

officer is an inappropriate immediate response

(i.e., baton).

unless other mitigating factors existed to escalate
to a higher level of force.

An inappropriate response is the use of an upper
body control hold or deadly force. ·

28

29

DNC 06901

EXAMPLE 2: Officers make a traffic stop and exit

An inappropriate response by officers would be

their police vehicle. The violator exits his vehicle

to resort to the use of deadly force to control this

and aggressively charges toward the officers with

situation.

his fists raised and verbally threatens the officers'
safety and/or the suspect is capable of carrying

EXAMPLE 3: An officer assigned to an Area desk

out the aggressive action(s) resulting in possible

is taking a domestic violence report. The spou se

injury to the officers.

arrives and begins punching the person reporting
(PR) or the officer perceives that an assault is

The officers immediate response is to protect
themselves or others from bodily injury.

imminent.

An

appropriate response may be the deployment of

Several use of force options are available for an

the taser, impact device i.e. baton or kicks, or leg

officer to deploy in th is situation . The use of a

sweeps.

Officers may also consider using a

firm grip on the suspect is appropriate if the

comb ination of lower use of force options (i.e.,

officer believes that the assault is imminent and

O.C. spray) combined with other appropriate

such action would prevent the assault and control

levels of force that may prove effective in

the situation.

controlling thi s situation.

kicks/leg sweeps, wrestling techniques, impact

The use of OC chemica l agen t,

devices are appropriate if the assault is occurring.

30

31

DNC 069 0 2

An inappropriate response is to resort to the use

EXAMPLE 2: (Fleeing felon) Officers are aware of

of deadly force which in this case is unwarranted.

a series of robberies involving convenience
stores.

The suspect uses a sawed-off shotgun,

wears a yellow ski mask, and has shot several
INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS
LIFE THREATENING

store clerks. Citizens flag down two officers on

EXAMPLE 1: (I DOL) Officers approach a suspect

patrol and point to a store which they say is

to conduct an investigation of possible narcotics

being robbed by a suspect who fits the above

sales.

description. Before back-up can arrive, officers

The suspect ignores officers' directions,

draws a handgun from his pocket and points it at

hear gun shots from the store.

The suspect

the officers.

bec!Jmes aware of the pol ice outside the store
and attempts to flee on foot. The officers observe

Minimizing the risk of death and the reverence

the suspect armed, matching the description of

for human life is the Department's primary

the previous robbery suspects, exit the store and

consideration and philosophy. However, certain

flee. The officers exhaust all available options in

situations will warrant the use of deadly force.

an attempt to apprehend the suspect.

As in the above example, the appropriate

suspect is escaping.

The

response by officers is the use of deadly force.
I

t
32

33

DNC 06903
'·

The previous scenario is an example of the

NOTE:

fleeing felon rule where the appropriate response

verbalization

may be the use of deadly force.

throughout the incident to de-escalate the

An officer is

justified in using deadly force to effect the

In all use of force situations,
should

be

continued

situation.

apprehension of a fleeing felon only when certain
criteria have been met.

In conformance with

Department policy, deadly force may be used,

MEDICAL TREATMENT
when necessary, to effect the arrest of anyone an
officer reasonably believes is fleeing from and has
committed a violent felony crime, including

When a reportable use of force is used on any

murder, mayhem, rape, robbery, and in some

person, Department Manual Section 4/648 and all

cases of ADW, attempted murder or arson.

related

Further, will

the escape of the perpetrator

photographs of all injuries and complained-of

constitute a continued threat to the welfare and

injuries, even when no visible evidence of th e

safety of th'e community?

complained-of injuries is present.

If apprehension is

subsections

shall

apply .

Obtain

delayed and serious bodily injury or death might
occur as a result of the delay, then .deadly force
is warranted.

34

35

DNC 0 69 04

USE OF FORCE

by a suspect.

REPORTING
Exceptions:

GUIDELINES

reportable under the provisions of this Section:

REPORTABLE USE OF FORCE INCIDENT DEFINED

*

A reportable use of force incident is defined as
any incident in which any on-duty Department
employee

or

The following incidents are not

off-duty

employee,

The use of a firm grip control only, which
does not result in an injury; or,

*

The force necessary to overcome passive

whose

resistance due to physical disability or

occupation as a Department employee is a factor,

intoxication which does not result in an

uses a non-lethal control device or any physical

injury; e.g., the use of a wrist lock to assist

force to:

an intoxicated person to a standing position;
or,

*

*

compel a person to comply with the

An incident investigated by the Homicide

employee's directions; or

Special Section, Robbery-Homicide Division

overcome resistance by a suspect during an

or Detective Headquarters Division; or,

arrest or a detention; or

*

*

*

Any non-lethal or lethal control device of

defend any person from an aggressive action

36

37

DNC 06905

physical force used at an approved training

Off-Duty Employee - Responsibilities. Off-duty

employee involved in a reportable use of force

exercise.

incident in which the employee's occupation as
NOTIFICATIONS AND REPORTING

a Department employee is a factor shall:

On-Duty Employee - Responsibilities.

On-duty employees involved in a reportable use

*

of assignment without delay; or

of force incident shall:

*
*

identification of all witnesses and physical
evidence which clarifies the use of force I in
the related Department arrest or crime
report (Use an Employee's Report, Form

15.7, when a crime or arrest report is not

Division,

when

the

employee's location of assignment is closed;
and

Report the full details of the use of force
incident, including specific statements and

Notify the Watch Commander, Detective
Headquarters

Notify a supervisor from their Area/division
of assignment without delay; and

*

Notify a supervisor from their Area/division

*

Submit an Employee's Report, form 15.7,
reporting the full details of the use of force
incident, including specific statements and
identification of all witnesses and physical
evidence which clarifies the use of force I
and listing all connected outside agen cy
reports no later than the next regularly

required).

38

39
DNC 06906

scheduled tour of duty,

NOTE:

This procedure does not alter

requirements for reporting off-duty incidents

the involved employee's division is closed, shall:

*

Respond to the scene of a use of force
incident;

that may be of concern to the Department
(i.e., incidents likely to result in a police

NOTE: When exigent circumstances exist

response or crime report, etc.).

and a response to the scene of a use of
force

USE OF FORCE
INVESTIGATIVE

incident

is

impracticable,

the

supervisor shall arrange an alternate location
for the investigation to be completed (e.g.,
away from a hostile group or at the station).

RESPONSIBILITY

When no supervisor from the concerned
Area is uninvolved or available to respond,

GENERAL

a

supervisor

from

an

adjoining

Area

(preferably from the same bureau} shall

Supervisor - Responsibilities. When notified that
respond

and

complete

the

initial

a use of force incident has occurred, a supervisor
investigation.
from the employee's Area/division of assignment,
or any supervisor assigned the investigation when
40
DNC 06907

Independently

*

employees,

*

interview

suspects,

all

involved

Force Report. Other employees associated

to

with the incident, but not using a reportable

and witnesses

determine what occurred;

use of force, should be listed as witnesses in

Ask the involved suspects if and how they

the "Supervisory Narrative".

were injured and determine if the injury is

*

consistent with the actions reported;

*

*

Ensure medical treatment is obtained if

crime, arrest, or Form 15.7) contains a

necessary;

complete account of the incident;

Obtain photographs of all injuries and
complained-of injuries,
visible

*

Ensure the primary Department report (i.e.,

evidence

even when

*

Approve all related reports; and

no

of the complained-of

NOTE: Supervisors shall not delegate or

injuries is present;

postpone

Complete a separate Use of Force Report for

necessary, the investigating supervisor shall

each suspect upon whom force was used:

remain on duty beyond the end of watch to

this

responsibility.

When

approve related reports.

NOTE:

Only employees who used a

reportable use of force shall be listed in the
"Involved Employee(s)" section of the Use of

42

*

Use the Sergeant's Daily Report, Form
15.48,

or

Watch

43

Commander's

Daily

DNC 06908

Report, Form 15.80, to indicate that a Use

employee and suspects, and the planning

of Force Report was completed.

developed by the employees.

Example: "1600-1630 hours: SEE USE OF

The supervisory review section of the Use of

FORCE

Force Report is intended to be a brief account of

REPORT."

(Do not duplicate

information contained in related reports).

the supervisor's investigation . It need not repeat
information that is included in any attached

The supervisor shall examine all aspects of the

report.

use of force incident (i.e., statements of involved
parties and other employees and suspects;

When all physical evidence, injury information,

evidence; techniques and tactics used by the

and witness statements are consistent with the

involved employees, etc.) and report the findings

narrative of the primary Department report (i.e.,

in the Use of Force Report.

crime, arrest, or Form 15.7), the evidence, injury,
and witness

information

should

simply

be

NOTE: Particular attention should be paid

summarized and a statement included that all

to the approach (position of advantage) of

findings are consistent with the police report of

the

the incident.

employees,

employees,

observations

communication

44

of

the

between

45

DNC 06909

When evidence or a witness statement conflicts

NOTE:

with the narrative of the primary Department

misconduct or requires immediate corrective

report, an explanation of the differences shall be

action to prevent escalation or reduce

included in the supervisory review.

liability, the investigating supervisor shall

instances,

statements

of

In these

witnesses

and

employees shall not be paraphrased.

All

statements shall be reported verbatim.

initiate

When

the

an

incident

appropriate

involves

action.

Any

counseling, training, or corrective action
taken

in

these

instances

shall

be

documented in the employee's comment
The supervisory review section need not repeat

files and in the Use of Force Report.

information that is included in any attached
report. The supervisor review shall document the

When appropriate, an explanation should be

employees' actions and serve as an investigative

included detailing why a use of force technique

report for review by the appropriate reviewing

could not be used {i.e., Oleoresin Capsicum

authority. The investigating supervisor shall not

"OC" spray not used due to existing wind

normally counsel or correct the employees at the

conditions, would have exposed officers to the

time the Use of Force Report is completed.

spray and caused an officer safety hazard; TASER
unavailable; due to lack of space, baton not
considered; spontaneous action did not allow for

46

47

DNC 06910

verbalization; flashlight used due to baton being

complete the supervisory investigation and

lost during foot pursuits, etc.).

reports; or

*
NOTE:

When circumstances prevent the employee

Lf a supervisor is personally

from

standing

by

for

a

responding

involved in a use of force incident, either by

supervisor, advise the employee to respond

planning or taking action, the supervisor

to the nearest on-duty watch commander

shall

(i.e., geographic Area or DHD).

not

conduct

the

use

of force

investigation, nor shall he/she be a member

*

Immediately

Headquarters

Division

employee's

· the details of the incident.

*
Detective

the

commanding officer and brief him or her on

of any subsequent Use of Force Review
Board involving that incident.

contact

(DHD)

-

When it is not practical for a supervisor to
respond to the scene or for the employee to

Responsibilities. Upon being notified of an

report to a watch commander, (i.e., due to

off-duty use of force incident, the DHD watch

injuries, distance, etc.), the DHD watch

commander shall:

commander shall assign a DH D supervisor
to telephonically complete a use of force

*

Cause the nearest on-duty supervisor to

investigation. The report shall be forwarded

respond to the location of occurrence and

to the commanding officer of the involved

48

49

DNC 06911

considerations;

employee.

NOTE:

The commanding officer of the

*

Custodial deaths, i.e., jail deaths; and

*

law Enforcement Activity-Related Deaths
(LEARDS).

involved employee shall ensure that a
follow-up investigation, if appropriate, is

The Detective Headquarters Division (DHD) shall

conducted.

be responsible for investigating:
Officer-Involved Shootings and Use of Force
Incidents

Resulting

m

a

Suspect

Being

Hospitalized. The Robbery-Homicide Division,

* All officer-involved animal shootings;

*

shootings;

is responsible for investigating:

*
*

*

*

All officer-involved non-tactical accidental

All use of force incidents (except officer-

Officer-involved shootings involving injury

involved shootings investigated by RHO)

or death to persons;

resulting in suspects being hospitalized.

Intentional officer-involved shootings which
do not result in injuries;

The geographic detectives at the scene of an

All n_on-injury accidental officer-involved

officer-involved shooting shall provide assistance

shootings

to RHO detectives when requested.

that

so

involve

tactical

51

DNC 06912

Officers ·involved in any incident previously
delineated as a responsibility of either RHO or
DHD

shall

immediately

notify

commander, Area of occurrence.

the

watch

When . the

aforementioned incidents occur outside the City
of Los Angeles, the notification shall be made to
DHD.

Upon being notified of the above incidents,
watch commanders shall ensure that DHD is
apprised without undue delay.

52

DNC 06913

 

 

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