In wake of protests, Culver City Police releases statement adressing concerns

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The Culver City Police Department released a statement in response to the community’s concerns with the department and policing as a whole on June 5, just days after initially responding to the death on June 2. The department outlined their response to some of the guidance points that many activists have recommended, including banning the Carotid Restraint Hold, where an officer applies pressure to vascular veins to temporarily cut off blood flow to the brain. This would render the person unconscious without restraining the windpipe.

Additionally, the department has worked to completely revamp it’s deescalation policies, including requiring to give a warning before potentially fatal force is considered. Pre existing policy already requires that officers evaluate the use of other reasonably available resources and techniques when determining whether to use deadly force, and deadly force only be used when there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or another person.

“We recognize, respect, and value all human life and firmly believe in dignity without prejudice to anyone. We firmly believe in utilizing trained de-escalation tactics to exhaust all options before having to resort to the use of force,” the June 5 statement read.

However, there are other policies that they continue to stand by, including the shooting of moving vehicles, which the statement says is “highly discouraged and permitted only when the driver poses a deadly threat,” which is consistent with policies from several police reform organizations, according to the statement. The department is also not planning on incorporating a ‘use-of-force continuum,’ saying “our policies require officers to use only that amount of force that appears reasonably necessary given the facts and totality of the circumstances.”

“The women and men of the Culver City Police Department continually strive to not only provide the highest level of public safety to our community, but to do so in a manner that is compassionate, professional, and is reflective of the diverse community we serve. Any lack of compassion or abuse of authority doesn’t just tarnish our badge; it tears at the very fabric of law enforcement and community relations,” the department said in its initial release on June 2.

Some of the more major demands that people are making of police departments around the country are already policy for CCPD, including a duty to intervene and stop excessive force by other officers, and a comprehensive documentation of reporting and process of accountability.

With all this in mind, CCPD still understands that concerns will still exist, and encourages people to voice those concerns.

“Your Police Department recognizes and respects the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone. Entrusting officers with the authority to use reasonable force and to protect the public welfare requires monitoring, evaluation, a careful balancing of all interests and a continuous re-evaluation of existing policies.”