LA police commission votes to move forward with changes to use-of-force policy

- The Los Angeles Police Commission has voted to move forward with the creation of use-of-force policies that emphasize de-escalation and the use of minimal force in encounters with the public.  

A working group that will include the city attorney, LAPD officials and the police officers' union will come up with specific language for the policies.

The changes, proposed by Police Commission President Matthew Johnson and Commissioner Robert Saltzman, aim to emphasize the need for officers to do what they can to de-escalate potentially violent confrontations. 

Police chief Charlie Beck says officers already are trying to use the least amount of force possible, but if the commission wants to review written policies, fine.

One of the recommendations suggests the use-of-force policy be revised to emphasize deadly force shall only be exercised when reasonable alternatives have been exhausted or appear impractical. 

Police union officials criticized the recommendations last week as not including the input of officers.

The director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League said he had concerns about the recommendations which he said could put officers' lives at risk.

The basic proposals in policy revision were approved, but there will still be discussion, revision and then a final vote. 

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