News 4 Investigates: Ferguson PD deadly use of force policy - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Ferguson PD deadly use of force policy

FERGUSON (KMOV.com) – Ferguson police told News 4 it may take some time before an internal review of the shooting of Michael Brown, Jr is complete.

Ferguson officials told News 4 federal investigators are currently digging through years of internal police reports including more than four years of documents examining every occasion when the police department reviewed a case involving a possible use of force. The Ferguson City Attorney said those records will not be available to the public until the US Department of Justice is finished looking at them, which may not happen until October.

There is frustration by some over Ferguson’s use of force policy and the inability to obtain records related to it. News 4 asked for the policy several weeks ago, Ferguson complied with the request. The department’s use of force guidelines are similar to other police departments. The policy reads:

An officer may use deadly lethal force when the officer reasonably believes that the action is in defense of human life, including the officers own life, or in defense of any person in imminent danger of serious physical injury. The officer should have exhausted every alternative means of apprehension before using deadly force and lethal force will not be used if there’s a clear risk to the safety of a third person.

“The Ferguson policy is very clear about when an officer is supposed to use deadly force,” said UMSL professor David Klinger.

Klinger said the back half of the policy also requires that the suspect committed or attempted to commit a felony, the crime involved the use or threatened use of deadly force, and if there’s a substantial risk the suspect will kill or seriously hurt someone if the suspect is not stopped.

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