Kalamazoo police chief disputes #8CANTWAIT claims

The chief is countering claims that department policies don't adequately prevent excessive force by officers.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas is disputing a report by MLive (and reported on here) that the department needs to update its policies to avoid excessive use of force by its officers.

MLive obtained policy documents from 12 Michigan police departments and submitted them to a group called #8CANTWAIT for review. The group advocates for eight policies that they say will hold bad officers accountable and prevent unnecessary deaths.

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The review of KDPS’ policies found that it met only three of the policy criteria. Chief Thomas disagrees. She said department policies match seven of the eight recommended policies and addresses them point-by-point.

For example, Thomas said the department has a policy of de-escalating situations before they get out of hand.

“All KDPS policies that address use of force mention the use of de-escalation techniques as the preferred resolution,” she said in a statement to MLive.

#8CANTWAIT disagrees. The group said there is no explicit mention or requirement to use de-escalation techniques in the use-of-force policies.

You can read the full story here.

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