Denver police reveal changes to use-of-force policy

DENVER -- After years of debates and communities meetings, a new use-of-force policy has been revealed by the Denver Police Department.

“Just because an officer can use force doesn’t mean he should use force,” Chief Paul Pazen said Thursday, quoting his predecessor Robert White.

The new policy includes:

  • Ban on shooting at moving vehicles for the most part
  • Shots being fired at fleeing suspects
  • Prohibits choke-holds in most circumstances
  • Requires officers to factor in whether a language barrier exists before any force is used

Thursday’s announcement is being celebrated by many community activists.

“This is a victory,” said Lisa Calderon, co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum said.

Calderon provided input to the police department during the process and says now the question is will training properly take place.

“One of the things we fought for isn’t just the type of force it’s the degree for force -- how you put on handcuffs matters,” Calderon said.

“A policy is just a piece of paper without proper implementation."

Denver’s 1,500-plus officers will begin training the week of Aug. 20.

Each officer will undergo training for eight hours by the end of the year with additional training expected in 2019.

Sergeants will undergo four more additional hours of training.

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