Tennessee police department updates policy to require cops to stop police brutality

Tennessee police department updates policy to require cops to stop police brutality
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A police chief in Tennessee who said last month that officers who “don’t have an issue” with the arrest of George Floyd should turn in their badges has issued guidelines requiring officers to stop others from committing acts of police brutality and abuse of authority.

According to a local ABC station, Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy amended his office’s code of conduct on Monday to include what he called a “duty to intervene.” 

“Each department member has the individual responsibility to intervene and stop any other member from committing an unlawful or improper act, including but not limited to, acts of brutality, abuses of process, abuses of authority, and any other criminal acts or major violations of department rules and procedures. Successful intervention does not negate a duty to report," the code now reportedly states.

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Roddy also reportedly added that members of the department could face disciplinary action if they don’t adhere to the updated policy.

The move comes less than three weeks after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. Floyd could be heard in footage of the arrest saying, “I can’t breathe,” as the officer continued to pin him to the ground. 

Days after Floyd's death, Roddy took to Twitter with a message for officers who saw no issue with the arrest.

“There is no need to see more video,” Roddy said in the tweet. “There no need to wait to see how ‘it plays out.’ There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something.”

“If you wear a badge and you don’t have an issue with this...turn it in,” he added.

The tweet has since drawn more than 640,000 likes and over 158,000 retweets.

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In remarks on Monday, Roddy also reportedly highlighted existing policy within his department requiring officers to give a “verbal notice” of their identity to a suspected criminal before using or threatening to use force. 

“An officer may use deadly force to effect an arrest only if all other reasonable means of apprehension have been exhausted or are unavailable, and where feasible, the officer has given notice of such officer's identity as such and given a warning that deadly force may be used unless resistance or flight ceases,” a section of the office’s policy on the matter reportedly states.

According to the station, Roddy said Monday that he “updated and highlighted existing policy to reflect not only the current expectations of our police department, but what I also know is in the hearts and character of your officers.”

“I look forward to the coming conversations and encourage the inclusion of many representatives to include community leaders, law enforcement, and some of those who’ve expressed their concerns in recent days,” he added.