Police set high bar for using deadly force

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Police have some specific policies when it comes to using deadly force -- a topic that's been in the spotlight lately.

WHEN IS DEADLY FORCE OK?

Agency guidelines set a high threshold.

RICHMOND COUNTY: "Deadly force is justified only if a person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves, a third person, or the commission of a forcible felony," according to sheriff's office policy.

COLUMBIA COUNTY: Deadly force is authorized "for the sole purpose of stopping an individual's threat of death or serious physical injury."

AIKEN COUNTY: Sheriff's Lt. Troy Elwell said his department's general rule is, "We go one level above what we're being approached with."

WHAT IF VEHICLES ARE INVOLVED?

RICHMOND COUNTY: "Shooting at or from a moving vehicle shall be avoided in all instances except those which do not endanger innocent persons and are justified by unusual or exigent circumstances," the policy reads.

COLUMBIA COUNTY: Policy requires that officers not "voluntarily place themselves in front of an oncoming vehicle where use of deadly force is the probable outcome." The policy discourages firing at or from a moving vehicle, saying deputies should get out of the way.

NORTH AUGUSTA: The policy is to use "only the force that is reasonably necessary to accomplish lawful objectives." The policy also discourages firing at vehicles except in self-defense "or defense of another when the suspect is using deadly force by means other than the vehicle," it states.

OFFICIAL RECOMMENDATIONS

Ryan Powell, of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, said deadly force is typically authorized when the officer is defending himself or someone else from serious harm or possible death. He said if a vehicle is moving toward an officer or someone else "and you can't get out of the way, then that could be a deadly force situation."

He said walking in front of or behind a vehicle after a stop is not recommended but that conditions at the scene might dictate otherwise.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 823-3338 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (8) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/04/09 - 07:24 am
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Interesting that the

Interesting that the Chronicle would look this up.

AugustaVoter
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AugustaVoter 02/04/09 - 09:10 am
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So by this, the officers in

So by this, the officers in the Elmore case were dumbazzes who didn't know how to get out of the way? And since they shot through the side window of a vehicle, they were not in any threat situation. I am just wondering if policy is being enforced the same for all officers. I mean they got into a car chase, tried to box the vehicle in, and then decided to put themselves in harms way, then "oh crap" lets shoot our way out of this mess.

KingJames
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KingJames 02/04/09 - 09:52 am
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Why now? The AC should

Why now? The AC should really let the sleeping dog lie, and put the dead horse out of it's misery.

SargentMidTown
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SargentMidTown 02/04/09 - 02:37 pm
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Get the bad boys don't let

Get the bad boys don't let them get awaw. Shot them dead and save our tax dollars.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/04/09 - 04:07 pm
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Because they are scum in the

Because they are scum in the Cherry Tree complex, we could get Deke to declare martial law and simply use artillery and not send in the police. Stay back and shell the complex to the ground. For a deductive argument to be sound, all premises and conclusions must be true. Keep this in mind when we discuss Elmore and his end. It is possible to come up with a perfectly valid conclusion using an untrue premise and that will give you an unsound argument.

justus4
105
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justus4 02/04/09 - 06:02 pm
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These words don't mean
Unpublished

These words don't mean anything. Remember, All Men Are Created Equal and how "they" got around that quote? Of course they speak this junk now. QUESTION: How many "deadly force" instances each agency encountered? What are the racial numbers and how many fatilities? From my national observations, the answer is clear and this article falls on death ears in the minority community. Publish those numbers and let the facts do the talking--not a bunch individuals attempting to protect their self-interests. "We" know better. And in the photo, what color is the guy Ms Walden is shooting?

Obamessiah
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Obamessiah 02/04/09 - 09:02 pm
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I don't know what justus4 is

I don't know what justus4 is on, but whatever it is, I want some... btw I think the guy in picture is white...

As It Is
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As It Is 02/05/09 - 12:38 am
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Justus4 could care less about

Justus4 could care less about law, order, and the morals of our socitety. Instead, he seeks to continually bring about this "woe is me" opinion and falsely claim that minorities are picked on more than anyone else. In most cases, you can't even tell who is behind the wheel of an automobile until after the situation is under control, especially during evening hours and with cars that are tinted. Furthermore, justus4 could care less about minorities but instead simply is talking about black individuals. If you want society as a whole to not think that the majority of violent crime isn't committed by black males then maybe you should work hard to keep our black youth in school and off the streets which turns them into criminals. You shouldn't in any way support the actions of a thug like Elmore and instead should praise those trying to make housing projects, schools and other minority areas better and provide for opportunities vs. drugs and handouts. It isn't black citizens causing most of the violent crimes in America but it is black males and if you think otherwise, you are sadly missinformed. Instead of whining about being picked on how about just clean up your act.

corgimom
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corgimom 10/05/09 - 04:01 pm
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"From my national

"From my national observations" and "this article falls on death ears" - and he wonders why people don't have any respect for him.

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