For weeks, individuals have been out protesting in an effort to put an end to police brutality and it appears efforts are paying off. In recent news, we learned that the Board of Trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, which is responsible for training and certifying Maine law enforcement officers, has adopted new standards for officers to follow [Source: Bangor Daily News]. These new standards aim to help provide officers with more guidance when it comes to applying force.
The Bangor Daily News shared some of these new standards which we have listed down below for you.
- Maine officers are not permitted to use chokeholds when arresting, restraining, or trying to gain control over a person unless deadly force is authorized.
- Officers are required to intervene when they see another officer applying an unreasonable or unnecessary amount of force and they must also report the acts to their superiors.
- Police are prohibited from firing their gun at a moving vehicle unless they have been authorized to apply deadly force.
- Police must “deescalate situations when feasible.”
- Police are never allowed to apply excessive force. Although police are permitted to apply some level of force when they deem necessary, they should be using a use of force continuum to decide which level to use and should never apply any amount of force that is considered to be unreasonable or excessive.
- Police are required to monitor the individuals they have taken into their custody for injuries or medical distress. In the event they witness someone displaying signs that medical attention is needed, they must request emergency medical aid.
- Police are expected to “recognize the common causes of excited delirium, the dangers it presents to officers and those suffering from it, and the dangers of positional asphyxia.”
While some police agencies in Maine were already following similar standards, the source says they were not explicitly outlined in many department policies. The source also highlighted that while departments are permitted to craft their own policies, they must “build off the minimum standards set forth by the Board of Trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
What if a police officer in Maine ignores the new standards and applies excessive force anyway?
In the event a Maine police officer applied excessive force while arresting or questioning you, you may have a viable case against the officer and/or the department they work for. To learn more about your rights and what can be done when they are overlooked, contact USAttorneys.com and we will get you connected with the best police brutality lawyers in Maine. A police brutality attorney can assess your situation and determine if legal action is warranted.