Due to recent protests on racial injustice and policing tactics, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has shared their views on the campaign. In early June, they released a response on their stance on each of the eight topics covered.
On Banning Chokeholds: The Governor has ordered that training in the use of carotid control restraint stop at Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) courses. The hold is to remain until the completion of a review and the passing of legislation.
On Required De-escalation: Deputies are trained on how to de-escalate situations. Going forward, deputies will be required to attend de-escalation courses twice a year.
On Requiring a Warning Before Shooting: Peace Officers are trained to identify themselves, and to give commands during an arrest to receive compliance. Going forward, when possible, they give a warning before using deadly force.
On Exhausting All Other Means Before Shooting: A deputy has the right to protect themselves and others from an immediate lethal threat, or one that can cause serious bodily injury.
On Duty to Intervene: A deputy that witnesses another using excessive force should intervene and report such misconduct.
On Banning Shooting at Moving Vehicles: Weapons should not be fired at moving vehicles except under extreme circumstances. The 2015 terror attack on San Bernardino is one example of when shooting at a vehicle was justified.
On Establishing a Use of Force Continuum: Deputies have three levels of force available to them ranging from low to moderate, to high. Depending on the circumstances as perceived by the deputy, they may only use a reasonable amount of force to accomplish their duties.
On Requiring Comprehensive Reporting: Every incident that required the use of force is reported up the chain of command following the incident. A supervisor then completes the report and passes it off to a Lieutenant and then Captain for further scrutiny. Any force deemed excessive will be investigated.
While this is not a full adoption of the campaign, it is reassuring to see that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is aware of it and are willing to respond.
The #8CANTWAIT campaign emerged out of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. The campaign, launched on June 3, 2020, by a police reform organization called Campaign Zero, calls for police departments to adopt eight restrictive use of force policies. The policies are based on data that the organization claims “proves that together these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72 percent.”
However, amongst activists, there has been much debate over the accuracy and conclusions derived from the data that Campaign Zero is using to promote their campaign. The #8CANTWAIT campaign has been trending on social media with celebrities such as Ariana Grande and Oprah Winfrey, helping to support the campaign. While conducting interviews with residents about the #8CANTWAIT campaign and the county’s response, not a single interviewee had heard anything about it.