Edmonston launches ‘duty to intervene’ rule for police


Michael Theis/Route 1 Reporter

Edmonston Chief of Police Demetrius Harris.

Edmonston police officers are now required to at least attempt to stop other officers from using inappropriate levels of force.

The new rule was incorporated into the city police department’s “General Orders,” a document that lays out standard practices for police operations. It was announced in a June 13, 2020, email to Edmonston city residents. In the announcement, Edmonston Chief of Police Demetrious Harris said the new rule was a reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police May 25, 2020.

“The purpose of this order is to establish operational guidelines meant to create a culture to prevent another death like George Floyd’s,” reads the announcement.

The rule specifically requires police personnel “to either stop, or attempt to stop, another employee when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required.”

The new rule is the latest example of how anger over systemic racism and policing, underscored by Floyd’s death and others, is translating into policy action at the local level where most police activity is managed.

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