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Comparing Mobile Police's policies to the "8 Can't Wait" suggestions

(WPMI) Comparing Mobile Police's policies to the "8 Can't Wait" suggestions
(WPMI) Comparing Mobile Police's policies to the "8 Can't Wait" suggestions

The Mobile Police Department released part of its policy manual Thursday after years of requests from NBC 15 News, other media outlets, and the public.

You can read it here.

The section released includes the department's use of force policy that covers both deadly force and less lethal force.

About 30 pages were released out of around 800 in the manual. That's because Chief Lawrence Battiste is reviewing each page before he releases it.

"I am the police chief, so I don't have the luxury of sitting at my desk all day reading that document. So I have to schedule time in my day to go over documents we are planning to release slowly," Battiste said.

Related: Mobile Chief of Police discusses plan to release more of the policy manual

MPD policies are under review by the Mobile City Council as well as a task force appointed by Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

The mayor specifically said the task force will look at incorporating the "8 Can't Wait" police reform suggestions. NBC 15 News compared this newly released document to those standards.

"8 Can't Wait" calls for required de-escalation before use of deadly force. That's not in the MPD rules.

Reformers want to require officers to warn before opening fire in all cases. The MPD policy requires warnings "when circumstances permit."

Police reformers also want officers to exhaust all alternatives before shooting. That's not in the MPD manual either.

Mobile Police also allow shooting at moving vehicles only when an officer's life is in danger. "8 Can't Wait" bans that entirely.

Reformers want specific guidelines for each police weapon and tactic. Mobile Police leave that to officers' discretion.

Mobile Police are not required to report any time they point their weapon at someone, but they are supposed to report any firearm discharges.

As for a duty to intervene in excessive force cases and the banning of chokeholds, those pages of the manual haven't been released yet.

Stimpson's task force is due to report its recommendations in early October.