Report 1 (2-25-03)
Report to the Vice President for Student Affairs
The Deadly Force Review Board is convened to review any incident where a firearm is drawn or discharged or when any other type of deadly force is displayed or used by a Public Safety Officer (Police Services) or any other individual on campus displayed in a threatening manner. The Board then determines if the threat or use of deadly force was:
- Accidental or intentional
- Justified and necessary under the circumstances
- In compliance with college policy
- Indicative of a need for a change in college policy regarding training and/or SOP.
This report is a review of case numbers 02-2636 and 02-2694, which occurred on 10/23/02 and 10/27/02 respectively. Both of these incidents are the result of under cover police activity in the Residence Halls that prompted campus police to obtain a felony drug search warrant. While executing the warrant and entering and securing the involved dorm rooms, the police had their weapons drawn.
The Board had the needed quorum of five members present for the meeting to be official and to agree on any recommendation by the Board. In these cases the Board finds that the display of deadly force (firearm) by the campus Police Officers was intentional. The drawing of firearms was justified and necessary according to The Evergreen State College SOP (SOP 10.04.00) and according to standard Police Academy training when executing a felony drug search warrant. The display of firearms in these incidents was generally in compliance with college policy, which is vague and sometimes contradictory. The failure of the police officers to report the drawing of firearms (SOP 10.07.00) is not compliant with The Evergreen State College SOP in that display of firearms could have potentially caused injury and should have been reported to the Supervisor and been included in the incident report. The Board is in agreement that these incidents have indicated a need for a change in college policy regarding training and SOP. The Board recommends that The Evergreen State College SOP and training more clearly articulate expectations around the display vs. the use of deadly force and the reporting requirements when deadly force is displayed or used.
Chief Huntsberry has been proactive in his response to the incidents and has noted in the report of his investigation, some actions that he has already initiated. Namely, the addition of a box to the Incident and Supplemental Reports to indicate if/when an officer draws his firearm, baton, or uses pepper spray with a description of the incident to be included in the report. Among other adjustments in his department, Chief Huntsberry also called for the officers to renew their efforts toward involvement in the campus community, particularly the Housing community.