Report 2 (2-25-03)
Members: Gerardo Chin-Leo, Lucia Harrison, Alexander Mar, Undersheriff Neil McClanahan, Elizabeth McHugh, Officer Kirk Talmadge, Morgan Thornberry (chair), and Chrys Wildling
25 February 2003
The Deadly Force Review Board is charged with the task of examining all incidents where a firearm is drawn, discharged, or displayed in a threatening manner, or when any other type of deadly force is displayed or used by a Police Services officer. It is the responsibility of the Board to determine if such threat or use of deadly force is (1) accidental or intentional, (2) justified and necessary under the circumstances, (3) in compliance with college policy, and (4) indicative of a need for a change in the College's policy regarding training and/or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
On 3 March 2002 Police Services Corporal Neely and Officer Garland confronted four men who were harvesting salal on College property. One suspect ran and Corporal Neely chased him through the woods. When the suspect exited the woods, he encountered Officer Garland. The man did not acknowledge Officer Garland's commands for him to get on the ground, probably because of a language barrier. The man reached inside his front pocket. At this point, Officer Garland drew her firearm and yelled for him to get down. He did not remove his hand from his pocket, nor did he get down on the ground. When Corporal Neely appeared, Officer Garland holstered her weapon and Corporal Neely applied wrist restraints to the suspect.
Officer Garland noted that she drew her "weapon" in her report reviewed by her supervisor, Director of Police Services Steve Huntsberry. Chief Huntsberry did not report Officer Garland's drawing of a firearm to his supervisor, Vice President of Student Affairs Art Costantino, until November 2002.
FINDINGS OF THE BOARD
The Board has separated the incident into two parts; first, the question of whether Officer Garland was in compliance with SOP in using deadly force and second, whether the reporting of deadly force was in compliance with SOP and College policy.
In responding to its charge, the Deadly Force Review Board has made the following conclusions:
Deadly force in this incident, in which Officer Garland drew her firearm in a threatening manner in an encounter with a suspect, was intentional.
Deadly force in this incident was justified per The Evergreen State College Department of Police Services Standard Operating Procedure (section 10.04.00) because Officer Garland was protecting herself against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Such a threat was present because the suspect fled from an officer and did not respond to an officer's commands, but most significantly because the suspect reached inside his pocket.
Deadly force used in this incident was in compliance with the SOP because Officer Garland drew her firearm in order to protect herself from what can reasonably be believed to have been an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
Given the above findings, the Board does not believe that the incident is indicative of a need for a change in the College's policy regarding training and/or SOP.
The Board has made the following conclusions on the reporting in this incident:
While Chief Huntsberry failed to report the drawing of a firearm to his supervisor or to the larger community, he is technically in compliance with the SOP because of loopholes in the SOP. The Board holds that while he was technically in compliance, by not reporting the incident to his supervisor in a timely manner, Chief Huntsberry did violate the spirit of the SOP and the Public Safety DTF's 1996 approval of a "permanent community review board that will review [Â ] every instance in which a Public Safety officer draws or uses a firearm" (Final Report of the Public Safety DTF, 24 may 1996), which would clearly require that the Vice President in charge of Police Services, whose responsibility it is to convent the Deadly Force Review Board, be notified of the incident.
Chief Huntsberry was technically in compliance with the SOP because section 10.07.00 Reporting Use of Force only calls upon involved officers to report to their supervisor (Director of Police Services), but does not state that the Director must report to his supervisor, the Vice President in charge of Police Services.
It is the recommendation of the Board that section 10.07.00 of the SOP be amended to explicitly state the responsibility of involved officers to report to the Director of Police Services all incidents in which a firearm is drawn on a person, not just those incidents that result in a death or injury. As well, the SOP should be amended to state that it is then the responsibility of the Director to report all such incidents to the Vice President in charge of Police Services in order that the Deadly Force Review Board may be convened.
The Board supports the Director's change to departmental case report forms so that the use of force and weapons are immediately and explicitly clear (see Director's Investigation for Deadly Force Review Board, 20 November 2002). The Board recommends that this change be permanent.
Undersheriff Neil McClanahan
Officer Kirk Talmadge