Montgomery County police highlight new use-of-force policy

Montgomery County, Maryland, has announced a new use-of-force policy amid growing calls to hold police officers more accountable after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

In a Tuesday afternoon media briefing, Montgomery County police Chief Marcus Jones read the new policy, which he said took effect last Thursday.

“It shall be the duty of every officer present at any scene where physical force is being applied to either stop or attempt to stop another officer when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required,” Jones said.

The county and the police union representing county officers came to a quick agreement on the matter.

“This language just reinforces what should be done and what should have been done in the past, so we’re making sure that everybody understands their responsibility when force is applied inappropriately,” said Torrie Cooke, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Local 35.

The union president agreed with County Executive Marc Elrich that more changes will be coming to the police department, though he didn’t detail any.

Elrich said the policy is only the beginning of a long process that will examine police operations.

The creation of a committee to review policing in the county with an eye toward best practices is underway, and the county executive insisted that training will be getting a hard look.

“I am one of those who believes that part of the problem still remains in training,” Elrich said. “If you give people a set of tools and if those are the only tools you give people, those are the tools they’ll use.”

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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