Full question: I appreciate the point about whether force was necessary, not just reasonable, but would also encourage Shaker to adopt a standard of proportional force (limiting force to that which is proportional to the threat), like the city of Cleveland has adopted. Also, there is no detail on the de-escalation guidance added to the policy — what are those details?
Answer: The concept of proportionality is a factor in any analysis to determine whether the force used by an officer was objectively reasonable, which is the use of force standard contained in both the Shaker Heights Police Department’s Response To Threats general order and the City of Cleveland Police Department’s Use of Force general order.
Cleveland’s policy does include a general statement that, based on the totality of circumstances, “all force shall be proportional to the level of a subject’s resistance.”
A comparison between a subject’s resistance and the force used by an officer is certainly one of many factors in the totality of circumstances that is utilized in determining whether the officer’s use of force was objectively reasonable.
The Shaker Heights Police Department is preparing a general order requiring de-escalation.
(Question submitted at City Council’s 10/26/20 Work Session)