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San Diego looks to Baltimore Police for de-escalation policy reforms

Posted at 2:53 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 20:17:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Next week, new San Diego Police de-escalation policies will be presented — and likely approved — in response to weeks of demonstrations after George Floyd's death.

Danny Murphy is the Deputy Commissioner of Compliance for the Baltimore Police Department, which underwent sweeping reforms following public outrage over the 2015 death of Freddie Gray.

“After the Freddie Gray incident, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department and found a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing,” Murphy told 10News.


The Baltimore Police Department's new policy requires that the use-of-force not only be reasonable but also necessary and proportional to the situation. Murphy described the techniques for de-escalation. “It's taking more time to let the situation play out [and] see if we can resolve it in a safer manner,” he said and added, “[It’s] using more conversation and communication in advance of the use-of-force.” Murphy also told 10News that the training includes creating distance between the officer and the subject to allow the officer to analyze the situation.

The City of San Diego's Community Review Board on Police Practices has been pushing to adopt de-escalation policies that model those of the Baltimore Police Department.

RELATED: Local protester seen being taken away by San Diego Police speaks out

Earlier in the week, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced new San Diego Police de-escalation policies are on the way but details haven't been released.

Also this week, the president of the Police Officers Association said that SDPD's use-of-force policy already includes de-escalation tactics and that it's updated regularly.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department said that the department will not be commenting until the mayor's policy plans are released.