The Champaign Police Department has completed its internal review of an incident that culminated in a weapons discharge in the 1200 block of W. Crispus Drive during the early morning hours on September 9, 2012.
Per departmental policy, an internal investigation was conducted in accordance with the Firearms Discharge Investigation and Review policy. Policy statement 1.5 requires that a Professional Standards Investigation be completed in the event of an officer firearms discharge. See Policy and Procedure Manual for complete policy statement.
A Professional Standards Investigation was completed in order to:
1. Determine whether or not the firearm discharge was consistent
with departmental policy
2. Evaluate training considerations
3. Evaluate policy considerations
4. Evaluate firearms equipment
5. Evaluate the quality of supervision prior to, during, and after the firearms discharge incident
The Firearms Discharge Review Board evaluated each aspect of a firearm discharge, which included:
1. A review of all reports concerning the involved incidents
2. A review of the Professional Standards Investigation report
3. Hearing direct testimony, if necessary, from officers and witnesses
The following findings and recommendations were provided to the Chief of Police for a final disposition:
FINDINGS FROM THE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS INVESTIGATION AND THE FIREARMS DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD
I. WARRANTLESS ENTRY: The suspect made entry into the residence located in the 1200 block of Crispus Drive and was threatening the occupants of the residence with a handgun. Both occurred prior to the arrival of officers. The suspect’s actions posed an immediate threat to the occupants and therefore constituted exigent circumstances. Given the exigent circumstances that existed at the time, the officers’ decision to make entry into the residence was reasonable, appropriate, and consistent with policy.
II. USE OF FORCE ANALYSIS: The United States Supreme Court in Graham v Conner 490 U.S. 386 (1989) stated, “the reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on scene, rather than the 20/20 vision of hindsight”. Therefore, the totality of information known to the officer at the time force is used, not what is learned thereafter, is the basis upon which such police use of force actions shall be reviewed.
The factors typically weighed in determining the reasonableness of an officer’s use of force are:
1. The seriousness of the offense,
2. Whether or not the subject presented an immediate threat to the officer(s) or another person, and
3. Whether or not the subject was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
In this case objective reasonableness can be satisfied by showing that a reasonable officer, based upon the totality of circumstances present at the time, believed that the suspect posed an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to either the officer(s) or another person. When the suspect, having already threatened the occupants of the residence with a handgun, raised his weapon and pointed it at the responding officers, he presented an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.
The weapons discharged by both officers are consistent with policy, case law, and ILLCS statutes.
III. DUTY TO RENDER MEDICAL AID: The officers’ efforts to render medical aid were prompt, adequate, and consistent with policy.
IV. WEAPONS REQUIREMENTS: The officers were authorized to carry the weapons used during this incident and their handguns were loaded with department issued and approved ammunition. The officers last qualified with their weapons on November 18, 2011, and August 20, 2012. Both officers were in compliance with all applicable weapons requirements at the time of this incident.
V. QUALITY OF SUPERVISON: Two supervisors responded to the scene of the weapons discharge. Upon arrival, they worked cooperatively and quickly took control of the scene. Collectively, the supervisors took appropriate actions to ensure that medical aid was promptly rendered to the suspect; the scene, residence, and all evidentiary items were secured; a preliminary field investigation was completed; they ensured that no additional persons were injured; and the involved officers and witnesses were separated to protect the integrity of their statements.
VI. FIREARMS/EQUIPMENT CONSIDERATIONS: No significant firearms or equipment needs were identified during the course of this review.
VII. POLICY CONSIDERATIONS: No significant policy deficiencies were identified during this review. No changes, additions, or revisions are recommended at this time.
VIII. TRAINING CONSIDERATIONS: No training needs were identified during the course of this review.