Columbia unanimously passes updated ‘Use of Force’ policy

Council members vote to approve new 'Use of Force' recommendations

Columbia, SC ( WOLO) — The day the entire country watched phone recorded  video of an unarmed Minneapolis man die in police custody, it sparked a closer look at policies into Columbia’s policing here in South Carolina.

(Courtesy Ben Crump Law) George Floyd is pictured in an undated photo released by the office of Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump.

(Courtesy Ben Crump Law) George Floyd is pictured in an undated photo released by the office of Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump.

The national unrest, peaceful protests and marches that followed the May 25th, 2020 death of George Floyd did not go unnoticed.

Especially, for CPD Chief Skip Holbrook who city officials say had already begun reviewing the details of the ‘Use of Force’ procedures on the books in the Capitol City.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook Courtesy: Tim Scott/Twitter

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook describes the extent of his department’s investigation. He says his team interviewed several people, including tenants, and that they found “poorly kept” maintenance records and “poor” maintenance repair training from the Housing Authority. Courtesy: Tim Scott/Twitter

In direct response to that, as well as inquiries made by Mayor Steve Benjamin who says he had ‘immediate concerns’ over video that surfaced showing the  May 30 arrest of a man held down by a CPD officer using his knee to the back of the suspects to leg during following arrest after violent protests in Columbia .

But the Mayor says, Chief Holbrook was already well aware of the arrest and was in the process of reviewing procedures in place.

To continue being as transparent with the public as possible, maintain accountability, and professionalism, Chief Holbrook presented updated recommendations that could be made. The Columbia City Council agreed and voted unanimously to approved Chief Skip Holbrook’s recommendations concerning the use-of-force policy that is currently in place.

The revised policy, which also reflects Campaign Zero’s “8 Can’t Wait” recommendations, prohibits the use of chokeholds and carotid artery holds unless deadly force is authorized.

In addition to that, there are new precautions officers must take when interacting with a suspect in an attempt to avoid positional asphyxia.

Columbia’s Mayor Steve Benjamin released a statement about the changes saying,

 “We are fortunate that in Columbia our police force continues to find ways to better meet the needs of the communities they serve, and today’s decision by City Council on revising use of force policies will hopefully result in better relations and improved trust between our police and our citizens.”

City officials say they have been making upgrades to their policy since 2014. According to officials, CPD has created protocols, pledges and put community-policing initiatives in place as part of the department’s progressive 21st Century Policing posture.

For a closer look at the updated changes you can click on the link here: https://columbiapd.net/publications/ or at https://columbiapd.net/

Categories: Local News, Politics