New DOJ Order Requires Officers to Intervene If Witness to Abuse

    Photo: Getty Images [via NPR]

    The Facts

    • For the first time in 18 yrs, the Justice Dept. (DOJ) has updated its use-of-force policy, stating explicitly that federal officers must step in if they see other officers using excessive force.

    • The new policy is outlined in a memo that AG Merrick Garland sent to Senior Justice leaders on Friday. The new rules apply to the FBI, DEA, ATF, and US Marshals Service.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    It's about time the DOJ's use-of-force policy is updated. The new order represents the modernization of policing and Biden's effort to navigate what is an extremely pertinent issue. Although limited in its ability to impose the new requirements on local police, it's a step in the right direction to addressing America's policing crisis.

    Progressive narrative

    Unfortunately, no amount of legislation or policy writing will solve the policing crisis. In order to effect real change we need to tackle the root cause, which is police culture. The Biden administration has failed to do this, and until they do, the pace of reform will remain stagnant.

    Right narrative

    The police crisis is not one of police brutality but rather one of a climate of animus against officers. Police have extremely dangerous jobs, and need to make quick life-or-death decisions. While acts of negligence and abuse should most certainly be prevented and punished, it seems that everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence except our police.

    Political split



    More neutral political stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter