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TN House looking to update ‘use of force’ policies

Legislation that seeks to improve state law enforcement’s use-of-force policies has advanced in the Tennessee House last week, passing the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday.

House Bill 1406 is a result of Gov. Bill Lee’s partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies through his Use of Force Policy Committee, which issued recommendations on Sept. 10, 2020 in the form of a sample use of force policy for law enforcement agencies to adopt across the state. The committee was charged with making recommendations to enhance policies, improve information sharing and increase officer training.

This legislation bans chokeholds unless an officer believes deadly force is authorized; requires chokehold training be taught at police academies; requires law enforcement agencies to develop de-escalation policies; requires other officers to intervene in cases of excessive force; prohibits firing at moving vehicles unless the officer believes deadly force is authorized; and prohibits the issuance of “no-knock” warrants.  

The bill moves on to the full Criminal Justice Committee, where it will be heard for consideration on Monday.  

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