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Florida Officers Prohibited from Shooting at Cars

October 14, 2014  | 

Miami Beach police officers will no longer treat a moving car as a deadly weapon — meaning officers won’t be allowed to shoot at one unless someone inside displays a weapon or opens fire first.

The deadly force policy change — expected to be unveiled by Police Chief Dan Oates next week — comes more than three years after the high-profile Memorial Day weekend shooting of motorist Raymond Herisse. He died in a bullet-riddled blue Hyundai targeted by 116 police rounds, which also wounded four innocent bystanders.

Miami Beach commissioners contacted by the Miami Herald said they had not yet been briefed on the new shooting rules. But Commissioner Michael Grieco called a change a “no-brainer.” The Herisse case, still under investigation by Miami-Dade prosecutors, proved a national embarrassment for the force and the city.

“With, or without what happened on Memorial Day weekend, it sounds like a sound policy,” said Grieco. “It sounds like something so basic that one wouldn’t really need to have a policy on that. It just seems like a pretty logical thing.”

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Wm Putnam @ 10/14/2014 3:52 PM

That's one of the dumbest things I've heard! A vehicle is just as deadly as a firearm. What's next, they going to make us carry BB GUNS and take our firearms away?

SGT JJ @ 10/14/2014 4:05 PM

I think there is a disconnect here. It has long been a policy in CA to not shoot at fleeing vehicles unless being fired upon from the vehicle. A vehicle being used in an attempt run an officer down is a deadly weapon no matter what that Chief of Police thinks. Drive at me in an attempt to hit me, I am going to shoot to kill!

rob @ 10/14/2014 4:48 PM

Brass making foolish policies, seems like a no brainer to me.

kevCopAz @ 10/14/2014 6:19 PM

I agree, if they are not to shoot at "fleeing" vehicles, then fine. If the vehicle is being used as a weapon and the officers are still prohibited, then the Chief can kiss my rear end, fire me for saving my life or that of another and I will return to work much richer with a pocket full of Miami cash after a nice vacation.

Hey Chief if the officer can NEVER fore at a vehicle even being used as a weapon (if thats the case) then what if a crazy is running people over and is still in the act attempting to run over more victims? Don't you think Miami would be sued for NOT firing at the vehicle to stop it? If that did happen and I were that officer I would just love to testify that I could have stopped further deaths but the Chief/policy would not allow it and just listen to the ching ching of the city of Miami paying out thru the nose to all those who were injured after I arrived on the scene. Chief/Mayor don't you have any smart lawyers working for you?

Brian McKenna @ 10/14/2014 7:42 PM

So, if officers are can "no longer treat a moving vehicle as a deadly weapon," then I suppose it's OK to run down non-violent misdemeanor suspects with our patrol cars. I wonder how that would go over with the public and media who seem to think motor vehicles aren't dangerous enough to be considered lethal weapons. This is another example of a cowardly chief who fears public opinion more than he cares for his officers. The world is full of them. They don't have the guts to stand up for their officers. Instead, they write knee-jerk policies that make them look good in the eyes of the liberal media, and then force their officers--the men a women who face danger every day to protect people they don't even know--to live, and sometimes die, with their cowardly policies. They don't have the respect of the officers who serve under them, and they certainly don't deserve anyone's respect. No matter what uniform they wear, they are politicians, not cops.

TERRY @ 10/14/2014 8:18 PM

We have had two incidents in my 14 years at the VA where a guy drove a large sedan the first time into our police station. Then they got smart and put up cement stations and some heroin junkie decided to try there resistance with his Thunderbird. He lost. he also went to jail for attempted murder of two officers.

Capt. Crunch @ 10/15/2014 12:16 AM

What a bunch of BS, what's next mandatory rubber bullets.

Ima Leprechaun @ 10/15/2014 1:48 AM

I really don't care about policy, the law makes the car a deadly weapon and the Bill of Rights allows anyone to protect themselves from deadly force. While someone might violate policy it's worth a written reprimand to stay alive. This is a stupid policy but policy is written by people that hide behind desks.

TX Lawman @ 10/15/2014 6:04 AM

Y'all need to run that chief off as fast as you can. What an idiot! Let me drive a car over him and see if he thinks it's not a deadly weapon. I spent 2.5 years in rehab after being T-boned in my squad car by two burglars who drove into the side of my squad car at 70mph. Luckily it was the passenger side or I wouldn't be here now. Y'all need to rally the good citizens and demand his resignation before an officer dies.

Longarm @ 10/21/2014 9:09 PM

This is nothing short of unfathomable stupidity on the part of the chief. If I were an officer with Miami, I would immediately start applying for a different department and would adopt a FIDO approach to every shift until I got a new job.

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