The San Francisco Police Commission approved a use-of-force policy Wednesday that would prohibit the city's police officers from shooting at moving vehicles or using carotid restraints, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The policy passed unanimously despite several hours of heated debate and harsh words from members of the public — as well as a lawsuit filed by the police union on Tuesday over the stalled negotiations regarding those two specific sections of the policy.
"I understand the emotion and the fatigue and the frustration," Police Commission President Suzy Loftus said after a particularly heated exchange during the meeting. "But I think it's important in this process to remember that this commission is designed and intended to keep the public safe, preserve life and keep the officers safe."
Wednesday's vote marks the end of a year-long process.
A version of the policy that strongly regulates officers' decisions during perilous encounters and puts an emphasis on using minimal force was passed in June, with the union and community stakeholders "agreeing to disagree" on the issue of shooting at moving vehicles and use of carotid restraints.
The hope was that the two sides could reach a compromise on those two sections during the meet-and-confer negotiations afforded to the San Francisco Police Officers Association for any changes in working conditions, but an impasse was declared in October.
On Wednesday night, city attorneys held that these two issues are considered a management right, not a change in working conditions, and the commission moved forward on the vote.
The U.S. Department of Justice's community-policing division and President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing both recommend restricting officers from shooting at vehicles and banning carotid restraints.