Eight Can't Wait Initiative

The "8 Can't Wait" initiative has been gaining popularity nationally since June 2020. As a result, the Lincoln Police Department has received inquiries from many people in our community about our police department's policies, including whether they meet the objectives of this initiative. We have examined our policies and want to share how they compare to those objectives.

Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds

As stated in Lincoln Police Department policy, a chokehold is any technique that restricts the intake of oxygen for the purpose of gaining control of a subject. LPD does not train or condone officers utilizing chokeholds or strangleholds. LPD does train and utilize a vascular neck restraint referred to as a Shoulder Pin Restraint. That restraint is taught and certified through a nationally recognized use-of-control program called Pressure Point and Control Tactics (PPCT). The Shoulder Pin Restraint (SPR) uses vascular compression on only one side of the neck and does not restrict a person's ability to breathe. This control technique can only be used by officers who are confronting a suspect who is actively aggressive or engaging in a lethal force attack towards the officer or another person.

This SPR technique is valuable in controlling a dangerous suspect while minimizing the suspect's exposure to possible serious injury. If officers can effectively control a suspect using this technique, it removes the need for any higher level of control methods to be used, including a baton, TASER, or firearm. This results in a safer outcome for the suspect, bystanders, and officers.

Require De-escalation

De-escalation is a cornerstone of our training and policy. De-escalation and alternatives to deadly force are two topics taught during throughout the LPD basic recruit academy, LPD defensive tactics training, and at annual in-service veteran officer training.

LPD General Order 1510: Force and Control Techniques specifically states that "Employees are expected to use de-escalation strategies, when possible, in order to minimize the need for the use of control techniques. Officers will use only that force which is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances as they know them to be (Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 [1989]). The application of any control technique will cease when the purpose justifying its use has been accomplished. The use of excessive force is prohibited."

Require Warning Before Shooting

LPD trains officers to identify themselves and issue loud verbal commands during defensive tactics and firearms training, both during the academy and annual in-service training for veteran officers. LPD General Order 1510 also states "If doing so would not increase the danger to the officer or others, an officer shall give a verbal warning before discharging a firearm or using other deadly force. When issuing a verbal warning, the officer should make reasonable efforts to communicate the warning to the individual to whom the warning is directed prior to using deadly force."

Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting

The Lincoln Police Department trains its officers that discharging their firearm constitutes lethal force and should only be done as a last resort. General Order 1510 states that, "Officers may use lethal force only when the officer reasonably believes that the action is in defense of human life, including the officer's own life, or in defense of any person in imminent danger of serious bodily harm. In no case shall an officer discharge a firearm, or apply any other method of lethal force, until all other reasonable means have been exhausted or would be clearly ineffective."

Duty to Intervene

The Lincoln Police Department considers it the duty of each and every employee to intervene and report actions of employees, regardless of agency, who commit illegal acts or apply excessive or unreasonable excessive force. General Order 1510 states that, "When in a position to do so, employees must intervene when they know that another employee of any agency is clearly using illegal or excessive force or control. Employees must promptly report any excessive force or control, and the efforts to intervene, to a supervisor."

Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles

The Lincoln Police Department bans the shooting at or into a motor vehicle except for the direst of situations. General Order 1510 states that, "Officers shall not shoot at or into moving motor vehicles except in cases where the officers have no other reasonable alternative to protect their lives or the lives of other human beings." In other words, an officer should only discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle or its occupants when the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others, such as the vehicle occupants discharging a firearm at the officer or others.

Require Use-of-Force Continuum

The Lincoln Police Department uses and trains based on a use-of-force continuum, and has done so for many years. The resistance control continuum is a guide on when to use control, and what type and degree of control technique to use. The continuum is founded on the principle that officers should first attempt to de-escalate the situation. Then, whenever possible, respond to the resistance with a level of control that is sufficient to overcome the resistance, but is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. Officers should then select an appropriate type and degree of control in consideration of the particular circumstances at hand.

Require Comprehensive Reporting

The Lincoln Police Department has specific reporting requirements associated with use of control incidents. Officers who are involved in any of the following types of control must immediately notify a supervisor and complete a written report detailing the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Following an incident involving these levels of control, the involved officer(s) and their supervisor complete a Use of Control report. This report, along with any video(s) of the incident, and other reports are reviewed by LPD Training staff, LPD administration, and the involved officers' commanding officer. This mandatory review is done to determine whether the use of control is within LPD's General Orders, reasonable, and whether the incident requires additional training. LPD has also partnered with a local university who analyzes our use of control data and completes an annual report that informs our training and policies.

Type of Control Notify
Use of control
report review?
Point a firearm at a person other than for training Yes Yes Yes
Discharge a firearm other than for training Yes Yes Yes
Any control which results in injury to officer or suspect Yes Yes Yes
Any use of a weapon, including baton, TASER, pepper spray Yes Yes Yes
Any use of a hard-empty hand control technique Yes Yes Yes