GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Chief of Police is sharing his ideas for better policing.
Chief Eric Winstrom presented his public safety plan to city commissioners Tuesday morning.
The department's implementing new rules that emphasize de-escalation techniques and prioritize 'Sanctity of Human Life.'
Some policy language changes include:
- Requiring a warning before use of deadly force.
- Using deadly force only when "necessary."
- Requiring the opportunity to voluntarily comply.
"I came in, hit the ground running on March 7 when I looked and started going through the policies to make sure we have the best policies," said Chief Eric Winstrom. "As time evolves, police policy has changed since 2000 when I started policing. I think when I leave policing, it'll look completely different. I want to make sure Grand Rapids is at the forefront of that."
The Chief says his policy changes weren't based on the officer-involved shooting death of Patrick Lyoya, rather this is something he has worked on implementing since his first day on the job.
Lyoya family attorney Ven Johnson says he applauds the changes however it's 'too little too late,' as his client is dead.
He believes the same outcome would've happened regardless.
"The same thing would've happened as long as the officers who are enforcing these policies and procedures aren't held accountable when they violate them."
Johnson says these policies are already required by federal law, so it should've been taught before.
"One of many Supreme Court excessive force decisions required verbal warning when feasible before an officer uses deadly fire," said Johnson.
He says that didn't happen in the Lyoya case so he's in the process of filing a case in Grand Rapids federal court.
Going forward, Chief Winstrom emphasized he will hold his officers to highest level of professional standards.
Training in these new policies will begin on Aug. 2.
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