Policing in the Post-Floyd Era: Use of Force and Community Engagement

Policing in the Post-Floyd Era: Use of Force and Community Engagement
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-01-26
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Policing in the Post-Floyd Era
Unit 2 Workbook: Policing in the Post-Floyd Era
Unit 3 Transcript: Policing in the Post-Floyd Era
Unit 4 Recording: Policing in the Post-Floyd Era

We’ve heard it time and again, from sage life advice to pop culture… With great power comes great responsibility. The past few years is testament to how this applies to policing as use of force incidents happen almost one after another challenging the proverbial where one’s fist ends, and where one’s nose begins. This webinar provides a guide on policing in the post-Floyd era looking at legal obligations, the social environment, and community engagement.

This session’s instructor is Ashley Heiberger. Ashley served as a police officer for 22 years and retired as a Captain and the Professional Standards Division Commander. He currently is a Police Practices Advisor, an Adjunct Professor, and maintains a consulting and expert witness practice primarily focused on policy development, use of force training, and accountability.

Specifics he discussed are on:

  • The ultimate sanction of criminal prosecution to police use of deadly force – looking at cases and conviction statistics since 2005.
  • The federal constitution standards applied in less severe outcomes of a police use of force case.
  • The two case laws that established the concept of deadly force and objective reasonableness – the facts of the case and the case outcomes.
  • Evaluating use of force scenarios through the Graham Factors that look into the severity of the crime, the threat to the officer or community, and the act of active resistance and evading arrest.
  • What force continuum is, the common misconception about it, and why it is best to use the force continuum as a training tool instead of a directive or policy.
  • A glimpse into the force incidents from 1990s to 2010 and those that occurred post-2014.
    • Comparing the type of police response that took place and the media attention garnered.
    • The biased journalism presented which impacted much of the public sentiment and criticism.
    • The interesting legislations that were proposed related to the incident and related issues.
    • The mass mobilization that followed in response to the incidents.
  • The dilemma in terms of community engagement where law enforcement needs community support to be effective, but community skepticism and distrust is preventing them to do so.
  • The value in understanding that policing is a hyperlocal function, where:
    • The agencies are the experts to the communities they serve.
    • Agencies must seek the communities’ feedback and help to best address local issues.
  • The importance of acknowledging:
    • The mistakes committed by law enforcement agencies in history and learning from them.
    • The tragedy that comes with loss of life in law enforcement encounters.
    • The inherent violence that comes with any police use of force incident.
  • The 8 Can’t Wait Analysis and Recommendations from Campaign Zero in response to the George Floyd case in their goal to curtail police violence, and some tweaks and suggestions to its scope and limits.
  • Unpacking duty to intervene and de-escalation as means to mitigate deadly use of force.
    • Innovative ways to underscore duty to intervene to law enforcement by shifting the benefit of the intervention.
    • Managing public expectations about de-escalation and outlining de-escalation techniques and the opportunities when de-escalation may be used.
  • Facts and figures that may be shared with the community to:
    • Debunk misinformation circulating about use of force and other anti-police sentiment.
    • Exhibit how uncommon use of force is in the grand scheme of things.
    • The circumstances that surround use of force incidents and the officers’ motivations to respond accordingly.



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Audience Comments

  • “Updated statistics were most beneficial so they can be provided to our communities.” — ANGELA
  • “The statistics bring to light how the vast majority of officers use reasonable force. It shows how skewed the media truly is.” — Andrew
  • “The topic and what I could hear from the presenter was first-rate.  The Captain provided an excellent perspective. Thanks again, Justice Clearinghouse!” — Ben
  • “The balanced approach of policing issues and community perception. The data. All of it. Great presenter!!!” — CARRIE
  • “The presenter was very knowledgeable in this topic. All departments need to have our community behind us during good and bad times.” — Eligio
  • “I found that sharing the past use of force incidents that have occurred were beneficial & how it relates to the challenges police face currently.” — Jessica
  • “The instructor was extremely well versed on the subject, incredibly insightful, provided a lot of current relevant info. Fantastic webinar overall – Thank you.” — Lisa
  • “I think that Capt. Heiberger did an excellent job of covering such important topics and in a short amount of time. I think it’s always a great reminder to discuss these sensitive topics because policing is rapidly changing, literally daily. Thank you.” — Jeanelle


Additional Resources
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