Guns and Policing: Standards to Prevent Misuse — Amnesty International
Posted by Arroyoribera on August 10, 2007
To read this entire report, go to http://web.amnesty.org/library/print/ENGACT300012004
[Excerpt] The UN Code of Conduct states that every law enforcement agency “should be representative of and responsive and accountable to the community as a whole.” [End excerpt]
[Excerpt] Agreed international standards do exist to control the use of force and firearms by the police. They include the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. At their heart is the question of what constitutes legitimate force. Police must sometimes be permitted to use force or lethal force, in order to do their job of keeping communities safe and protecting people from life-threatening attacks. But the force used must not be arbitrary; it must be proportionate, necessary and lawful. And it must only be used in self defense or against the imminent threat of death or serious injury.
In order to comply with this essential principle, police must know how to assess rapidly when a threat to life is being made. They need to be extremely well trained in tactical threat assessment so that they can judge in each different context whether a use of force, including lethal force, will be proportionate, necessary and lawful. Too many police forces around the world are trained how to fire a gun but not how to decide whether it should be fired, or when. And too few governments have incorporated the UN standards in their national legislation, or show any respect for them in practice. [End excerpt]