The Tucson Police Department has released findings associated with the review of two critical incidents.
The first incident involved a motorcycle collision associated with a police pursuit in mid-2016.
In this review, the board determined the fatal accident occurred as a result of the suspect fleeing responding patrol cars, not as a result of a violation of department policy.
However, the board did find deficiencies in policy, training, and equipment.
As a result, significant revisions were made to General Order 3600, “Vehicle Operations,” to provide clarity and improve understanding of responsibilities when undertaking emergency or pursuit driving.
At the direction of the board, a Driving Safety Committee was created to work with the City’s Risk Manager to employ monitoring technology for the operation of City vehicles.
The second incident involved the department’s role in a protest that occurred on Congress Street in February 2017.
In this review, to board determined multiple issues contributed to the February 2017 protest becoming confrontational.
The demonstrators’ decision to leave the sidewalk and block traffic served as a significant contributing factor for the encounter in the roadway. Some protestors viewed actions taken by the police as unwarranted or unnecessary.
Based on this perception, protestors engaged in unlawful conduct that included assaulting officers and resisting arrest.
CIRB concluded that officers used justified force during much of the incident, but identified several circumstances where the force employed was outside of department policy. In the months that followed this protest, the department instituted significant changes to use of force training, tracking, and review. These revisions appropriately reflect community expectations regarding effective communication and de-escalation skills.
The board also found the department lacked a clear policy or established practice as it relates to protests that take control of an open roadway.
These two reports and all future CIRB reports will be posted on the department website at www.tucsonaz.gov/police.