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San Francisco To Reconsider When Police Should Fire At Moving Vehicles

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San Francisco Police, generic (AP Graphic)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Twice in one week, police opened fire on suspects as the cars they were in tried to speed away, adding urgency to a policy change in the works for about six months.

A new general order would redefine when officers should use a gun to protect themselves from a moving vehicle and when they should simply get out of the way, said Police Commissioner Jim Hammer.

“[If] someone in the car is actually firing a weapon,” Hammer said, “in that kind of case, the police officer is really duty bound to try to stop that person from trying to shoot somebody else.”

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

The concern is that injuring a suspect who is behind the wheel of a fleeing vehicle also exposes passers-by to even greater risk of “getting run over by a driverless car,” Hammer said.

Police in the field have to make split second decisions, and Hammer said it’s essential that they have clear orders to guide their behavior as other big cities have done.

Hammer hopes to bring that general order drafted by Chief George Gascón before the Police Department’s civilian oversight panel in December.

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