Dallas Police Introduce ‘Duty to Intervene’ Rule to Help Prevent Excessive Force

Chief U. Reneé Hall (center) weeps as she and other officers kneel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during the Blue for Black Lives demonstration at Dallas City Hall on Friday.(Lynda M. Gonzalez / Staff Photographer)

Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall has put a new rule on the force’s policy books making it “the duty of every employee” who witnesses the use of physical force “being inappropriately applied” or used longer than necessary “to either stop, or attempt to stop” the action in question.

A statement released Thursday by the Dallas Police said the new “Duty to Intervene” order was implemented by Chief Hall, “to create a culture where what happened to Mr. [George] Floyd does not happen again.”

“Millions watched a Minneapolis police officer suffocate Mr. George Floyd to death by applying pressure with his knee on the victim’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. His fellow co-workers either assisted or stood by and watched Mr. Floyd take his last breath. Had the officer’s partners intervened, the outcome might have been different,” the police said in the statement.

The officer who pushed his knee into Floyd’s back and neck was fired and has been charged with second and third degree murder. Three of his fellow officers who were at the scene during the encounter in Minneapolis — all of whom have also been fired — are facing charges of aiding and abetting the crime.

Dallas Police have also come under scrutiny during more than a week of consistent protests sparked by Floyd’s death.

Brandon Saenz, a 26-year-old man who joined a crowd protesting police brutality in Dallas on Saturday has said he became a victim of it.

“All I heard was a boom. I got hit,” Saenz said. “I put my hands up, and I put my hand on my eye, and then I took off running.”

Click here to read more.