MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Miami Beach Police Department has announced an amendment to its use of force policy to ensure the safety of the public as well as the department's officers.
Beginning Monday, officers shall not discharge their firearm at a moving vehicle unless "a person in the vehicle is immediately threatening the officer or another person with deadly force by a means other than the vehicle."
"It was recommended by the executive research forum study of the organization that was released back in July," said Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates.
Officers are also not allowed to intentionally move into or remain in the path of a moving vehicle.
According to the General Order, the amendment to the use of force policy was made for the following reasons:
"Bullets fired at a moving vehicle are extremely unlikely to disable or stop the vehicle."
"Disabling the driver of a moving vehicle creates unpredictable circumstances that may cause the vehicle to crash and injure other officers of innocent citizens."
"Shooting accurately from a moving vehicle is extremely difficult and therefore unlikely to successfully stop a threat to an officer or other person."
"Moving to cover to gain and maintain a superior tactical advantage maximizes office and public safety while minimizing the need for deadly or potentially deadly force."
Officers are also not allowed to fire at a felon if they are unarmed, whether they are fleeing or not, as well as against misdemeanor or traffic offenders.
Officers are also not allowed to fire at a suspect if there is a significant chance that innocent bystanders could be injured.
The changes come three years after four innocent bystanders were shot during Memorial Day weekend, also known as Urban Beach Weekend on Miami Beach.
Officers fired more than 100 rounds and killed a man who investigators said was driving erratically on Collins Avenue.
Raymond Herisse, 22, was killed in that shooting.
Local 10 News reporter Christina Vazquez asked Oates about whether another high-profile case, involving graffiti artist Israel "Reefa" Hernandez-Llach would inspire more changes from the department.
In that case LLach died after he was shot with a Taser last year, following a foot pursuit with an officer who caught him tagging a vacant building.
"I am reviewing the Taser policy, and reviewing a whole lot of stuff here, so not sure where that review will lead and we will see," said Oates.
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