SEATTLE — A federal appeals court panel has unanimously upheld the Seattle Police Department’s policy on the use of force by officers.
The department adopted the policy under its 2012 reform agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. The policy dictates that when necessary, officers shall only use “objectively reasonable force, proportional to the threat or urgency of the situation.” It also requires them to use de-escalation techniques when it’s safe to do so.
A group of about 125 officers sued to challenge the policy, saying it would unreasonably restrict their Second Amendment rights to use their service weapons for self-defense.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed Tuesday. The panel held that the city has a significant interest in regulating the use of guns by police officers, and the policy does not restrict the officers’ Second Amendment rights.