Aurora Shifts Policy To Allow Shooting At Moving Cars
On March 1, Aurora (CO) has given its police officers the authority to shoot at a moving vehicle when it poses a danger to the officer or members of the public. This is a different direction than a previous policy and what other departments such as Denver have been moving away from.
The new policy advises officers that they “should not” discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle unless a person in the vehicle is immediately threatening another person with deadly force by means other than the vehicle.
The previous policy stated that an officer “will not” discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle under the same circumstances.
The new policy says officers should shoot at a moving vehicle only as a “a last resort.”
Aurora’s policy shift is a subtle change, but one that certainly gives police — in writing — the ability to shoot at a moving vehicle. The new policy does, however, strongly advise against shooting at moving vehicles.
“Shooting at or from moving vehicles is highly discouraged and must be the only objectively reasonable and necessary option under the circumstances,” the new policy reads. “Any time a member shoots at or from a moving vehicle, their actions and decision making will be subjected to strict scrutiny.”
The Police Executive Research Forum has taken a strong stance on the issue by stating that shooting at moving vehicles “must be strictly prohibited.”
Its “Use of Force: 30 Guiding Principles” report issued in late January, stated that “Agencies should adopt a strict prohibition against shooting at or from a moving vehicle unless someone in the vehicle is using or threatening deadly force by means other than the vehicle itself.”