This week marks the second year since George Floyd was murdered by a police officer kneeling on his neck as the public gathered, filmed and begged the officer to stop.
This week, the Justice Department is issuing a directive for federal agents to act when they witness things like this in public, The Washington Post reported Monday evening.
Attorney General Merrick Garland changed existing rules about any law enforcement under the DOJ to intervene if they witness use of excessive force or mistreating people in custody. The directive was posted on their website Monday.
“It is the policy of the Department of Justice to value and preserve human life,” Garland wrote in a four-page memo. “Officers may use only the force that is objectively reasonable to effectively gain control of an incident, while protecting the safety of the officer and others.”
It's the first time the DOJ has changed the use-of-force policy in 18 years. Officers must “recognize and act upon the affirmative duty to intervene to prevent or stop, as appropriate, any officer from engaging in excessive force or any other use of force that violates the Constitution, other federal laws or department policies on the reasonable use of force.”
It will apply to U.S. Marshals, the FBI, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The DOJ can't make requirements to local law enforcement, that would take an act of Congress to stop police violence.
Read the full report at The Washington Post.