WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government should study how police use less-lethal weapons, like tear gas and bean-bag guns, and offer guidance to law enforcement agencies across the U.S. because officers are often left with little information beyond the manufacturer’s guidelines, according to a new report by one of the country’s leading police research groups.
The report — released Friday by the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization dedicated to improving the professionalism of policing — examines how police departments handled the thousands of protests and civil unrest in the U.S. in the summer of 2020, after George Floyd was killed at the hands of officers in Minneapolis.
The report offers 38 recommendations for police departments about how to handle demonstrations, civil disturbances and the violence that occurred during the unrest. It is based on interviews with police chiefs, reviews of after-action reports and an analysis of intelligence and other police reports. The recommendations include improving training, avoiding mass arrests, improving communication both internally within police forces and to the community during demonstrations and conducting robust reviews after large-scale protests.