555 CMR 6.04 - Use of Non-deadly Force

(1) A law enforcement officer shall not use force upon another person, unless de-escalation tactics have been attempted and failed or are not feasible based on the totality of the circumstances and such force is necessary and proportionate to:
(a) effect the lawful arrest or detention of a person;
(b) prevent the escape from custody;
(c) prevent imminent harm and the amount of force used is proportionate to the threat of imminent harm, while protecting the safety of the officer or others; or
(d) defend against an individual who initiates force against an officer.
(2) A law enforcement officer shall use only the amount of force necessary against an individual who is engaged in passive resistance to effect the lawful arrest or detention of said individual and shall use de-escalation tactics where feasible.
(3) Physically escorting or handcuffing an individual with minimal or no resistance does not constitute a use of force for purposes of 555 CMR 6.04. Use of force does include the pointing of a firearm, ECW, CED or CW at an individual and the use of OC spray on an individual or directed toward an individual.
(4) Officers shall always provide appropriate medical response to individuals who are exhibiting signs of or complaining of injury or illness following a non-deadly use of force when safe and tactically feasible.
(5) All law enforcement officers shall be properly trained and certified in the use of any less-lethal weapons before being authorized to carry or use such force options.
(6) Except to temporarily gain, regain or maintain control of an individual and apply restraints, a law enforcement officer shall not intentionally sit, kneel, or stand on an individual's chest or spine, and shall not force an individual to lie on their stomach. In no event may a law enforcement officer intentionally sit, kneel, or stand on an individual's neck or head.
(7) A law enforcement officer shall not obstruct the airway or limit the breathing of any individual, nor shall a law enforcement officer restrict oxygen or blood flow to an individual's head or neck. An individual placed on their stomach during restraint should be moved into a recovery position or seated position as soon as practicable.

Notes

555 CMR 6.04
Adopted by Mass Register Issue 1453, eff. 10/1/2021. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1474, eff. 10/1/2021. Amended by Mass Register Issue 1476, eff. 8/5/2022 (EMERGENCY). Amended by Mass Register Issue 1483, eff. 8/5/2022 (COMPLIANCE).

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