Oklahoma City police union pushing for relaxed rules on use of force - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Oklahoma City police union pushing for relaxed rules on use of force

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The rules for Oklahoma City police are pretty simple: if officers use force, they have to report it.

But Marty Stupka, head of the local police union, said the definition of "force" is too strict and that police are at risk because of it.

Stupka said the current policy requires paperwork if an officer simply spins a suspect around for handcuffing. If officers do not report such a use of force, Stupka said they could be liable for misdemeanor charges.

"An officer has to have self-restraint," Stupka said. "But just because they put on a uniform and wear a badge, it doesn't mean they aren't human. Nobody likes to be hit or spit on."

Stupka said regardless of the findings on a "use of force" report, paperwork still ends up in the file of the officer involved. That's unnecessary and confusing, said Stupka, who is seeking a new designation of the use of force in current contract negotiations with the city.

But any rule that gives police more latitude in enforcing the law is likely to raise opposition, especially given some recent incidents.

In January, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for an investigation of Oklahoma City police after the death of Wade Eugene Nubine, 46.

While handcuffed and in custody on a public disturbance complaint, Nubine complained of shortness of breath and stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.

More recently, the NAACP picketed police headquarters in Edmond, citing racism and excessive force in the arrest of Roger Britt, 40,on March 6.

Britt claimed officers forced him to the ground and sprayed him with pepper spray after he was arrested on child abuse charges. Britt said he only spanked his grandchild.

Roosevelt Milton, president of the Oklahoma City NAACP chapter, could not be reached for comment Sunday.
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