Definitions of Consent Decree

On July 18, 2003 the Detroit Police Department, the City of Detroit and the United States Department of Justice entered into two consent decrees. The first consent decree deals with the Use of Force, Arrest and Witness Detention. The second decree concerns the Conditions of Confinement in our holding facilities.


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 1.  As used in this Agreement:

a. The term “actively resisting” means the subject is making physically evasive movements to defeat an officer's attempt at control, including bracing, tensing, pulling away, or pushing. 
b. The term “arrest” means a seizure of greater scope or duration than an investigatory or Terry stop. An arrest is lawful when supported by probable cause.

c. The term “auditable form” or “auditable log” means a discrete record of the relevant information maintained separate and independent of blotters and other forms maintained by the DPD.

d. The term “canine apprehension” means any time a canine is deployed and plays a clear and well-documented role in the capture of a person. The mere presence of a canine at the scene of an arrest shall not be counted as an apprehension.

e. The term “canine bite ratio” means the number of apprehensions accomplished by means of a dog bite divided by the total number of apprehensions (both with and without a bite).

f. The term “canine deployment” means any situation, except in cases involving an on-leash article search only, in which a canine is brought to the scene and either: i) the canine is released from the police car in furtherance of the police action; or ii) the suspect gives up immediately after an announcement is made that if he/she does not surrender the
canine will be released.

g. The term “City” means the City of Detroit, including its agents, officers and employees.

h. The term “Collective Bargaining Agreements” means the labor agreements by and between the City and the Detroit Police Officers Association, the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, the Detroit Police Command Officers Association, the Police Officer Labor Council, and Local 2394 of the American Federation of State, County, and
Municipal Employees in effect on the effective date of this Agreement.

i. The term “command investigation” means an investigation conducted by a DPD officer’s or employee’s supervisor.

j. The term “complaint” means an allegation from any source of any misconduct by DPD personnel.

k. The term “conveyance” means any instance when the DPD transports a non-DPD employee for any purpose.

l. The term “critical firearm discharge” means each discharge of a firearm by a DPD officer with the exception of range and training discharges and discharges at animals.

m. The term “DOJ” means the United States Department of Justice and its agents and employees.

n. The term “DPD” means the Detroit Police Department, its agents and its employees (both sworn and unsworn).

o. The term “DPD unit” means any officially designated organization of officers within the DPD, including precincts and specialized units.

p. The term “discipline” means a written reprimand, suspension, demotion or dismissal.

q. The term “effective date” means the day this Agreement is entered by the Court.

r. The term “escorting” means the use of light physical pressure to guide a person, or keep a person in place.

s. The term “FTO” means a field training officer.

t. The term “force” means the following actions by an officer: any physical strike or instrumental contact with a person; any intentional attempted physical strike or instrumental contact that does not take effect; or any significant physical contact that restricts the movement of a person.
The term includes the discharge of firearms; the use of chemical spray, choke holds or hard hands; the taking of a subject to the ground; or the deployment of a canine. The term does not include escorting or handcuffing a person, with no or minimal resistance. Use of force is lawful if it is objectively reasonable under the circumstances and the minimum amount of force necessary to effect an arrest or protect the officer or other person.

u. The term “hard hands” means using physical pressure to force a person against an object or the ground, or the use of physical strength or skill that causes pain or leaves a mark.

v. The term “hold” means any outstanding charge(s) or warrant(s) other than those which serve as the predicate for the current arrest.

w. The term “IAD” means the section of the DPD that investigates serious uses of force and allegations of criminal misconduct by DPD employees.

x. The term “including” means “including, but not limited to.”

y. The term “injury” means any impairment of physical condition or pain.

z. The term “investigatory stop,” or “Terry stop,” means a limited seizure. An investigatory stop is lawful when supported by reasonable suspicion and narrowly tailored in scope and duration to the reasons supporting the seizure.

aa. The term “material witness” means a witness subpoenaed to testify in a criminal case.

bb. The term “misconduct” means any conduct by a DPD employee that violates DPD policy or the law.

cc. The term “non-disciplinary corrective action” means counseling, training or other action apart from discipline taken by a DPD supervisor to enable or encourage an officer to modify or improve his or her performance.

dd. The term “OCI” means the Office of the Chief Investigator, which has responsibility for investigating external complaints.

ee. The term “parties” means the DOJ, the City and the DPD.

ff. The term “police officer” or “officer” means any law enforcement officer employed by the DPD, including supervisors.

gg. The term “prisoner injury” means an injury, or complaint of injury, that occurs in the course of taking or after an individual was taken into DPD custody that is not attributed to a use of force by a DPD employee.

hh. The term “probable cause” means a reasonable belief that an individual has committed, is committing, or is about to commit an offense.

ii. The term “prompt judicial review” means the presentment of an arrestee before a court of appropriate jurisdiction for a probable cause determination as soon after an arrest as is reasonably feasible. A reasonably feasible time period is the period of time necessary to schedule the arraignment and
complete the administrative processing of the arrestee and shall not exceed 48 hours of the arrest, absent extraordinary circumstances.

jj. The term “proper use of force decision making” means the use of reasonable force, including proper tactics, and de-escalation techniques.

kk. The term “reasonable suspicion” means the specific facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts to convince an ordinarily prudent person that criminality is at hand.

ll. The term “seizure,” or “detention,” means any restriction on the liberty interest of an individual. A seizure occurs when an officer's words or actions convey to a reasonable person that he or she is not free to leave.

mm. The term “serious bodily injury” means an injury that involves a loss of consciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a body part or organ, or a substantial risk of death.

nn. The term “serious use of force” means any action by a DPD officer that involves: i) the use of deadly force, including all critical firearms discharges; ii) a use of force in which the person suffers serious bodily injury or requires hospital admission; iii) a canine bite; and iv) the use of chemical spray against a restrained person.

oo. The term “shall” means that the provision imposes a mandatory duty.

pp. The term “supervisor” means a sworn DPD employee at the rank of sergeant or above and non-sworn employees with oversight responsibility for DPD employees.