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Old February 13, 2013, 12:38 PM   #1
jimpeel
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The weapon of choice employed again?

I started a thread in the old L&P forum back in August of 2001 about how fire seems to be the new weapon of choice being employed against barricaded suspects.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79131

In the Dorner standoff yesterday officers can be heard calling for the torching of the cabin that Dorner had holed up in.

The police can be heard yelling "Burn that <distorted> out!"

All of the above went out live, including the language, over channel 9 KCAL Los Angeles as their reporter Carter Evans was covering the event. That audio may be heard HERE.

In recorded police radio transmissions they speak of starting a fire with "the burner" and "We're going to go forward with the plan with the burner." That conversation starts at 1:00 into the audio at THIS RECORDING. At 1:28 they state "The burner is deployed and we have a fire." This is confirmed by a female voice which states "Copy 7, burner's deployed and we have a fire."

So it seems that their tactical vehicle, with which they were tearing down the walls of the house, has a flame thrower.

I am torn on this because while fire is the best weapon against continued threat of harm to the good guys -- conversely, it was used to great effect during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by the bad guys -- I don't like it being used as the first line of defense. This continued militarization of our police and these types of tactics are disturbing.

I'll let the assemblage hash this one out. My opinion is stated.

As an aside, the sheriff at 2:49 with his finger on the trigger of what appears to be a Mini 14 is demonstrably poor firearms handling.
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Last edited by Tom Servo; February 13, 2013 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Edited redacted profanity in quotes
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:53 PM   #2
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I wonder how much they are going to compensate the owners for destroying their house and property...


Also, for a minute there I thought you were talking about the use of children in last night's speech.

Last edited by spacecoast; February 13, 2013 at 02:09 PM.
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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This is a losing proposition... The last thing we need is for BGs to start using fire based off of what police are doing... I can easily imagine any number of scenarios where a BG simply lights forest fires and lets the wind do the work or any number of other simple ways to light a whole city block.

I think this method should be greatly discouraged. Also fire isn't the greatest way to resolve the issue, it would be relatively easy for a prepared bg to allow the police burn the house to the ground and assume the BG is dead with in reality the BG may have established a underground space that may simply not be effected...

The bottom line for me is we don't want to raise the stakes because there are those BGs who will fight fire with fire.
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Old February 13, 2013, 12:56 PM   #4
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I find that very disturbing. The problem with fire is that it doesn't exactly allow a criminal the opportunity to surrender. "Taking no prisoners" pretty much goes against our concept of law enforcement in this country.
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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It also doesn't discriminate between the innocent and the guilty. It would have been doubly tragic if there had been a couple of innocents in that cabin.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

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"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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I feel no remorse for the BG, but I also feel the Police had no intention of taking this one alive.
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Very disturbing.
Was starving this guy out of the cabin out of the question? I am so perplexed by this on so many levels... I have no idea why a police department would even need this! The news made this sound like the fire was set from within the structure. They said there was a pop and then a fire.
I am in no way saying what this guy did was right, but I feel like we are not even hearing 1/10th of what really happened.

The funny thing is, we are questioned of the need for a 30 round magazine. WTH??? What about this???
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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My problem with it is this. What if this turns out not to be him?
What if this were somebody else, or even a hostage? You can't just say "Oops, sorry." and have that person magically come back to life.
What if (Gasp!) the Media and the Police are wrong and we find out later this guy was framed and innocent? ''Oops, sorry." again? It won't bring him back to life.
We have trials for a reason. Just to anticipate a counter argument,"he could have just surrendered and lived". If they were willing to burn him out, burning him to death in the process, there is no way you're going to convince me someone's finger wasn't going to pull a trigger.
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimboh247 View Post
I feel no remorse for the BG, but I also feel the Police had no intention of taking this one alive.
Absolutely not. That was pretty obvious a few days ago when they opened fire on two newspaper workers without hesitation. Legally enabled fools with lights, sirens and worse: guns.


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Old February 13, 2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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I am totally disgusted with this incident. The police had him surrounded and he was trapped, where was the negotiator who is supposed to atleast attempt him to give up ? This whole situation has the markings of a vigilante mob. From what I have heard the police were totally out of touch with reality on this one. I do not condone what this guy did but burning a man to death is a horrible horrible death. These officers should all be arrested and held accountable for their actions.
I know the suspect was an accused murderer, but he was also a human being and by the sounds of things had mental issues. His civil rights were clearly violated in such a horrific way. The police had him surrounded and contained, was there no other way other to burn him alive ? Couldn't they have out waited him or apprehended him in a much more civilized manner ?

Sure does a lot to instill and keep faith in law enforcement officers.
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:55 PM   #11
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Yep when they lit up not one but TWO pickup trucks that only vaguely looked like the suspects that pretty much said they won't be taking him alive.


I see no valid reason they went in and assaulted the cabin, no known hostages, he is not in a major urban center where he could do mass damage, they had him contained.. a perimeter could have been set up and they could have called in SWAT snipers to take him out if he tried to make a run for it or take further potshots @ the officers.

The police wanted payback and it looks like they got it.

A lot of things about this case have been alarming, including how the local LEO's decided to bring it to an end.
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:21 PM   #12
jimpeel
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Originally Posted by rebs View Post
The police had him surrounded and he was trapped, where was the negotiator who is supposed to atleast attempt him to give up ?
The owner of the cabin informed them that there were no communications at the cabin -- no phone, internet, or cable. That would have placed them in the position of having to get within bullhorn distance facing an expert marksman with a rifle.

I still am against using fire to "get" him.
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

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"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:27 PM   #13
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I'm sorry, but I fail to understand why a communications device of some kind could not have been launched through a window and into the cabin.
Heck, a rock can break a window allowing a cushioned cell phone to be pitched through the opening.
Anything is better than death by fire without a trial.
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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You wanna be the one to go up there and throw it in?
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Gun Control: The premise that a woman found in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is morally superior to allowing that same woman to defend her life with a firearm.

"Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house." - Jules Henri Poincare

"Three thousand people died on Sept. 11 because eight pilots were killed"
-- former Northwest Airlines pilot Stephen Luckey
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:37 PM   #15
Willie Sutton
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^^ who cares?

Wait out his food... no talking needed.

Set up a perimeter and order coffee and donuts for the crowd of 1000's and sit tight.


I can see it now:

"We burned him out because he didn't have a phone or internet"....


No, you burned him out because you were either:

(A): Too impatient to wait,

or

(B): Bloodthirsty enough to decide that rough justice was preferable to the sort handed out in court.


Neither (A) or (B) is acceptable in a civilized society.


BTW, if you did this in Afghanastan you would be a war criminal and would very likely be charged under the UCMJ and put away for a very very very long time.....



Willie

.

Last edited by Willie Sutton; February 13, 2013 at 03:42 PM.
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
You wanna be the one to go up there and throw it in?
Not being a LEO, I'm sure the wouldn't even have asked me.
But, in the interest of justice, an attempt at something like that should have been made.
Or, simply starve him out. either way, the idea is to get him into court. Not directly to the morgue.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:06 PM   #17
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They were able to get the Burner close enough to start the cabin on fire. I have to believe they had a way to drop a cell phone safely and close enough for him to grab. Edit: Hell for that matter, and within 5 minutes of being presented with the problem- why not sent the EOD robot up to the door and drop it on the doorstep?

On the flip side, he allegedly and probably said some version of No Quarter in his manifesto thing.

Of course, given his training, and presumed knowledge of at least the basic tactics that would be used, how often this sort of thing has happened before.... wouldn't we all be screwed but say we knew it would happen if he turns out to have gotten away?
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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Why would the police risk their lives trying to take him alive. He had shown by his earlier ruthless murders what he was capable of he got what he deserved. PS As for the ones saying about taking him alive perhaps they could volunteer to try themselves next time there is a similar incident.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:17 PM   #19
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The point here manta is they could have at least tried to wait him out without putting anybody in danger.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:17 PM   #20
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I just offered up an easy way to give him the chance at communication with the law enforcement.

I'm also not really passing judgement on them. It APPEARS they dispensed mob justice, but it also hasn't been long enough to confirm he was even in the place yet. I'm willing to wait until the story falls out before passing final judgement.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manta49
Why would the police risk their lives trying to take him alive.
Why? Because our officers are sworn to uphold our Constitution and our Constitution says that no man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and that he was entitled to trial by a jury of his peers.

The reports aren't in yet as to how the fire started, but there are perfectly good, legal reasons for simply waiting him out. FWIW, coming from a non-LEO, had it been my call, first move would have been to shut off his water supply.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:29 PM   #22
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If he walked near a window with his weapon and a sniper put a .308 in his head would you feel any differently? That certainly would have been justified as he had shown himself to be a direct threat to the officers on the scene. Don't get me wrong, I am not real comfortable with burning a building down like that, but when I asked myself the above question it did make me thing some.

I came to the conclusion I am not real thrilled with how the situation was handled, but I understand why it went down that way. The policy and procedure should probably be changed...if there is one in place.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:34 PM   #23
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overhead, I sure would feel differently. Only him in danger, target clearly identified. I'd still be asking some questions about whether they attempted negotiations. We don't even know if the body is his at this point.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:40 PM   #24
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Why? Because our officers are sworn to uphold our Constitution and our Constitution says that no man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and that he was entitled to trial by a jury of his peers.
Taking people to trail isn't always possible. As for being deprived of life all my sympathy will be going to the people he murdered and their friends and families and 0 to him.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:48 PM   #25
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I understand that folks don't always get to trial, and I have the utmost sympathy for the families of those whom he killed. Nonetheless, the officers (presumably) took an oath to uphold the law, and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
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