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Old August 29, 2007, 02:46 PM   #1
BillCA
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Controlling a suspect

This may have been covered under a different thread, but I didn't find such in my searches. So here's the question.

How much training have you devoted to controlling a suspect/threat if he appears to capitulate?

For example: A bump in the night wakes you and you find an intruder in your den/living/family room and when challenged, he puts up his hands. No you have him "covered" what happens next?

What do you say to challenge him? Freeze!? Stop!? Don't Move!? or do you start with ordering him to the ground?

If you cannot see if he is armed or not, does that change any of your tactics? If at some point you see a gun in his waistband, does that change your tactics?

What is your response when he starts apologizing with the "wrong house" excuse? Would your response be different if he started talking about the trouble you'd be in for "shooting an unarmed man"?

Lastly, presuming he is not obviously armed, what will you do if he simply stands there and fails to comply with any commands you give him. I.e. he doesn't make threatening moves but he refuses to do more than raise his hands shoulder high.

Feel free to answer any one or combinations of the questions above. The purpose is to see how many people have thought this through and can articulate supporting reasons for their tactics.
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Old August 29, 2007, 02:59 PM   #2
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There are two applications here: Out in the street vs. In your home.

When out in the street, there's no need (or legal justification) for holding the suspect. If you can leave, you leave. If you can't leave (and imminent death or serious bodily injury is feared), you shoot until you can leave (threat is neutralized). Either way, after the threat is neutralized, RUN!

When in your home, after an area is secured, and the suspect is surrendering, the only training you really need to do is to learn to raise the intensity of your voice, while remaining calm and in control. Order the suspect to the ground, with his arms and legs spread out flat. Warn him/her that if he/she moves, you will "shoot and kill" them. (I like "shoot and kill." It rings home alot better than, "I will fire," or other such language.) Call the cops, and wait. Keep far enough distance that the suspect cannot reach you, but stay close enough that you can shoot accurately if you need to.

If there's a gun, it's a different situation. Order the gun tossed aside, slowly. Remind the suspect that if he moves, you will "shoot and kill" him. From there, if he does not immediately comply with your request to lose the weapon and lie down, shoot. Threat is present.
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Old August 29, 2007, 03:54 PM   #3
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These kind of situations are among the worst case scenarios.

When you command a suspect to execute a movement, you largely give up initiative. You are telling them to move and thus you are putting yourself behind the reaction curve. Are they dropping the gun to comply or are they doing it in order to distract you from the other weapon they are drawing?


If you can see they have the ability and opportunity to put you in immediate jeopardy, "conversation" is probably not a good option. If they don't have such a weapon and there is not someone you have to get through them to protect, backing out to a secure area with a simple "if you move, I'll presume you are trying to kill me" or words to that effect is a good idea. If there is someone you want to protect and they are in your way, that may be a time to say "get on your face" and if they refuse, deal with it


Various jurisdictions have a presumption that someone in your home after dark is there to do you harm. That presumption may go out the window if you have the "get out" "up yours" conversation for a couple of minutes. Even if the subject didn't belong in your house, investigators might wonder why it took you so long to figure out he was a threat.

This kind of nightmare is why having everyone in one part of the house is a nice idea. That way, there's less need to go searching and have one these potential scenarios become actual situations.
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Old August 29, 2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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Outside my home, I'm not exactly sure how I would handle the situation...too many variables really.

Inside my home....
With very few exceptions, there will be no commands spoken....I'll shoot him (or her).
I consider anyone who breaks into my home to be a threat to the lives of me and my family.
I keep my doors locked both day and night and I have a dog that alerts me to visitors....so there's simply no chance that someone will just walk in by mistake.
I'm not a cop and it's not my job to arrest criminals or return the mentally unstable back to the "psych ward".
I'm just a man who will defend his home.

And anyone who believes an intruder when they say "Opps, wrong house" is naive beyond comprehension.
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Old August 29, 2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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Don't forget to let the cops know you are armed and holding a suspect at gunpoint as they will be on high alert and probably just as, if not more, exited than you.
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Old August 29, 2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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This thread reminds me of "lights on your gun" ..lol

Myself, as gone to an academy class course (like the academy, but only a semester in highschool, for 2 hours a day), an explorer for a police department in Jersey, and in the process of starting my career as an officer, I would have to say that I would try my best to be in control of the situation, without having to resort to killing someone. Main goal, is if you can, get them to lay on their stomach, cross their legs, hands behind their back, and interlock their fingers! Doubt they'd actually do that but worth a shot

Like I said before, if I can avoid killing someone by all means, I will do so. Now if its a tight situation, and due to possible this/that/the other thing, I will not stall for one second in order to protect my own life.

Plus come on, who wants to deal with bullets in their walls, and blood/brains everywhere??
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Old August 29, 2007, 04:51 PM   #7
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Fine with me if he bolts, as long as it's straight toward the nearest door. My goal is to protect my home. If he's gone, job done. I'll let the cops do their job (if he gets by the dogs). If I'm living aboard the boat, well, hope he can swim.
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Old August 29, 2007, 04:53 PM   #8
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Main goal, is if you can, get them to lay on their stomach, cross their legs, hands behind their back, and interlock their fingers! Doubt they'd actually do that but worth a shot
First let me say I'm not an LEO and never have been, nor have I had LEO training. I agree with every part of this statement with the exception of the hands behind the back. Human reaction time being what it is I want his hands straight out at his sides, 90 degrees from his body. I want him to have to reach to his waistband to get whatever may be there. That extra, gross motor movement is easy to detect and will slow down any chance at drawing on me he may have.

The above assumes of course that I catch him without a weapon already in his hand, which in NC would be problematic due to our schizo SD laws. You can legally use deadly force to prevent entry to your home. Someone's coming through your window, shoot him. You don't have to see that he's armed or intends you harm. You can assume he is based on the fact that he's breaking into an occupied dwelling.

Now, if I wake up and find Mr. Badguy already in my home I default back to the "reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury" requirement. Meaning a reasonable person would have to believe the individual standing in my living room had both the intent and the means to kill me or do great bodily harm. So in that case if I didn't see the weapon before I drew on him and ordered him onto his face I might have some 'splaining to do.

So assuming I have the legal right to use deadly force, and I draw my weapon and he complies, I personally want him proned out on his belly with his ankles crossed and his hands straight out at his sides palms facing up.

That being said, I see a weapon in his hand and he's in my living room at 2AM we ain't playin Simon Sez.
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Old August 29, 2007, 05:19 PM   #9
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The cops only know what YOU tell them. I dont know why anybody would make it clear that you had a 5 minute standoff before you decided lethal force was necessary. That makes you look bad/guilty. When a perp is in YOUR home, you protect YOUR interests. Going to jail and being away from my family is not very high on that list, so I will say what needs to be said in order to protect my own well being. After all, dead men still cant talk.
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Old August 29, 2007, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Human reaction time being what it is I want his hands straight out at his sides, 90 degrees from his body. I want him to have to reach to his waistband to get whatever may be there. That extra, gross motor movement is easy to detect and will slow down any chance at drawing on me he may have.
Bad bad BAD situation. How would it look to the police should they arrive to a criminal on the floor, on their stomach, with bullet holes in their back? You would be the one going to prison.

Best to not let it get to that point. As a prior poster already stated, it's not our job to retain the criminal so he can go to jail or a mental facility - it's our job to stop the threat. Valid threats = no jail/hospital at all.
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Old August 29, 2007, 05:43 PM   #11
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I'd rather explain the bullet holes in his back to the police than the ones in my chest to the EMT's.....provided I live that long. But that's not the point here.

The point of of that part of my post was the tactical advantage of hands to the side vs. hands behind the back. If he does have a gun there that you don't know about you just told him to put his hands near/over it. Making it easier for him to draw on you. You put his hands out straight away from his body he'll have to move his hand to his weapon to grab it. I think he'd be more likely, all else being equal, to make a go if his hands were already near the weapon. I think he'd be less likely if his hands were away from his body. I think I'd be less likely to have to shoot him that way and therefore have to explain the bullet holes in the back thing. Of course my explanation would be the gun in the BG's hand......

If you read a little further into my post you'll see that I don't see having to control a suspect as a very likely event. Either you are justified in using deadly force or you're not. If I see a gun I issue no commands, only lead. If the BG runs off before any shots are fired, even better.
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Old August 29, 2007, 05:59 PM   #12
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!!!

Well here in FL you don't have to talk to an intruder, just Shoot! It's called the "Castle Doctrine". I follow the law.
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Old August 29, 2007, 06:03 PM   #13
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Well here in FL you don't have to talk to an intruder, just Shoot! It's called the "Castle Doctrine". I follow the law.
That adds a lot to the discussion:barf:

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Old August 29, 2007, 06:18 PM   #14
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If a criminal breaks into my home, I want them to stop being a threat and get out of my home. Whether they do that by bolting and running out the door, or by taking further aggressive action and doing so on a stretcher or in a bodybag is up to them.

I am not going to "restrain" them. If they run, they're gone and the police can hunt for them. If they come towards me where I've barricaded, I shoot till they fall or flee.

That's how it should be for everyone.
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Old August 29, 2007, 06:30 PM   #15
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If you do get the suspect on the ground, on his belly with his legs crossed, and he does happen to reach into his pockets of some sort, or you do see a gun or knife, if you shoot/kill the poor guy, then you're safe. He clearly had a deadly weapon on him. Now if he was unarmed..and laying on the ground like you commanded him to..hmmm have fun in court!!

We all have our different views, and how to deal with different situations. Clearly though, theres just too many situations, for all of us to mention/think about. I base my replies on my house, and my layout, also my area and how likley is someone to break through my door? I have bars on my downstairs window..does that say what kind of neighborhood I live in? (only of course until my wifey starts her career, and I start mine in the months to come and our salary sky rocket! then luxury townhomes here we come!)

Also, I happen to know pretty much all the cops in surrounding area of my home. pretty much all the officers, in my 4 surrounding cities. Only because I myself am becoming an officer, and I spend as much time with LEOs as I can, it's pretty much my life. So I know if I did have to shoot someone in my home, their report would hopfuly defend me (at least I hope so!!) so I myself feel more secure when shooting someone in my house. Again this doesn't apply to everyone so hey, each to their own, and lets just ALL hope that we never have to deal with something this horrible.
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Old August 29, 2007, 07:23 PM   #16
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Three little words

Ikkyo, Nikyo, Sankyo. If you are familiar with their meaning and train often to use them then do so. If you once learned them once but don't practice then you may have your A$$ handed to you! Very simple yet effective control tactics that don't involve alot of Carpet cleaning and Civil if not criminal lawsuits! (yes that was directed at the inherently homicidal Castle dwellers) If your common sense and Moral (there's that funny word again) integrity would keep you from shooting a fleeing or unarmed suspect then you can keep the intruder at gunpoint till authorities arrive or you can just kill them, Because after all, "they were in YOUR house"!
You would be amazed at the amount of $$ (that you don't have) a civil court judge can award the family of the confused drunk you just blew away in your haste and longing to "get your gun off"! You would also be suprised how public postings of your Urge to kill will show up as evidence against you!
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Old August 29, 2007, 07:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Ikkyo, Nikyo, Sankyo.
If you intend to apply either control to an armed subject then you better be slicker than snail snot and faster than a speeding bullet.

I don't think anyone here is advocating shooting anyone just because they are in your house. In your house and a threat, yep, you bet. Remember that someone does not necessarily need to be armed to present a reasonable threat of death or bodily harm. If there exists such a threat, shoot to stop the threat. No psychology, no aikido.
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Old August 29, 2007, 07:50 PM   #18
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Refer to original Thread topic if confused about my post. Yes Capitulate is a big word.
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Old August 29, 2007, 08:08 PM   #19
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I think the problem comes in if you have a gun and the BG either has no weapon or his response is to drop his weapon and put his hands up. Now what do you do? Technically, you could make a citizen's arrest (you have memorized "Miranda" haven't you?) or you can hold him for the police. But if he simply walks away, you have no authority to pursue him or to shoot him in the back. If you actually saw him commit a felony (e.g., he killed your wife), all bets are off and I doubt you will be concerned with the nicety of the law.

BTW, the advice by Samurai to run away after shooting someone is very BAD advice. If you fired in self-defense you are innocent; the presumption is that anyone who runs away is guilty. Myths to the contrary, the chances of being caught are very high and it might surprise you how many witnesses there will be to the shooting. So, unless there are extenuating circumstances, like fear of a lynch mob, do not RUN. Call the police if someone else has not done so, and from there on do what they tell you. Don't wise off, don't tell them your gun is too valuable to drop, don't try to explain while holding a gun. Answer their questions truthfully, but don't rant, babble or go into lengthy justifications. If they arrest and caution you (Miranda again), stop talking altogether except to say that you want an attorney.

If you carry a gun on the street, it is best to have an attorney on retainer and have memorized his phone number.

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Old August 29, 2007, 08:19 PM   #20
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If you carry a gun on the street, it is best to have an attorney on retainer and have memorized his phone number.
Now, that's not even realistic for most people. Most people don't have that kind of disposable income.
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Old August 29, 2007, 08:41 PM   #21
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I'm just going to send the guy to my son's room and tell him if he can clean it up before the police get there, I'll let him go.

Its a trick of course. After you get three feet into the room, it would take until dawn to escape.
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Old August 29, 2007, 09:04 PM   #22
easyG
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yes that was directed at the inherently homicidal Castle dwellers
I don't know who you're referring to, but let's not get another thread locked by childish name-calling again.

Quote:
You would be amazed at the amount of $$ (that you don't have) a civil court judge can award the family of the confused drunk you just blew away in your haste and longing to "get your gun off"!
Maybe you leave your doors unlocked in a neighborhood where "confused drunks" wander the streets?
If so, then maybe you should consider locking the doors or moving to a better neighborhood.
But as I stated before, I keep mine locked.
So there's just no way a person can enter my home by mistake.
First they would have to physically break a window or a door lock and then enter....that is reason enough to shoot them....people that break into homes are not just "confused drunks", they are threats to your safety.
It's not like I'm living in a hotel room where someone might walk in the wrong room by mistake.

Quote:
You would also be suprised how public postings of your Urge to kill will show up as evidence against you!
I can't speak for the other forum members, but I've said nothing in this thread that I would not say in court.
If someone breaks in to my home I will consider them a threat to me and my family and shoot them.
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Old August 29, 2007, 09:21 PM   #23
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The cops only know what YOU tell them. I dont know why anybody would make it clear that you had a 5 minute standoff before you decided lethal force was necessary. That makes you look bad/guilty. When a perp is in YOUR home, you protect YOUR interests. Going to jail and being away from my family is not very high on that list, so I will say what needs to be said in order to protect my own well being. After all, dead men still cant talk.
Congratulations. You've just admitted in public that you can and will lie to police, perjure yourself, or possibly even finish off a suspect to insure you don't go to jail. And yes, they can find this post. The internet isn't nearly as anonymous as people think.
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Old August 29, 2007, 09:26 PM   #24
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Oh my! We do have a mish-mash of opinions and some naive people in my opinion.

First, let me say that this thread came about after the "Weapons light" thread was closed. So far as I can tell, people are fixated on shooting or not, but haven't given thought to what happens if you don't or can't shoot.

At least two posters believes that a person in his home at night is automatically a target. You had best ID that subject first or face the consequences. If that subject turns out to be an unarmed teenage neighbor your court bills will be substantial.

Per both private and department lawyers, you should never say that you intend to "kill" someone. It is better to say "If you move, I will shoot you." You need not detail how many times or the consequences. IF it should happen that you do shoot, any witnesses to your words will appear in court. Likewise, if Johnny Gangbanger survives the shoot, he may claim "I heard him say he was gonna kill me so I tried to run to get away from the crazy SOB!"

Quote:
...the only training you really need to do is to learn to raise the intensity of your voice, while remaining calm and in control.
Woefully unprepared. There are a number of situations to watch for that training will prepare you for.

Quote:
These kind of situations are among the worst case scenarios.
Yes and they can be a nightmare to the untrained or ill prepared, both in physical and legal consequences.

Quote:
Main goal, is if you can, get them to lay on their stomach, cross their legs, hands behind their back, and interlock their fingers! Doubt they'd actually do that but worth a shot
Quote:
Human reaction time being what it is I want his hands straight out at his sides, 90 degrees from his body. I want him to have to reach to his waistband to get whatever may be there. That extra, gross motor movement is easy to detect and will slow down any chance at drawing on me he may have.
A good example of education-in-progress. Hands behind the back allows access to the waistband area. I have seen two "standards" used in what is termed "Felony prone" positions. Hands out, palms up or hands behind the head, fingers interlaced. For civilians the palms-up is probably better, since for the suspect to get off the floor he will have to flip his hands over and bend his elbows to get leverage. It will also reveal any "palmed" small object as a knife. Also, some of us will be without eyeglasses and can't see if his fingers are interlaced. Just be adaptable here if you catch him in a narrow hallway (where he can't spread his arms out) or if furniture will obscure your view of his hands.

One additional measure: Have the suspect turn his head away from you. This way he can't see what you are doing or where you are exactly to formulate any countermeasures. I.e. he cant see that you are dialing 911 on your cell phone (which you are holding up high so you don't have to look down to dial) or see you moving to better concealment or cover.

Quote:
I think the problem comes in if you have a gun and the BG either has no weapon or his response is to drop his weapon and put his hands up. Now what do you do? Technically, you could make a citizen's arrest (you have memorized "Miranda" haven't you?) or you can hold him for the police. But if he simply walks away, you have no authority to pursue him or to shoot him in the back. If you actually saw him commit a felony (e.g., he killed your wife), all bets are off and I doubt you will be concerned with the nicety of the law.
Jim, other than the Miranda warning, which citizens are under no obligation to provide, you're pretty spot on. If you surprise an intruder who immediately raises his hands, your legal options are to direct him out the door to let him go OR restrain him at gunpoint until the Authorities arrive. However, a suspect facing a gun who turns with his hands raised and calmly walks towards the exit is dangerous - even though you can't legally shoot him. This is one of those unusual "incidents" that training warns us about.

So far, no one has posted what commands they would use or how they would initially address someone (other than two posters who said their muzzles would do the talking).
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Old August 29, 2007, 10:14 PM   #25
BillCA
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In my previous post, I indicated that a suspect you have at gunpoint who turns and walks towards an exit with his hands up is dangerous, but I didn't explain why.

First, think of the cajones it takes to do that. We're not dealing with your average guy who's afraid of being shot. At that moment you're asking yourself "*** is he doing?". He could be;
  1. Leaving, hoping you won't shoot him in the back.
  2. Testing your ability to control the situation.
  3. Moving to a point of concealment he's picked out earlier where he can draw his own weapon.
  4. Distracting you from a possible undiscovered partner inside or outside.
  5. Moving to where a lightswitch is, hoping you'll be dazzled long enough for him to take you down.

Some years ago a training film documented prisoners working out ways to befuddle citizens with guns. In one case the "instructor" coached the student in what to say and how to move. It was creative.

The suspect comes on as frightened and talkative. But he starts talking about the headaches and trouble YOU will get into if you shoot "someone unarmed". He paints a picture for you - "Dude, you don't wanna go to jail cuz o' me. Just let me go, man. It'd cost you forty or fifty thousand bucks for a lawyer man! ..." At each of the underlined points, the "instructor" coached the suspect to move his weight so he could slide a foot forward just barely off the ground. They coached to continue the pleading all the while forcing thoughts of YOUR prosecution and ruin into your head. This is done to slow your reaction time so he can attack if he can get close enough or get behind something from which to attack.

The key element here was to watch his position and if he begins to approach, cut him off with a firm "Don't Move Again. Shut Up. Do ONLY as I say." Followed by explict commands.

TIP: Most frightened people will plead with you to not shoot THEM, that THEY aren't a threat, that THEY are sorry for the wrong house, etc. If they're talking about YOUR woes if you shoot it's ruse to slow you down. Take control immediately and be rude enough to keep it.

Another film showed (police) repsonses for someone who just fails to comply with almost any command. Their hands are empty, in sight, but commands to raise their hands, get on the floor, speak, sit or roll-over are ignored. The person may be deaf (unlikely), too scared to comply, drugged/drunk and unable to understand your commands. Alas, the responses presumed police training and access to batons, tasers and chemical sprays.

"Hands Up!"
If you command someone to raise their hands when should you be satisfied?
Chest high?
Shoulder high?
Over their heads?

The answer is - when their arms are fully extended above their heads. The primary reason is that in this position shirts and some jackets will rise up over the beltline, revealing any weapons (guns/knives/etc). If they are facing you, have them turn to the left and face away from you so you can see the right side beltline (most folks are right handed). If you do spot a weapon, command them to halt, then tell them "I see your weapon. If you reach for it I'll shoot you." Then have them complete the turn to face away from you, hands still up. Another reason is that burglars & rapists often grab a kitchen knife. If that is held under an arm, raising the arms may cause it to fall out of their clothing or drop to a noticable point in their clothing.

One other note: Never use racial slurs when commanding someone and avoid using dehumanizing terms for them. You don't want it to come up in police reports that you emulated Mark Fuhrman's opinion of blacks or repeatedly referred to the suspect as dogsh**, dogmeat, dead-man, or a f-ing <race/nationality>. It will not help your case at all.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled discussions.
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