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Old January 27, 2012, 11:06 PM   #1
TheGoldenState
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When Non-lethal can become lethal for the user.

I didn't see this posted thus far.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8GWFqE1Als

Quote:
When authorities arrived they saw several patrons run out of the restaurant and a man armed with a 3-foot-long metal bar.

Officers say they ordered the suspect to drop the bar but when he did not comply they used a stun gun to subdue him.

When that failed to stop him and the suspect allegedly began swinging the bar at police, an officer shot the suspect.

He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Los Angeles Sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating the shooting.
While a "good" shooting it appears, this video brings up a valid tactics & training scenario that could have ended much worse for the officer.

Officer 1 deploys a taser that is rendered ineffective by, most probably, the thick jacket of the suspect. The suspect then turns and makes a move with his 3foot bar toward the officer. The officer does NOT have out his gun and is rendered defenseless as he seems to struggle to pull out his gun in place of his non-lethal taser.

Luckily for officer 1, officer 2 has his lethal arm out and fires the initial shots rendering the suspect incapacitated and thus protecting the officer.

Tactics/training.

What if Officer 1 did not have immediate back up when arriving on the scene?

Should officer 1 have had his gun out and ready alongside his non-lethal taser, in case WHAT HAPPENED actually happened?

This became an instance where lethal was necessary over non-lethal and had officer 2 not been right there, it could have been potentially very bad for officer 1.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:10 PM   #2
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Well, back when I had to study up on Navy security protocols, a security patrolman would NOT attempt to use LTL vs a 3' iron bar. The protocol was to use a level of force one step above the force being used by the suspect.

Since the 3' iron bar qualifies as a deadly weapon, that means go directly to the firearm.

I would guess most LE agencies would look at it in a similar way. I would also guess that this officer decided he'd risk trying to use LTL specifically because he did have other officers there.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:13 PM   #3
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Mleake,

Quote:
The protocol was to use a level of force one step above the force being used by the suspect.

That is what I think should be implemented at all times.

Also, thanks for using the correct term. LTL > NL
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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thank God the cops were not hurt. I saw the video and felt the police acted well. From an observers view, it would be easy to say they MAY have been better to stop firing after the first volley. However said people most likely have never been in a Life or death situation, which is why I do not assume this position. I say they did a good job, by making it home that day.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Doesn't look like an "iron bar" but more like a mountainclimber's ice axe. Definitely a deadly weapon.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:19 PM   #6
TheGoldenState
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Ruth,

I wan't to be careful, as I know the shutdown possibility on this thread is high. I wan't this to remain primarily about the tactical side regarding proper response and technique to levels of threat. However I will say the first thing I thought of is the necessity of the second volley. Then next thing I thought of was that the video shows the suspect is still up and moving after the initial onslaught (which could be made into a seperate thread all together). Final thought was that it was a good shooting.

Dev,

I thought it was an axe as well.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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I'm not on my own computer, so can't view the video, and was going by the OP's description.

An ice ax is a serious weapon, but technically I don't know of any places that distinguish between "deadly weapons" as far as level of force goes.

A particular type of weapon may be on a prohibited list (WMD, explosive devices, firearms of certain types or used by certain persons, etc), and therefore bring with it additional charges, but deadly is deadly.

Baseball bat, tire iron, axe, knife... all considered deadly.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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It was not an axe it was a pipe bender. these are very light, and very hard. they have semi pointy tips and can be swung very easily. You could very easily kill someone with one.

I was not judging the cops for the second round of shots. I feel it was acceptable. However on youtube alot of people were saying differently and I know that the victims families etc, will be saying the same thing. those people have never been attacked and had to defend their lives either.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:32 PM   #9
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Well, my guess is they deploy as a team when using non-lethals, they'd team up *anyway* before moving in on someone like that. Wouldn't you?

And let's think about it: They started low on the continuum of force. Probably voice commands, then taser, no success- then deadly force. I don't see a problem.

A piece of rebar, a baseball bat, a machete...don't see too much of a difference.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:41 PM   #10
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"Wouldn't you"
"I don't see a problem"

Neither do I, as my previous comments show.

Quote:
A piece of rebar, a baseball bat, a machete...don't see too much of a difference.
I agree, listing of deadly force weapons wasn't the point here.

Tactical disadvatage of not having your lethal weapon out and it turning deadly in a split second, and having your hide tanned if not for another officer is the topic. Primarily the assertion that protocol should be to use a level of force one step above the force being used by the suspect.
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Old January 28, 2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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I can't comment on the cops' actions, I wasn't there and didn't see the guy's face or look in his eyes. Obviously they felt it necessary to put a lot of rounds into him.

It's the douchebags in the car that need a serious beatdown.
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:31 AM   #12
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Firstly, I must say I'm not impressed by the video-filmers laughing at a fatal shooting... Some people need to get some perspective: after all that ws someone's son...

Secondly, I am a bit confused by why shooting was deemed necessary.

They were in a wide open car park, there were no other civilians around the guy at that time.
There were, what looked to be 3 or 4 officers with more on the way, judging by the sirens more on the way.
He had an effective range of 4-5 feet.
The officer shot because his partner was too close when he needn't have been.
They had a dog: aren't dogs trained to disarm an assailant with weapon in hand?
Surely tazer training teaches them about thick clothing impairing the stunner?

Why did they get so close?
Why not wait for more guys, or get shields?
Why not shoot him in the leg, first, instead of 8-9 shots?
Why did they get close close when they had fire arms and could afford to act with letahl force from 20 feet, if needed?

There may be parts I have over looked, but for me these questions make it seem like some guy got killed when he needn't have been.
Yes, he was acting like a nutter, but he only had a blunt force instrument, in an area where the officers had almost unlimited mobility, and he was walking, not running around swing at people
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
It was not an axe it was a pipe bender.
That's what it was, it looked familiar but I couldn't quite place it. I could definitely see it had a "head" of some sort on it, so it was more than a metal bar.

Also, the Taser hits the guy in the face, his jacket didn't stop anything. You can see him pull the prongs out of his face. He didn't react to it at all, I wonder if the officer who deployed it, who looked inexperienced by his mannerisms, was using it properly, the BG did look like he took any voltage to me, but maybe he was so hopped up it didn't phase him.

A couple of training points I took from the video:

1) The officer with the Taser, looks down at his belt, I think he is trying to get a reload for his Taser because he isn't reaching for his gun. That is when the BG cocks back the pipe bender and advances aggressively, the officer wasn't even looking at him. If not for his partner, he would have gotten clocked without ever drawing his gun.

My takeaway is Always look at the threat!

2) The K9 officer is holding the dog with one hand and his weapon with the other. He has no option for a two-handed grip, which is what I am most comfortable shooting with.

My takeaway is Practice more with one hand or off hand shooting because you may not have the option for a comfortable two-handed grip

3) The BG is hit with approx. 5 rounds from close distance, less than 10 feet I would guess. I am assuming those are 9mm or .40 cal rounds. That does not immediately drop him. I bet they would be fatal eventually, but at that moment he turns and starts to move away at which point he is shot again several times before dropping. If he had chosen instead to move towards the officers he would have been able to take a swing at them.

My takeaway is Keep shooting until the threat is down, a quick two to the chest is probably not going to instantly incapacitate the threat.

It is sad that the man had to lose his life, but he put himself in that position. I am glad the responding officers were not hurt and I think that was a 100% justified shoot and hopefully the public will see it that way and not try and turn this into a witch hunt.
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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I agree with WyMark--the laughing of the videographers at a person's demise made me sick. Not enough info on the vid. While the shoot appears to be justified--I wonder if there might not have been a reasonable way out of this without loss of life.
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
He had an effective range of 4-5 feet.
Quote:
The officer shot because his partner was too close when he needn't have been.
How far away should they have been? 20 feet? 45 feet? How close should they have let him get before they started running away from him to maintain said distance? Perhaps roadblocks should have been setup in all directions to give them the opportunity to leave the parking lot and run down the street away from the attacker to maintain the safe distance

Quote:
Why not wait for more guys, or get shields?
do you suggest turtle formation?

Quote:
but he only had a blunt force instrument
You have obviously never seen someone permanently injured or killed with a blunt object. I assure you it is much easier than you would think. And if you watch the video again you will see that the culprit CLEARLY began to rear up his arm to strike one of the officers.
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Old January 28, 2012, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
While a "good" shooting it appears, this video brings up a valid tactics & training scenario that could have ended much worse for the officer.
All such violent encounters experienced by officers could have ended much worse for the officers.

Quote:
Officer 1 deploys a taser that is rendered ineffective by, most probably, the thick jacket of the suspect. The suspect then turns and makes a move with his 3foot bar toward the officer. The officer does NOT have out his gun and is rendered defenseless as he seems to struggle to pull out his gun in place of his non-lethal taser.
The officer is not rendered defenseless. Just because you cannot inflict immediate harm on another does not make you defenseless, though this is definitely a mindset oft repeated on gun forums.

While the officer struggles with his gun (as you noted), what is he doing? He is retreating, keeping space between himself and the suspect. That is an active defense an impact weapon wielded in such a manner. He may not be able to stop the weapon, but where you see the officer as rendered defenseless, by keeping himself away from the suspect, he has rendered the suspect's weapon ineffective.

Quote:
What if Officer 1 did not have immediate back up when arriving on the scene?
Then he would not have opted for less lethal weapons.

Quote:
Should officer 1 have had his gun out and ready alongside his non-lethal taser, in case WHAT HAPPENED actually happened?
NO! First of all, he was protected by his fellow officer. Secondly, having a non-lethal stun gun or pepper stray in one hand and a firearm in the other hand can result in unintentional discharges from the weapon not intending to be used due to sympathetic bilateral reflex.

Quote:
This became an instance where lethal was necessary over non-lethal and had officer 2 not been right there, it could have been potentially very bad for officer 1.
Yes, but officer 2 was there which made possible the attempts at less lethal methods first. It could well be claimed that in any situation where one officer renders assistance to another officer that the encountered could have turned out much worse for the first officer without help, but the officers were using team tactics because they were both there. Officers usually don't employ team tactics when they are alone.
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Old January 28, 2012, 11:10 AM   #17
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hes wearing a hockey mask from the looks of it. you can see him pull the probes out of it

i also dont understand all the onlookers mixed in with the cops. just standing there like its a video shoot. i wonder if its staged?
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Old January 28, 2012, 01:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
i also dont understand all the onlookers mixed in with the cops. just standing there like its a video shoot. i wonder if its staged?
Staged? No.
http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_19838852

It is not uncommon for there to be onlookers to such events in higher traffic parking lots such as in strip centers or at convenience stores.
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Old January 28, 2012, 01:17 PM   #19
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Having the right to shoot one and doing it are to different things. I have seen police here in much more dangerous situations. And they would have being justified in using lethal force but diffused the situation without shooting the offender.

Shooting should be a last resort. It didn't look to be in this case. Maybe the police are better trained here.

What the police here come up against without resorting to lethal force in link below.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3UwgtrsqGo

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Old January 28, 2012, 01:23 PM   #20
Ruthless4christ
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having the ability to swing metal objects at the heads of Police officers,a nd having the self control to not do so are two different things. THE culprit in the video lacked the latter methinks.
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Old January 28, 2012, 03:36 PM   #21
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
How far away should they have been? 20 feet? 45 feet? How close should they have let him get before they started running away from him to maintain said distance? Perhaps roadblocks should have been setup in all directions to give them the opportunity to leave the parking lot and run down the street away from the attacker to maintain the safe distance
I see that the only way you can address my point is by opting for the extreme.

If you are seriously suggesting that, in a car park of approximately 400 sq metres, the officers could not move about freely and had no alternative to but to get within his striking distance, get a fright and shoot him with anything up to 8 or 9 shots then I can only guess at your logic.

Quote:
do you suggest turtle formation?
Actually, I was thinking a re-enactment of the Battle of Thermopylae would have been ideal...... because one police man ramming him with a shield is just plain unrealistic....

If US police training is what it is said to be, I don't see why 4 officers, and a police dog, could only disarm a guy with a length of metal in an open area by shooting him.

Furthermore, a riot shield would make such a manoeuvre even less of a risk to the officers.

Quote:
You have obviously never seen someone permanently injured or killed with a blunt object. I assure you it is much easier than you would think.
I haven't seen this, and hope I never do. However, I am certain never to see someone killed or injured by a blunt force instrument if they are out of range of said intrument.

None of this explains why they had to get that close to him.

Quote:
And if you watch the video again you will see that the culprit CLEARLY began to rear up his arm to strike one of the officers.
As far as the video is concerned, I saw what the guy did. He turned with the implement toward the officer.

One hand appears to be at one end and the other hand at the other end. Not a swinging pose, but a thrusting one and not as powerful.

Once more: If they hadn't been so close they would not have been at risk.

Personally, I feel shooting was excessive, at that stage and premature in that situation. The guy was full of holes within 14 seconds of him walking quite slowly from the building.

I feel that the polices' approach escalated things by limiting their own options.
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond
...I don't see why 4 officers, and a police dog, could only disarm a guy with a length of metal in an open area by shooting him...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond
...None of this explains why they had to get that close to him....
Kind of contradicting yourself. They couldn't really disarm the guy without getting close to him.

In any case, pretty standard modern police procedure is --
  • to deploy less lethal force against a potentially lethal threat only when there is immediate lethal force back-up present;

  • if less lethal force doesn't stop the aggressor who is wielding a potentially deadly weapon and has by his actions manifest the apparent intention to hurt someone with it, lethal force is appropriate to immediately end the threat; and

  • to avoid closing and grappling with someone wielding a potentially deadly weapon and has by his actions manifest the apparent intention to hurt someone with it because, among other things, you don't know what other weapons he may have.
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:18 PM   #23
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They used ranged, less-lethal force against an individual with what amounts to a melee weapon. That makes sense. When that failed, the suspect turned and advanced toward an officer in an aggressive fashion.

My point--where do you reasonably go on the force continuum after you deploy less-lethal force and the suspect is still advancing on you or your partner? The vast majority would say to move up the force continuum, which is exactly what happened.


As to the proximity to the suspect. First, the officers were using the building to screen themselves from view until the suspect exited. That put them relatively close. (Which also makes sense if they plan on entering if the suspect starts killing people inside.) Next, they use a Tazer--a weapon with limited range. When that fails, the suspect turns and closes with the officer.

What do you expect to happen when you turn and advance on an officer who just deployed less-lethal force against you, while you have a 3ft long chunk of metal in your hand?!
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:22 PM   #24
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JP, you and I have differing opinions on this and that is fine, but I think part of your opinion is being formed by not understanding what you are seeing in the video or you are only seeing what you want to see because you have a preconceived bias against the police. I am going to assume the former.

Quote:
One hand appears to be at one end and the other hand at the other end. Not a swinging pose, but a thrusting one and not as powerful.
This is incorrect, he has both hands at the bottom of the handle like a baseball bat as he turns towards the officer, takes a couple hop-steps like he is winding up and has the implement cocked back, he is set to swing. Whether he intended to or not, I don't know, he may have been feinting, but either way he was in range of striking an officer.

Which leads to another point I think you are not seeing correctly:

Quote:
in a car park of approximately 400 sq metres, the officers could not move about freely and had no alternative to but to get within his striking distance
The BG is in the building, the police are approaching the door, from the side so as to not expose themselves if he has a gun, when the suspect pops out of the door right in front of the police. Suddenly, he is in striking distance of the police with his club. I guess at this point you think the police should have retreated, but they choose to use a LTL device, a Taser, which necessitates a fairly close range. This is ineffective, then the subject makes an aggressive move towards an officer and is shot.

I am curious when, or even if, you felt they were justified in using deadly force. You seem to discount the danger to the police officer when he cocked back to swing the club, do you think even then they should not have fired?

Quote:
I feel that the police's approach escalated things by limiting their options.
I see where you are coming from here, and in a perfect world I agree with you as far as limiting their options, but I think the way things unfolded the police were justified in shooting a man who was armed, behaving irrationally, and made threatening moves towards a police officer.
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:38 PM   #25
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They had a dog: aren't dogs trained to disarm an assailant with weapon in hand?
There was too great a chance that the dog would be killed.
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