View Full Version : Video: What he did wrong and would it be justified?

April 23, 2006, 03:31 AM
I just came across the video and after viewing the Trooper Mark Coates video that someone posted I thought this might be a good one to discuss.


Now after viewing that what would any LEOs out there have to say and if this was just the common concealed carry citizen how would you react?

My question is wouldn't this be justified if the LEO had shot this man? I would say that kind of beating would meet the requirement for severe bodily harm.

Secondly, while I don't know the exact circumstances for the officer approaching the passenger instead of the driver, it would seem the officer just did not respond to it correctly. It may just be the fact of being caught offguard. I definitely wanna hear what any LEO would say as far as handling this scenario and how to train for this.


April 23, 2006, 04:11 AM
Poor training. Mistakes were made. Always call for backup even if U don't think U need it. Also, if U want to be a LEO, U have to be a bad @$$. U have to know how to mess people up in self-defense if that is what it comes down to. I don't know what he was doing opening the car door like that and he was too close to the perp. He shouldn't have touched his arm like that.

April 23, 2006, 04:23 AM
I don't believe it was a matter of poor training. You can get all the training in the world and it'll do you not one whit of good if you don't apply it. It was more a matter of poor mind-set. It seemed the LEO's attitude was "Business as usual, just another routine stop." And things went seriously sideways from there. The LEO was fortunate that the assailant seemed more interested in beating the snot out of him than trying to take his pistol.


April 23, 2006, 06:32 AM
Lazy, sloppy, arrogant, overconfidant...a lot of words come to mind.

Did he already request backup? If not, why? (lazy, sloppy)

If backup was on its way, why didn't he wait? (overconfidant)

Why open the door? Why get so close? (arrogant)

-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- was he doing parking on one side of an automatic gate, and going to the other side?! As you saw in the video, the gate was closing while he was getting pummeled. What if he was stuck on the other side, away from assistance, or the safety of his vehicle?

Yes, his fellow cops could hop the gate, but that's additional seconds.

Most gates have bump sensors that keep the gate from closing if a car is obstructing it, so why not park so as to keep it open for backup to pull in?

He could just have easily driven into the driveway on their side, blocked the way with his vehicle, and kept a vehicle between him and the subjects, using verbal commands until backup arrived.

I also saw him make a grab for his gun, but didn't complete the action, instead choosing to shield his head, rather than using his weapon.

Perhaps he was keeping his gun in his holster to keep it from getting grabbed, or maybe he was too busy covering his head to draw it...who knows.

Lucky for him that the driver was more interested in leaving the scene than helping his homey beat down a cop!

What would the cop have done with TWO people beating him? The moment he draws, he might get his gun taken and used against him, but if he doesn't draw he might get beat to death or otherwise permanently f'd up.

He'd have been justified to shoot the dude attacking him, but he should also be severely reprimanded for his failure. Remedial training is also in order as well as reminding all other officers to follow proper procedure and get backup if needed.

April 23, 2006, 08:22 AM
Lazy, sloppy, arrogant, overconfidant...a lot of words come to mind.

OK, someone needs to stand up for the police officer, so I guess it will be me. It is easy to be a monday-morning quarterback, but sometimes things go wrong; remember, this officer doesn't have the luxery of sitting behind a computer and making comments after the fact. He actually has to make the split-second decisions, and physically deal with a dangerous person.

Was the officer caught off-guard? Obviously. But the officer is doing his best in a bad situation. It is not like the officer is throwing up his hands and saying, "please don't hit me, I give up." I'd say that considering the CRIMINAL had the element of surprise, the officer did pretty well in preventing the CRIMINAL from disarming the officer. Sometimes you have to do the best that you can do in a bad situation.

I'm glad that those of you who are so caustic with your comments always do your jobs perfectly. Could the officer have done things better? Probably. But please refrain from the insulting comments. Want to talk about tactics? Fine by me. But don't simply make general comments about how "lazy" or "arrogent" the officer was. Maybe he had called to backup. Maybe there were other things/circumstances that the video doesn't show.

April 23, 2006, 09:14 AM
I'm glad that those of you who are so caustic with your comments always do your jobs perfectly.

Yeah he screwed up. He may have done hundreds of stops like this all by the book and many in a sloppy manner, this one got him. Repetition does that to you. I can't say I've never stepped outside procedure, assuming passivity on the part of the inmate. I just haven't got caught by it yet. Clips like this bring home the importance of following procedure, even if it is repetitive and mundane.

April 23, 2006, 09:40 AM
So what's the lesson? What did I learn from it? I'm not a cop, but I saw an example on how distance gives or takes reaction time and why you never turn your back on an attacker. Now here is the real question... perp turned and assaulted the cop, the cop backed up facing the perp, but didn't draw. Why? Is there a legal issue the cop was thinking about? Why didn't he shoot him?

April 23, 2006, 10:47 AM
Now here is the real question... perp turned and assaulted the cop, the cop backed up facing the perp, but didn't draw. Why?

From the tape I'd say that the cop was mentally totally unprepared for the incident. Had he approached the incident with the proper mind set his reaction time would have likely been much faster. It takes a moment for the mind to realize that this is really happening when going from a relaxed state. That?s the nature of being human. He broke several standard rules and paid for it.
The perp obviously had already decided on his course of action before the cop opened the door. His mind and body was prepared. I'd like to know if the perp had a warrant out on him or if he and his associate had just committed a crime but had they their adrenaline would likely have been pumping prior to the cop reaching the door.
To the cops credit, during the assault he kept the perps hand trapped on his gun side. That was the only real aspect of USD training I saw.
While many cops are arrogant and on a power trip, you can't automatically assume this one is. He just screwed up.

April 23, 2006, 11:20 AM
Does anyone know the full story behind this incident?

As an Explorer at LVMPD, I was/am taught command presence is key. You are the police and you are in charge of the situation. (Well, you should be, thats your job) I think he should have called the subject out of the car and took control. It's odd the way the stop was initiated. He has the subject stopped car nose to car nose and while hes coming out of an automate gated area. Something we don't know about must have occurred to make the officer initiate the stop that way.

I guess this kinda puts a whole new meaning on, "You don't have to win your fights as a police officer, you just have to survive them until back-up arrives."

Its hard to say because I don't know the background info on this...just my $.02

April 23, 2006, 11:22 AM
The search function is your friend. This has been discussed in detail and your answers are probably found there.


April 23, 2006, 02:07 PM
Everyone makes mistakes once in a while. It's easy to say "Oh in that line of work you can't afford to make mistakes". EVERYONE makes mistakes once in a while. It's easy to look at the video and rag out on the LEO and say he should have done this or he shouldn't have done that. The fact is that he is still alive. The suspect is the one that should be ragged out on. This piece of filth appeared to be not only wanting to hurt, but had the face of RAGE. He appeared to want to kill the LEO. He did not and have any intentions of going back to prison. Those who use certain words to rag on the LEO probably are not LEO's. And if they are, i'm sure they have a perfect work record and never made a mistake. Also the bystander needs some recognition for helping the LEO out. How many of us who CC would have helped this officer out? Yeah right.

Blackwater OPS
April 23, 2006, 03:59 PM
The search function is your friend. This has been discussed in detail and your answers are probably found there.
First time I have seen this one, please post a link the the other threads.

April 23, 2006, 04:11 PM
I didn't think he was beat that bad. He was still standing at the end of the video it could have been much much worse. Hopefully this was a object lesson for him. What he did wrong in my opinion was after the first blow was throwed he tried to retreat. It was too late at that point. He should have taken the fight to the assailent. It's hard as hell to win a fist fight backing up. Plus it's really hard to hit your target with your back to it.

April 23, 2006, 04:35 PM
First thanks for commenting everyone. My view of it as the tape presents it,(now knowing what the full story is), is that as another poster said the officer seemed a bit to relaxed. I think that's the one thing that gets all of us though is becoming to confident. I remember my dad telling me when I bought my first motorcycle that as soon as I got to comfortable that's when I'd wreck and sure enough. I wanna say too that I did not post the video to say 'Hey look at the sloppy job the LEO did wow he got his butt kicked good, I would have done....(insert Rambo comment here)', but I posted it to see what others,especially LEOs, would say training wise. i think it's a huge necessity for LEOs,military,and even the concealed carry citizen to always be prepared and be trained and ready. I'm very glad that the end of the tape does show someone rushing to help the officer out and hope everything went better from there. in response to another poster who asked how many CC's would have helped the officer, I would expect someone to at least do something, call 911, jump in, even shoot the guy. I'm sure the DA wouldn't prosecute for you killing a guy that was trying to seriously injure or kill a LEO. Just my opinion though.

April 23, 2006, 04:49 PM
Search, O Grasshopper
Please O Wise One show us your wisdom and lead us to the thread that has discussed this in detail.

This is reminiscent of the story in Baton Rouge where the goon was beating the cop so badly a bystander stepped in and shot the guy 5 times before he finally realized he was dead.

Did they catch the assailant? If shooting this guy isn't "justified" then nothing is. If anyone hears the complete story please post the link because I'm sure everyone is very interested.

Capt. Charlie
April 23, 2006, 04:59 PM
From the tape I'd say that the cop was mentally totally unprepared for the incident. Had he approached the incident with the proper mind set his reaction time would have likely been much faster. It takes a moment for the mind to realize that this is really happening when going from a relaxed state. That?s the nature of being human.
There's a lesson here for all of us. Familiarity does breed contempt, and contempt is dangerous.

Complacency is one of the most common, difficult to overcome, and dangerous problems LEO's have today. At some point in their careers, almost all officers allow the word "routine" into their lives. Let's face it, if you made several thousand traffic stops with the only problem being griping about a ticket, you tend to loose that edge.

Even when we send officers to street survival schools, they come back for a few weeks ready to take on Rambo, and then slip back into complacency.

The human body... and mind, just isn't designed to remain in "condition red" for very long. It's very taxing, and the natural tendency is to step down to a more relaxed state.

It's a major problem for LE, military, and the average guy trying to cope with a bad neighborhood over a long period of time, and there are no easy answers.

Personally, I try to deal with it by staying at condition yellow rather than red. I try to stay relaxed but alert, aware but not paranoid, and I train hard so that my body and mind know when to go from yellow to red without really thinking about it or dwelling on it.

The first step though, is self awareness of the problem and being truthful with yourself. Once you've become aware of your own complacency, you've won half the battle.

April 23, 2006, 05:07 PM
Like the nice guy I am I went and searched for the link. Here ya go...:D


it's the first story and Capt. Charlie I couldn't agree with your post more. Well said.

April 23, 2006, 05:47 PM
marlboroman, thank you for posting the story. People do make mistakes. Just that police officers get the short end of the stick when they make them. And, Capt. Charlie is right, complacency is a huge hurdle in the law enforcement profession. My advisors teach us to never become complacent, they even go as far as not allowing us to put our hands in our pockets in class. If they catch us, they do some sort of assault scenario randomly.

April 23, 2006, 05:54 PM
it's always sad when somebody has to call the cops to save a cop.

April 23, 2006, 06:01 PM

Thanks for that link. It's too bad that scumbag it ONLY just sitting in jail waiting for trial. He deserves a lot more then that for assaulting that cop like that.

But then you see a story like this next one and you have to wonder just what the hell is going on.
A northern Texas police officer was on trial April 18 to face assault charges for actions captured by his dashboard camera.
Irving, Texas, police officer Daniel Miller faced Jose Palomino in a Dallas County courtroom.
In January 2006, Miller's dashboard camera videotaped him pepper spraying and striking Palomino, an undocumented immigrant, following a traffic stop.
Investigations of the incident revealed that Palomino is mentally challenged, does not speak English and therefore did not understand the commands Miller was shouting.
Dallas prosecutors say the officer went too far because the situation did not warrant his actions. Look at this: http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/videoplayer/newVid/small_player/vplayer2.shtml?clip=/media/2006/04/19/video1511614.rm&sec=201&vidId=201&title=CopChargedWithAssault&hitboxMLC=national The problem is this guy does not understand any of the cops commands and then the cop continues to beat him even after his backup arrives and has the guy in handcuffs. I wonder if it's normal procedure to make someone lay on the ground during a traffic stop in Texas? There must be thousands of non-English speaking people in Texas. Don't you think that this police officer might have thought just maybe this guy didn't speak English and didn't understand his commands. I'm not a cop but it didn't look like this guy was a threat, he even looked like he was trying to comply but was unsure what the cop wanted. Remember they said this guy was mentally challenged also. Now he's going to be rich too! Am I way off base here or what?

April 23, 2006, 06:02 PM
you know what, when you walk the edge every day, sometimes you go too far and sometimes you don't go far enough.

April 23, 2006, 07:39 PM
As a correctional officer i face these type of people everyday. We are trained to always have that gap to react to this type of stuff. Sometimes you do get caught with your hands down. The best thing the officer could do IS NOT TO TURN HIS BACK!!!! as much as it hurts you can't fight back with your back(tried it it don't work) He really should have tried to take him to the ground. It changes things when you go to the ground. Or try to make distance and come back to the fight better prepaired this time. Or my favorite a finger in the eye!!! oops!

April 23, 2006, 07:58 PM
I dont think that cop was a good hand to hand fighter.

I think some judo would have put an end to that one real quick, as the black guy just kept rushing and hitting. seems like the black guy wasnt much of a fighter either,

looked like two girls going at it in the ladies room.

April 23, 2006, 08:08 PM
NEF Did you note that when the cop backed off he did so in a straight line, right in the line of the perps power. He should have cut around that door to buy some time by having an obstacle. When I'm at work at the ODR+C I have no weapons of any kind (other than several Folger Adams Keys,LOL)). So I will use anything I can to break the inmates line of assault. In this case I might have cut around that door and then slammed it into him.

I like the Eye bit. One time I had an inmate try to round house punch me. Some how, when I was going for the arm bar take down my forearm impacted the bridge of his nose. Can't help it, its a dynamic situation.:rolleyes:

April 23, 2006, 08:55 PM
I want to know more about this film before really giving an opinion. I wonder if the "cop" is actually a security guard working the gate of a gated community. His training, if that were the case, would not be the same as a law officer.

At any rate...his mistake was that he was to close to the suspect, and in fact opened the door for the suspect. How he could have gotten around that, I do not know, perhaps keep the car door between him and the suspect. I agree that a normal stop would have had the cop on the driver's side of the car. The cop apparently knew who he was about to deal with, since he was focused on the passenger. Perhaps there was no time for back-up to arrive, eventhough it had been requested. Who can say?

It is telling that the driver left the scene, and an onlooker came running up either to help the officer or the criminal.

If this officer had been able to get a bullet in the head of this criminal I believe he would have been totally justified. I do not need more information to state that. I do think it would have taken a head shot to stop him. The problem, of course is as soon as you unholster that gun in a slugfest or wrestling match, you can lose control of it.

I wish the end of the tape, or just more information was available.

April 23, 2006, 09:06 PM
Xavier, here is the story copied and pasted from the link marlboroman provided. Its not much info, but it provides a little bit more than the video does. If the officer knew who the man was (a wanted felon) shouldn't he have conducted a felony-type stop? I am not sure how that works, maybe a LEO could chime in? I ask/state this because as Xavier mentioned, the officer did make an effort for the passenger only. Oh sorry, got ahead of myself, heres the story:

"A Texas police officer sustained minor injuries after scuffling with a suspect in an incident that was captured by the officer's dashboard camera.

Officer Russell May's in-car camera was rolling when he responded to a disturbance call. The videotape shows him approaching the passenger side of a car and asking the people inside to get out. That's when a man jumps out and attacks the officer.

The beating goes on for several minutes before a Good Samaritan steps in to help and calm the suspect. Witnesses also called 911 for help.

May suffered minor injuries but returned to service the same day. The suspect, Joshua Jones, is a three-time felon wanted in Colorado. He remains jailed and faces additional charges of assault on a peace officer."

April 23, 2006, 09:28 PM

This was a big topic of conversation quite some time back on the forum.


April 23, 2006, 10:00 PM
Take a look at the video marlboroman84 presented.
It is not the Coates video. It has not been discussed. It occured on 04/17/2006.

April 23, 2006, 10:02 PM
his mistake was that he was to close to the suspect, and in fact opened the door for the suspect.
XavierBreath is right, it's pretty hard to react when someone is all over you and you're trying to protect yourself AND your firearm. In my opinion the best thing this officer could have done was put some distance between himself and his assailant.

Maybe Officer May was just using the ole' "rope-a-dope" hoping Jones would punch himself out and then he could arrest him or better yet shoot the SOB.

Anyway it was good to see someone come to the aid of the officer.

Sorry for drifting "off topic" in my last post. I was merely trying to point out the difference in a police officer "under-reacting" and one "overreacting". Must be I hit a nerve.

That link you just provided, while very sad indeed was not that of the Trooper Coates shooting which by the way the poster was not asking everyone's opinion of.

With all these lunatics running around these days, law enforcement officers really have their hands full. We need to build more prisons and shorten the wait on death row.

April 24, 2006, 12:44 AM
there are two schools of thought in getting close to a person.\

first lets assume that he didn't expect the explosion that occurred.

you can either say out of arms reach or get in close so when punches are thrown they dont have the power a full cycle and hit would normally have.

i have been blindside on more than one time. i thank god i didn't get knocked out. both times i didn't think i was hit very hard but witnesses and a video showed different. i was hit in the temple one time by a guy who had a huge skull ring on. this one was on video. i dont know how i didn't go down as his intentions were to knock me out cold . i thank god i dont have a glass jaw. i got in close so his follow up punches really didn't hurt as he couldn't use his body or full range of motion. this time i didn't have my weapon on me so i didn't worry about a snatch. he was kind enough to provide me with a 3 foot long braided ponytail. this gave me all the leverage i needed to take him down quickly. there is no doubt if we stood toe to toe he would win a fight. he was just stronger and faster than i was. that is they way it usually is. most of us dont want to admit someone can kick our ass as we need to have that edge to do the jobs we do.

this all said fighting a street fight is completely different than taking down a violent person. their aggression actually helps you in their being brought under control. the tactics are different as you are usually the aggressor not the other person.

the second time i was searching and found dope and wham another blindsided hit.. he wanted to just flush the crap and of course i didn't want him to. i severely handed him his ass. this time i was the stronger and faster.

what you have to remember in situations like this are a few important things.

these violent attacks are very seldom. someone may hit you but they are 99% of the time just trying to get away. unfortunately when you run across someone like this the officer or civilian usually dies. while they are prepared for certon things such violent overwhelming attacks are not expected and even if they are expected they are so violent you never get the chance to transition from defense to offense. again this is cause you have a weapon to protect and only one hand to fight with as you can never allow both hands to hold or be occupied as that is when one of his will find your weapon. they also really not expected to last after a couple blows. this officer did an excellent job in the clip i saw. up to the point the clip ended he had 2 things in mind. dont let him get my weapon and dont die. after that you have to break contact and create space and or hope he runs out of gas first..

if you dont have control in a few seconds you need to think how to get away. cause a few seconds later you will be exhausted. it is about whose adrenaline stops flowing first. it isn't about conditioning as this wont last that long. there were several chances the use his aggressiveness against him to get him on the ground or far enough away to draw. once you attack an officer like that you signed your death warrant has you are trying to get his weapon or kill him and he cant let you get the weapon.

if you have never been in a fight for your life you really cant comment on the officers training or his technical skills. it is hard to fight an obviously bigger stronger man with one had or no hands as your primary job is not letting him land the big one while protecting that weapon. if this guy was killed the officer was fully justified. thankfully a bystander ran to the officers aid.

this guy might have gotten to close to some of your interpretation but how else can he control or search the suspect. you cant, that is the crappy part of the job . you have to walk into a situation others would think is a no way im gonna do that. you have to deal with stuff you brain is screaming not to do.

these are things those who aren't called to this vocation can never comprehend. so learn from the video. that is what it is there for but dont pick apart his actions unless you have interviewed him thoroughly and understand his frame of mind thinking and reasons for actions.

your job is survival. if he survived his actions were good enough for me.

in looking these types of things the point is not ridicule placing blame or other negative stuff we see people do. you are to learn absorb and go thru it in your mind

finally always be thinking about any scenario that involves stuff like this . make them up go over them decide what your going to d if it happens. this is just like muscle memory drills. you will react much quicker if you played this out in your mind several times before it happens. it is called training and it saves more lives than tasers pepper spray batons guns or physical violence.

April 24, 2006, 12:54 AM
Now I understand why LEOs I have had routine contact with in the past constantly point their firearms at me. You never know when someone will decide to take a swing at you, I guess, and I am a big rough-looking guy. I had previously thought this practice excessive as I was raised to "never point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy", and I figured a complying traffic offender is not someone the cop would be willing to shoot. That guy in the car looked to be an well-schooled street-fighter, I wonder why the cop didn't cover him with his weapon? They always do when they pull me over.

April 24, 2006, 01:47 AM
Edited By Moderator: What if the Officer had used this amount of force on the suspect

I question societies responses which have tied the hands of police. I once knew a cop who got beaten very badly like this and was completely defensive without doing much offensive, including drawing his gun, because of the SEVERE ramifications including investigations, desk work, and paperwork involved when police draw or use their sidearms.

This is the first time I've seen this video. I'd like to know how it ends. Dollars to donuts the suspect was not injured, despite deserving it, or we would have seen it all over the news. I for one would liked to have seen that perp get his A** whipped.

Socieity won't condone that however, which encourages perps to fight back and flee. A sad state of affairs.

I will agree that the cop handled it very badly. He approached too lax. He was outnumbered and should have had backup. He should have not engaged at that close of distance. He should have been parked to obstruct the gate. Could have been done much better.

April 24, 2006, 08:16 AM
My initial reaction to watching this video is it identifies to me a hole in this officer's training as far as hand-to-hand techniques. It's not necessarily his fault as it's a VERY common deficiency I've noted in almost all videos I've seen like this. The difference is, this guy REALLY had a perfect opportunity to get the situation under control at one point, but missed it big time.

Take a look at the video and pause it shortly after the conflict starts at 18:04:40. Note how the officer pushed the assailant back slightly and gained some space. But when the attacker pursued him he stayed flat footed and directly in line with the attacker. With a little better training as far as footwork he would have easily been able to move out of the line of attack and used the attacker's momentum against him to gain space and time. Next time you watch a boxing match notice how boxers never stay in a direct line with an attack. That type of reaction comes from endless hours of training in footwork.

I competed for several years in martial arts tournaments and that is the one area I have to say is truly lacking in every hand-to-hand combat training class I've ever attended. There's a reason Boxers and Football players work so hard and diligently on footwork. It makes a HUGE difference in being able to remain in control of any conflict. The person that controls the spacing, remains balanced, and uses his opponents momentum against them during the conflict is going to be the one who wins the conflict 99% of the time. But it has to be drilled and practiced until it becomes natural reaction.

April 24, 2006, 10:17 AM
Now after viewing that what would any LEOs out there have to say and if this was just the common concealed carry citizen how would you react?

I didn't see this get addressed at all. I'm not a LEO. But I can tell you that in my mind this looked like the perp using force that could have caused serious bodily injury, and would have been clearly over the line and resulted in my being justified to shoot him in self-defense.

This is not just bluster. So, what I'd like to do is re-ask that question. I'd like mostly LEO response. Am I wrong to think this sort of stuff is dangerous enough to me?

In answering, make the assumption that I would be as able to retreat as was the officer. Or make the assumption that I was flatly able to retreat but bear in mind that I'm in Florida, supposedly a SYG state.

Any answers?

April 24, 2006, 10:24 AM
Sucky cop could've used his ELBOW but never did, had many opportunities where the guy's jaw was directly behind him in striking range. WAP! and it's over.
All he did was grab on to the guy's arm while taking punches to the back of the head. I would've knocked this EDITED: Assailant (the Race had nothing to do with it)flat on his @ss. :D

I've seen videos of cops taking on 2 assailants simultaneously and effectively taking control of the situation.
But here are still too many cops out there who lack hand to hand combat skills let alone firearms skills. It's good this incident happened cuz now departments all over the country can revamp their training procedures.

April 24, 2006, 11:06 AM
invention 45 what is an syg state, are u talkign about the whole meet force with force thing we got going down here or what? o and by the way we live in the same county.

April 24, 2006, 08:42 PM
For all of the critics when was the last time you had to fight for your life??? There can always be better training. There can be better physical fitness programs for officers. The bottom line is unless you have been in a fight for your life you just dont know what you would do. Seconds seem like minutes and then there is the suprise factor when you are taken off guard. I blame alot of the mistakes on the use of force that is being taught to LE now. Most LEO'S are not sure at what point they can engage with what level of force. They know that the camera is rolling and dont want to make a mistake and get suspended or terminated. This is a sad world that we live in the liberals have taken over and the courts let them.

Everyone can be a monday morning quarterback........but have you been in the game???:eek: