The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

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The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by azriel on Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:47 pm

I agree. Its a confident win on the side of the police to use a bullet against a knife. Hardly a 'fair fight' is it ?

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:05 pm

They carry guns because they are more often faced with guns. Most people get shot because the police think they may be going for a gun when they reach for something.

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:42 am

Yeah, there are a lot of handguns around. Always have been. There'd not be much point in calling the police most times if you thought they'd be coming without their sidearm.

There is a problem though in how often they shoot to kill when it might not have been necessary, but that's mostly a problem in the current training.

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:40 am

azriel wrote:I agree. Its a confident win on the side of the police to use a bullet against a knife. Hardly a 'fair fight' is it ?

... It's not supposed to be a fair fight. scratch

But yeah, overuse of force is a serious problem. Many (most?) departments have policies regarding it that establish a continuum of appropriate responses to particular scenarios, but whether those policies are consistently followed or enforced is the big issue. I don't think there's as much transparency and accountability as there should be.


Last edited by Eldorion on Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by halfwise on Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:42 am

It's also a problem with the current training of the US population.  Don't make any sudden moves around armed people in a tense situation.  A few of the killings by police have no reason to have happened, but most are because people don't calm down and the officers are rightfully frightened.

Better training of police on how to de-escalate such situations will definitely help, but it seems to me most experienced police are good at dealing with the public; there's some bad apples and a lot of inexperienced police out there.

Edit: I can't back up my statement of which situations are more common by independent review, but upon internal review most police are supported in their actions during a killing, and though there will be some "protect our own" bias in such reviews, I doubt more than a small fraction are rubber stamp procedures.

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:58 am

I don't have any studies to pull out offhand, but the "blue wall of silence" is a real thing and even when you have internal affairs investigators who genuinely want to find the truth and hold their fellow officers accountable (which is far from a given), it can be an uphill battle to try to get enough honest testimony to actually build a case. You've got commanders who want to protect the public image of the force, the threat of retaliation from officers who think it's necessary to preserve the cohesion of the force*, officers who think any use of force is appropriate because they've developed a sort of tribal siege mentality, some who are straight-up racists**, and so on.

*Which in this respect is similar to some of the issues surrounding sexual assault investigations in the military.
**Including actual Klansmen and neo-Nazis in some cases. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/31/the-fbi-has-quietly-investigated-white-supremacist-infiltration-of-law-enforcement/

Edit: to be clear though, I'm not trying to argue that the use of lethal force is never justified or that police never have reason to be worried for their safety. But I don't think it's unreasonable to hold police, who have the literal power of life and death over other people, to a higher standard than most professions.
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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:39 am

Most people get shot because the police think they may be going for a gun when they reach for something.- Halfy

{{That just doesn't seem to be the case in most of these sorts of police shootings Ive read about- this example is typical- the police had a person who they had clearly identified had a knife- they gave orders for the person to drop it, and when they didn't they opened fire.
What possible justification is there for a gun being the response to that? Its a knife, unless they get close enough to use it the person is harmless. Why is that a reach for a gun response and not a reach for a tazer response? Why would you use lethal force first against a non-lethal threat? }}}

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:29 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Most people get shot because the police think they may be going for a gun when they reach for something.- Halfy

{{Why is that a reach for a gun response and not a reach for a tazer response? Why would you use lethal force first against a non-lethal threat? }}}

Because several years ago studies showed that most officers who were killed had hesitated at the critical second. So now officers are being trained to make split-second decisions, which are more often wrong and more often influenced by emotion than if they took a couple seconds longer. {{(That and the influence of first-person shooter games! Twisted Evil )}}

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by halfwise on Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:05 pm

Well the St Louis police certainly do not seem to be conducting themselves with any propriety. No

There is definitely no reason at all to shoot to kill someone with a knife. Shoot to disable perhaps, but there's plenty of time to make sure it's not lethal.

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:41 pm

halfwise wrote:
There is definitely no reason at all to shoot to kill someone with a knife.  

That's true in a lot of cases, but I don't think it's that clear cut. What if the the guy with the knife has a hostage he's threatening to kill? What if he's built like a pro football lineman and is charging at you screaming that he's going to cut your fucking head off? But if he's street person who's acting confused? That's something completely different! The threat has a lot more to do with the situation than the weapon I think.

The case that really brought this home to me was a case in Seattle a few years ago when a local Native American woodcarver was killed, supposedly because he was carrying a jack knife and piece of wood he was carving. He was a guy I'd seen around and I knew people who had known him for years. He was definitely NOT a threat. Personally I'd call it murder. http://www.colorlines.com/articles/seattle-cop-resigns-after-native-american-mans-killing-ruled-unjustified

Another thing is that I understand that officers are no longer trained to shoot to wound. I've been told this is because too many cities were having to pay medical bills and disability settlements (Dead people don't sue.... Suspect No )


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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:41 pm

{{ I dont know of a single UK case where a suspect armed with a knife, or even a machette, has been shot dead as a means of stopping them. Its just not procedure- there are no circumstances where a police officer should have to resort to that- theres so many other procedures that should be undertaken first to prevent it ever getting to a fatality.

Heres two UK examples- in the first the assailant has a knife in a shop and is a danger, getting in striking distance of more than one person-



and in this example its a machete in the street-



If that was the US both those suspects would now be dead and that's surely unacceptable at the hands of those whose job is to protect the public (that includes the criminal parts too). }}}

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:41 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ I dont know of a single UK case where a suspect armed with a knife,}}}

That's certainly a good record, but do you think it still would be true if every UK officer carried a firearm? And would you send an officer out on a call without a firearm if you knew he was 2 or 3 times more likely to be met with a gun than with a knife?

The trouble here is that guns are so pervasive that much of police training focuses on training and practicing for taking out a suspect with a gun before he can harm anybody (that's good). Then for some officers that training becomes their first option when it properly should be the last (that's bad).




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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by halfwise on Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:59 pm

Not being trained to shoot to wound is a very bad idea. This was probably accompanied by training to use the gun as little as necessary, but when things get heated bad things happen.

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:51 pm

That's certainly a good record, but do you think it still would be true if every UK officer carried a firearm? And would you send an officer out on a call without a firearm if you knew he was 2 or 3 times more likely to be met with a gun - David

{{ From what I understand the vast majority of US police officers never have to fire their gun in anger during their career. This would seem to indicate that the majority of police work does not involve guns. And that work could have therefore equally been carried out safely by officers with no firearms at all.
The next question to ask therefore is off those cases which do involve guns, how many did they know it was a gun incident when the call came in?
And in cases when they know it is a gun incident why send ordinary street officers at all? Why not do as here and send in police officers specially screened and trained in the use of firearms and trained in dealing with such situations and fully equipped for the task? }}}

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:38 pm

"Shooting to wound" is a poor standard for the real world. Cops shoot to incapacitate, and the most effective way to do this is to aim for the center of mass (chest/torso) as that is the largest target, the slowest/least flexible part of the body, and the area most likely to prevent a target from continuing to pose a risk (ie, someone who got shot in the leg could still discharge a firearm from the ground or attempt to stab officers who try to handcuff them). Obviously shooting at the center of mass is more likely to be fatal, but that's why other tools like pepper spray and tasers exist. And to be sure, cops can and should rely on those methods in far more circumstances than they do guns.

The above is the standard in the UK as well as in the US.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/17/shoot-to-kill-what-is-the-uks-policy

Do police shoot to kill or wound?

The official policy says firearms officers “shoot to incapacitate”. They are trained to target the centre of the chest as the quickest way to “neutralise” a suspect, even though it is highly likely that this will kill.

The idea that officers will shoot to wound is dismissed because it is felt that it places the public and officers in too much danger.

Concerns about marauding terrorist attackers mean officers have been told they may need to shoot a terrorist suspect in the head because they may be wearing body armour.

The law on self defence can be controversial, especially as it does not mean an officer has to be correct in assessing the level of danger.

“What we must do is support our officers,” Hogan-Howe said. “My officers need to know that we are all behind them, that the decisions that they take in that half a second are going to be unencumbered by thoughts that put doubt in their minds.

“So we work within the law. We make sure that those on the other side – the terrorist – know that whilst we are as determined as they are, as ruthless as they are, there is a difference between us. We work within the law.”

http://abcnews.go.com/US/police-trained-shoot-wound-experts/story?id=40402933

Police Shoot to Stop Life-Threatening Behavior

Police are trained to stop dangerous, life-threatening or murderous behavior, Kelly said. This holds true for all police departments across the country, he added.

Anytime a firearm is discharged, it's considered deadly force, said David Klinger, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Shooting to injure or maim someone wouldn't stop an aggressive subject, Klinger said, and officers are trying to stop the threat to their life, or the life of their partner or a citizen.

"Why would we want to injure or maim people?" he said. "It doesn't stop them."

Because of the potential risks, it would be "very difficult" to train officers to shoot to wound instead, Kelly said. If someone's life is in jeopardy, shooting to maim or injure will have little effect on the actions of the individual who is trying to kill, Klinger added.

Additionally, if an officer aims at anything other than the torso area, the odds that he or she will miss increase greatly, Klinger said. But aiming for the chest means that the type of wounds suspects usually sustain are likely to be fatal, he added.
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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:43 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:
{{ From what I understand the vast majority of US police officers never have to fire their gun in anger during their career. This would seem to indicate that the majority of police work does not involve guns. And that work could have therefore equally been carried out safely by officers with no firearms at all.}}}

It indicates nothing of the sort!!! Mad

It's true that most good officers rarely if ever fire their weapons in the line of duty, but that black leather snap-down holster is on display during every single interaction of their career and, along with the badge, is the defining characteristic of a law enforcement officer no matter what type of uniform they wear. It gets your attention, and just by its presence can calm a chaotic situation.

I can tell you from personal experience that the sound of that snap going "click!" as the flap is opened has at least once reminded me that talking back to an officer when I should be complying is a poor idea... pale

No, there's a whole lot of information that holster and pistol can tell you without ever being fired! Nod

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Eldorion on Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:51 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:And in cases when they know it is a gun incident why send ordinary street officers at all? Why not do as here and send in police officers specially screened and trained in the use of firearms and trained in dealing with such situations and fully equipped for the task?

Guns are common enough in the US that it is hard to predict when and where a gun incident will occur, and "ordinary street officers" can easily find themselves in such incidents with no warning or time to prepare. Obviously such incidents are outliers but I don't think it's unreasonable for police to want to be prepared.

Here are a couple links about an incident that happened last year less than 10 minutes from where I live. A woman called the police because she thought her ex-husband was stalking her (he was). A police officer arrived at the cafe where the man was, sat down at his table to talk to him, and was almost immediately shot and killed. After the man fled the scene, another police officer followed him. He shot and killed that officer too. He eventually died in a shootout with the third and fourth officers who arrived.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/armed-suspect-in-panera-shoots-two-maryland-officers/2016/02/10/75bb1648-d027-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/a-horror-panera-customer-describes-shooting-of-md-deputy/2016/02/11/bf087472-d0d0-11e5-b2bc-988409ee911b_story.html
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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:19 pm

{{ David- much the same effect is engendered here if they unhook the baton, or the tazer. Might not be lethal but it ain't fun either!

Eldo- a tragic case, hard to see what could have been done to save the first cop, but after that why let police cops continue after him beyond to observe his location? That's what would happen here. And in the meantime the swat teams would be flying or driving in to take over. Impossible to say if that would have saved the second cop but probably as he would not have been seeking to engage, merely to keep tabs on the criminal. }}

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:51 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ David- much the same effect is engendered here if they unhook the baton, or the tazer. Might not be lethal but it ain't fun either!}}

Personal experience?

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:53 am

My two cents. Shooting to wound is fraught with more problems than it might solve. Centre of body mass. Like Eldo suggests. Appears to be a common idea among police forces. And a sound one. This offers a cop in a high pressure situation the reasonable probability of actually hitting somewhere roughly approximating the centre of body mass. Cowboys can shoot Indians off horses at a hundred yards, we all know that. My experience is that cops miss more the target than they hit the target. Which might go a little way to explaining why so many shots are set off when felons are shot: something like shooting until they are sure the target is hit and neutralised, including shooting as the felon goes down. Adrenalin plays a huge part. Can't train for that.

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by David H on Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:29 am

Thanks for weighing in Orwell! I was kind of hoping you might join in on this one. Nod
Adrenalin plays a huge part. Can't train for that.

Agreed about the adrenaline, but I'd argue that's all the more reason for regular training. Just like fire drills and man-overboard drills. When the time comes you still might not get it right under the influence of the adrenaline, but your chances go way up (if only because you have habit to fall back on when your head shuts down.)

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:13 am

I don't discount the benefit of training. The better and more of it, the more chance it will click in under extreme pressure; but I will emphasise the 'more of it'. Only very few get the amount of training in my opinion to be at all predictable under extreme pressure. Repetition repetition repetition.... like playing tennis; the more you practice a shot the more consistent (one hopes) it gets, even under pressure.

Also, the more you have practiced and had that constant repetiton, the more confident you are in a situation, and therefore (in my view) less likely to do anything rash, force situations negatively, or panic as a first recourse. (This could be said more in broad terms of most experienced cops attending any fiery or plain dangerous situation. I learned by keeping my mouth shut and letting experienced cops deal with things upfront, run the show, do the talk; and when I got more experienced, I started doing it. At the end of my career I was often the most experienced cop and was calmer and in control of myself than when I first attended sticky situations.

NB I remember a lecturer when I went through the academy back in 1990 saying that if you can't control yourself you can't control anything, so - as I interpret with hindsight - when you go to a job keep yourself on the leash, basically. I found this excellent advice, and saw plenty of times when cops made a bad situation even worse because they were rash, or arrogant or panicky. Again, hard to train for these things, experience teaches them - though not all cops learn, and they were horrible to work with, though, often, did not last long in the job. Thankfully. And having the right teachers you work with is kind of important! Go to enough iffy jobs and experience will come, I guess, repetition again!, you know.... Mmm... I feel like some old fart talking war stories now... guess it had to come.... back in the day, son.... i remember, just now, that I was far better than I 'actually' was back in the day - and all that... lol... Dave, I'd thank you to  hand me the tobacco jar...

Had a few incidents myself where the trigger might have been pulled but that 'extreme pressure' did not quite peak and the situations de-escalated or were sorted in other ways (amazing what my golden tongue has been used for; indeed, mine and any cop's safest tool and weapon! lol!) If I had to have pulled the trigger, would I have hit true? The centre of body mass would have been my plan in each of the situations I faced, (and, to be honest, I think I was confident I could - there is sometimes a slow stillness and focus when the chips are just about down, I found), but would I have hit the side of a barn come that event? I will never know, and never will in future with any luck. Mind, not carrying a firearm anymore might suggest I'll have to use a bludgeon or knife to deal with any real danger; possibly from rabbid Scotshobbits... 'rabid' ''scotshobbits'? Is that a tautology? (Mmmm.... where am I? Is that Nurse.. damn woman! I want my pills!!!!)

Anyhow, back to my original waffling... I don't think enough cops will ever get enough training to deal with trigger-pulse situations. Special squads  train, train, train... but with the rest of police forces, its a bit of a lottery. Hopefully you have someone with enough experience and clear head to handle the situation... and shoot straight in extremity -- and NOT when the 'extremity' is only in the head of a panicky cop or three.... 'Adreneline' remains the Big if, though. I use the word in the broadest sense: people can do all sorts of things, including freezing, when put in an extreme situation... and what one might do in two similar situations maybe be poles apart. I must stop think-typing on the run.... The only certainty, really, is uncertainty.... Nurse! Stop giving my pills to that Scotshobbit!

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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by azriel on Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:59 am

Police in armour, bullet proof & now knife proof jackets, visa's, helmets, shields, racking up an arsenal. So you shoot to wound but, wound someone who has none of these protections & you have a fooking problem. Gut shots are said to be the worst injury you can receive, I don't know that as my guts are still intact. Head shot ? brain damage, blindness, problems. Can we get this 'baddie' in court let alone in prison. Arms & legs from a distance I would imagine are incredible difficult to get bang on ( sorry about pun but, hey ho ) must look like living spaghetti from yards off. So, what to do ? disarm nutter is priority number one. So many thoughts must go thru a copper's mind in a split second. keep yourself alive, protect the public, & get bad guy without blood & guts spilling all over the floor. Big expense to Government for mopping up. And I think therein lies a huge problem. Does our upstanding public spirited Government want to show how much it cares & train these policemen & women ? Is it profitable ?

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azriel
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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by azriel on Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:03 am

Hello Orwell Very Happy Wave Ive missed reading your posts sunny

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.”
"There are far, far, better things ahead than any we can leave behind"
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got



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azriel
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Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Orwell on Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:49 pm

Hi Azriel.

This shooting to wound idea is seriously misguided. Shooting to end the threat is what we were trained to do. Do, that is, if the threat was there, in your face, and immediate: then centre of body mass is where I was trained to shoot. Thus ONLY when nothing else was possible, except letting yourself or someone else get seriously injured or killed and aiming at the chest area was the only option left.

The problem with a lot of these shootings I read about - trusting the tales are full accurate accounts and not mostly gossip and pure speculation- is the doubt that things had got to a point where it was the only (sensible) option left. To be honest, unless you have been there, no one is really at a point of making proper judgment about any shooting (that's why we have courts btw). In fact, even if you have been there, and I have got awfully close to pulling the trigger, you still can't make judgments on police shootings (that's why we have courts... oh I said that already...lol).

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Orwell
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