Finally - blow against police “shoot first” culture

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by demosthenes, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. orangeblue_coop
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    [​IMG]

    Cliven Bundy and his a group of men were armed during their standoff with police/feds.

    [​IMG]

    A group of armed alt-right militia members were openly flaunting high-powered weapony in front of police in Charlottesville.

    Were any of those armed individuals considered “threatening?”
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  2. gator_lawyer
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    Yes. Especially the Nazis in Chalottesville. The officers should have defended themselves.
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  3. gatorpika
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    I don't disagree that there is a big damn problem with how often they use force, but again, how do you train some high school grad to climb inside the mind of a mentally impaired suspect to figure out if he is going to shoot or not? Let alone have one of those guys talk him down. Those kinds of judgements and skills are the exception, not the rule. So tell me what policies you would implement that would protect their lives and at the same time achieve the best possible outcome for the situation. Teaching every street cop to be a psychologist is unrealistic and even psychologists get it wrong often. It's always going to be rule based, not primarily judgement based.

    As far as the military goes, if you see a guy with a gun you generally shoot him.

    https://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/usa1203/11.htm

    I have friends that are still dealing with the trauma of Iraq and Afghanistan because you would see some group of guys talking and then a minute later you are in a firefight with them. Likewise the police have trouble identifying "the enemy" as there are many examples of them getting shot during routine contacts. You never know who is going to pull the trigger. There are already instances of police refusing to patrol certain areas where the risk is high. Maybe you don't live in a slum and feel relatively safe, but those people need police protection more than the rest of us. If you put very restrictive rules on when they can engage, they are going to adjust how often they are willing to put themselves at risk.

    I really don't know what the answer is, but know it's complex situation that isn't going to be resolved easily.
  4. Bushmaster
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    You draw your weapon and aim center mass while talking to the suspect with a weapon in all cases. You try to talk them down. You keep talking them down as long as the suspect isn't an immediate threat. The second the weapon moves in your direction, you shoot.

    My issue is this cop who was fired was in the scene before the other two arrived. They should have been there for backup and defer to the one already there.

    Nothing about his getting fired will deter this from happening again. In fact, the opposite will happen. If you don't shoot first, you will get fired. Wanna sue?? OK. The chief will just dot his I's and cross his T's better next time and you will get written up for shit so you get fired for cause. Good luck finding a job in LE after that.
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  5. gator_lawyer
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    You can at least try. For example, this shows promising results:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3122295/
    CIT training of police officers—and the broader CIT model—is being swiftly and broadly disseminated in law enforcement agencies across the United States, and local volunteer mental health professionals are typically involved in both the didactic and experiential aspects of the curriculum.47 A main goal of CIT training is to reduce force toward and injury of individuals with a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, in addition to being a form of pre-booking jail diversion. However, only one prior published study has examined use of force by CIT-trained officers.13 The present study yielded 3 key findings. First, although preferred actions escalated across the 3 scenarios in both groups, in an increasingly uncertain situation involving a psychotic and agitated subject (scenario 3), CIT-trained officers selected actions characterized by a lower use of physical force than non–CIT-trained officers. Results were unchanged when analyses were approached from a categorical perspective (ie, use of nonphysical actions vs physical force). Second, CIT-trained officers identified nonphysical actions as more effective than did non–CIT-trained officers, especially at scenario 3. Third, CIT-trained officers consistently perceived physical force measures as less effective than non–CIT-trained officers across all 3 scenarios. These findings provide the first empirical evidence that CIT-trained officers may be more likely to use nonphysical actions (less force), and to perceive them as more effective, than non–CIT-trained officers during interactions involving an agitated individual with a psychotic disorder.
    -------------------------------------
    Our policy of mass deinstitutionalization has put officers in a difficult position, but we can recognize that and still try to change things for the better.
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  6. gatordavisl
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    He got fired because the Dept was trying to scapegoat him and cover its a$$.
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  7. gatorpika
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    I'm not saying don't change anything, just that the idea that somehow there is this magic training that is going to make these incidents rare is farcical. If it was an easy issue to solve with the police being in the wrong, it would have been solved already. If the police side of the story had no merit, then the DOJ likely would have been charging civil rights violations left and right if the states didn't do it themselves. You are asking these guys to make judgement calls about the mental state of an individual they don't know that even people with advanced degrees can't do with any kind of accuracy.

    So yeah, there are some officers with a lot of years that might be equipped to better deal with the situation. But it's still guesswork and they are going to err on the side of caution. What do you do with the rest of the force who are unable to make these kinds of advanced judgements? The majority of the rank and file need rules to go by. You can't just look at this through the lens of what is right and wrong or in the context of your own experiences as a smart, college educated individual because that doesn't apply to many of the people actually doing the policing.
  8. antny
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    I witnessed first hand the police do everything possible not to arrest a man the other day. He was a habitual traffic offender which made it a felony stop. He had a pregnant passenger. We were called for medical purposes. I asked if the driver was getting arrested and the one officer said we are trying not to. The driver...a black man...was compliant the entire time. A few calls to a supervisor and they left him with a court appearance (summons or something I'm not certain) instead of arresting him. This particular department gets a bad rep all of the time. No one will ever hear this publicly though.
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  9. demosthenes
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    Increased training with an emphasis on deescalation and dealing with individuals with mental illness is the answer. How many times do I have to restate it?

    You act like officers are incapable of learning. They certainly are not. Provide them appropriate training and they will be better equipped. Their German counterparts can do it and so can they. What's the difference now? Curriculum and length of training. German officers train for three years. In the states? Six months.

    Nobody expects perfection but it can certainly be a far site better than it is currently.
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  10. gatorev12
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    That was the ROE going into Iraq in 03. They've been tweaked and refined several times since then to minimize civilian casualties. And there were different ROEs for Iraq than for Afghanistan; since seeing a gun in Afghanistan is far more common than Iraq because Afghanistan's population is more rural and guns are more prevalent in their society.

    As with your link: we had to have positive identification that the target was a threat. Just carrying a gun wasn't enough to satisfy the threshold: you needed to be behaving in a threatening or confrontational manner to either American forces or to civilians. Ie: moving the gun into a firing position or taking aim at civilians. Standard ROE was to draw your weapon, keep it trained on the suspect at all times, and repeatedly try and talk the suspect down with arm gestures and verbal commands (even if you didn't have a translator with you, most people over there understood basic English like get on the ground or don't move).

    And to minimize civilian casualties, almost every unit went through extensive training pre-deployment with model villages populated by native Arabic or Pashtu speakers to give realistic training about what you'll see and hear when on patrol.

    Why not do that with American law enforcement? Especially if it will decrease civilian deaths without causing a rise in LEO deaths? De-escalation has been proven to work by foreign police forces and by our military on foreign deployments. There's simply no reason to ignore a proven method.
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  11. GatorBen
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    If the procedure is really “anyone armed who doesn’t immediately comply with police instructions must be shot,” we’ve got much bigger problems than whether he complied with procedures. Namely the procedures themselves.
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  12. ursidman
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    Too often when a cop shoots an unarmed citizen his common defense is that the LEO had to make a split second decision and since he thought his life was in danger - even though it wasn't - the officer gets the benefit of the doubt. I think this officer made similar split second decisions - probably thousands of them over the course of their brief interaction. Why is this officer not given the benefit of the doubt with his decision(s)?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  13. gatorpika
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    German officers don't face the same rate of gun ownership or homicide rates. There is a big difference between dealing with a guy with a kitchen knife and one that can end your life instantly at range. By all means train them as it's a step forward, however I am just saying that many will be incapable of successfully do it and some officers will lose their lives while trying to talk down suspects. You keep saying all we have to do is train them and I am just saying it's not that simple. Maybe an improvement, but with some downsides.
  14. gatorpika
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    I said before that this guy probably shouldn't have been fired over this. We only know his side of the story though. I am trying to make a broader point about how these issues are more complex than "we just have to train them to calm down the insane guy and the world will be perfect".
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  15. danmann65
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    I am aware that most cops are good and are heros in my eyes. The problem I have is with the the blue line, which means that a bad cop never gets turned in. How many unneeded cop killings a year is acceptable to you?
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  16. danmann65
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    So the punishment for not following a cops orders is to be summarily executed?
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  17. howdygator
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    This is the very essence of the sacrifice that law enforcement officers must make. If his responsibility is to assess threat at the benefit of public safety, then he did his job.

    You could extend the "well what happens if" question very very far if you believe that the officers' safety outweighs that of the public. And that violates the job description, frankly.
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  18. OaktownGator
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    This makes sense, but I think also departments should probably have specialists in dealing with certain situations like mental illness, and call in the specialists to take lead while first officers on the scene just secure the area, stay back and keep other citizens in safe locations away from the person in question.
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  19. antny
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    Depends on circumstance.
  20. BigCroc
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    Many agencies have CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) squads or officers that are called out to lead in cases dealing with individuals who are known or suspected to be mentally ill - as was pointed out above. Having officers who are knowledgeable about mental illness and have the mindset they (the officers) want to avoid use of force and arrest if possible can lead to far better results than having officers untrained in CIT confront mentally ill individuals who are in crisis.

    The vast majority of our law enforcement officers are selfless public servants who are doing the job for all the right reasons - but there are some who relish confrontation and exercise of "authority" -those are the ones that give a black eye to the profession.
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