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Old 18th May 2018, 10:06 AM   #1
Nessie
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The behaviour of UK police officers.

This is the UK sleep walking into major problems whereby a 47 year old female police officer, who does not look like she could fight her way out of a wet paper bag, tazers a 64 year old man, who also does not look like he could do much in a fight.

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2018/05/1...relations-adv/

The the key part incident is in the video at 01.20, after a shoving match, which the police officers win as the male is unable to get through the gate he wants to go through. The police officer tazers him in the face.

She was charged with assault, but was found not guilty as the Judge stated;

"The issue for me is whether the prosecution have persuaded me that she didn't act in self-defence.
"The prosecution failed to persuade me and she is found not guilty of assault for that reason."

I do not see what she did as self defence. The two police officers were never at any threat. She tazers him because she wants no risk at all to her. She should not be in the police if she cannot deal with such a minor problem without resorting to the tazer.

At least she is still to face misconduct charges.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:29 PM   #2
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In the US, self-defense is an affirmative legal defense: a defendant must prove the self-defense to be necessary. The way the judge stated his reasoning, it sounds as if, in the UK (unlike in the US), self-defense as a legal defense is a passive (not affirmative) defense. That is, it is assumed to be true unless the prosecution specifically shows it is not. This could easily explain the result, even given your misgivings about the incident.

Sadly, my Google-fu has not been up to the task of determining the status of self-defense in UK law.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:37 PM   #3
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A claim of self defence has to be presented by the defence, with evidence to back it up. It is then the prosecutions job to prove it was not self defence;

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidanc...evention-crime

"When considering the sufficiency of the evidence in such cases, a prosecutor must be satisfied there is enough reliable and admissible evidence to rebut the suggestion of self-defence. The prosecution must rebut self-defence to the criminal standard of proof..."

"Burden of Proof

The burden of proof remains with the prosecution when the issue of self-defence is raised.
The prosecution must adduce sufficient evidence to satisfy a jury beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was either:
not acting to defend himself/herself or another; or
not acting to defend property; ornot acting to prevent a crime or to apprehend an offender; or
if he was so acting, the force used was excessive.

Prosecutors should take special care to recognise, and ensure a sufficiency of evidence in, those cases where self-defence is likely to be an issue."
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Old 19th May 2018, 02:52 AM   #4
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It looks to me that she panicked as a result of the "suspect" tussling with her colleague, notwithstanding the fact he had disengaged about a second or so before she fired. If the "suspect" hadn't been acting belligerently, it wouldn't have happened in the first place.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 19th May 2018 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 19th May 2018, 02:57 AM   #5
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What I don't understand is how come there's an 'bull' type looking dog present but it didn't kill everyone present on the spot!
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Old 19th May 2018, 04:28 AM   #6
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He did have ID that for reasons unknown he elected to offer only after being tasered, floored and half cuffed. It suggests to me that he was pissed of at persistently being pulled by reason of being mistaken for somebody else and decided on this occasion he wasn't going to play ball.

Can't for the life of me see why that WPC decided to taser but she was gagging to do so having pulled the taser gun at some point prior to the video. Make me wonder what we didn't see.

Still, all said and done, it's time (again) to trot out Bluesjnrs' Razor.

In all interactions with a police officer (serving or otherwise) they will attempt to put you on the wrong side of the law. Taking that into consideration act accordingly.
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Old 19th May 2018, 04:31 AM   #7
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I think she is just not physically and mentally up to the job and dealign with belligerent people. She was clearly considered to be promotion material, as she has sergeants stripes on in the video, but is referred to as a PC. I hope she is not going to be promoted and indeed I hope she is sacked.

She used excessive force on an elderly man and it is a disgrace she was found not guilty.
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Old 19th May 2018, 04:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
She used excessive force on an elderly man and it is a disgrace she was found not guilty.
Did she know this, given that his hood was up? He's 64, she's 47 - neither strapping youths.
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Old 19th May 2018, 05:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Did she know this, given that his hood was up? He's 64, she's 47 - neither strapping youths.
She tazed him in the face, so she saw this;

https://image.assets.pressassociatio...6860.jpg?w=852
Edited by kmortis:  Changed to link to comply with Rule 5

and there was a good few minutes of interaction between them prior to firing the tazer.
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:00 AM   #10
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No, she didn't. She saw this:

http://www.625.org.uk/isf/2_36566860_c.jpg
Edited by kmortis:  Changed to link to comply with Rule 5

Last edited by kmortis; 22nd May 2018 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:21 AM   #11
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So, she clearly saw an elderly man who was about the same size as her. She is with a PC who is bigger than both of them.

She is not up to the job of police officer if she cannot arrest without using such a high degree of force.
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:35 AM   #12
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Epic fail! Send her to be Kippumjo.
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
So, she clearly saw an elderly man who was about the same size as her.
So? He seems to be active enough, and isn't doddering along with a walking frame.

Quote:
She is with a PC who is bigger than both of them.

She is not up to the job of police officer if she cannot arrest without using such a high degree of force.
How sexist.

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Old 19th May 2018, 06:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
No, she didn't. She saw this:

http://www.625.org.uk/isf/2_36566860_c.jpg
She obviously thought he was being attacked by a giant spider and was trying to help him fend it off!
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:51 AM   #15
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Wow, and he was the force’s race relations advisor!
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
So? He seems to be active enough, and isn't doddering along with a walking frame.
Tazer is for a high level of threat. The main impact factors in determining his level of threat are age and size, so in that respect he is a low risk. His behaviour is also argumentative, not threatening and the most he does is try and shrug off and push past when the police try and get hold of him.

Quote:
How sexist.
A male police officer who acted the same way, would also be wrong and not up to the job.
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Old 19th May 2018, 09:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Tazer is for a high level of threat. The main impact factors in determining his level of threat are age and size, so in that respect he is a low risk. His behaviour is also argumentative, not threatening and the most he does is try and shrug off and push past when the police try and get hold of him.
.....
In the U.S. we wish scared cops would use Tasers. Here, a cop who claims he feels threatened can kill people at will and get away with it.
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Old 19th May 2018, 11:47 AM   #18
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I say this is an assault by police and excessive force was used. Yet the Sun newspaper describes it as a "brilliant moment";

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...nd-with-baton/

"a police officer creeps up on a burglar as he tries to break into a house with a crowbar – taking him down before his fellow cops pile in.
The bungling crook was whacked with a baton and tackled to the ground after officers in Glasgow caught him trying to force open a patio door, thinking the property was empty."

There is no threat to the police, no indication the burglar is going to attack, yet he gets hit from behind, dragged to the ground and piled upon.

I am sure it was fun and satisfying for the police, but they could have achieved the same result by issuing a warning with a drawn baton or grabbing the housebreaker from behind.
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Old 19th May 2018, 02:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
So, she clearly saw an elderly man who was about the same size as her. She is with a PC who is bigger than both of them.

She is not up to the job of police officer if she cannot arrest without using such a high degree of force.
There are no implements with which to cause harm across the pond? Not people willing to use them on officers?

Please try to downplay it, then I will gladly link to plenty of acab themed videos detailing how to carry around dangerous items from right in the UK.
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Old 19th May 2018, 02:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I say this is an assault by police and excessive force was used. Yet the Sun newspaper describes it as a "brilliant moment";

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...nd-with-baton/

"a police officer creeps up on a burglar as he tries to break into a house with a crowbar taking him down before his fellow cops pile in.
The bungling crook was whacked with a baton and tackled to the ground after officers in Glasgow caught him trying to force open a patio door, thinking the property was empty."

There is no threat to the police, no indication the burglar is going to attack, yet he gets hit from behind, dragged to the ground and piled upon.

I am sure it was fun and satisfying for the police, but they could have achieved the same result by issuing a warning with a drawn baton or grabbing the housebreaker from behind.
Ever been hit with a crowbar? I havnt as evidenced by the fact I carry no permanent debilitating injuries.
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Old 19th May 2018, 11:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Ever been hit with a crowbar? I havnt as evidenced by the fact I carry no permanent debilitating injuries.
Can you direct me to the point in the video where the scum bag attempts to hit the officer?
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Old 20th May 2018, 01:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Can you direct me to the point in the video where the scum bag attempts to hit the officer?
Exactly. The officer has decided to go in with force by drawing his baton on the approach. He is going to strike, no matter what happens.

The use of force is trained as a sliding scale where the police raise or lower dependent on what the suspect does. The PC does the opposite to that.

It is fine to have the baton drawn, just in case the housebreaker does decide to use the crowbar. But a verbal warning the police are there and will use force is required is what the police are trained to do.
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Old 20th May 2018, 06:45 AM   #23
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I think you have it the wrong way around. It used to be that our police used violence and got away with it, today they can no longer use "fell down the stairs" to explain the cuts and bruises. We are seeing the remnants of this attitude lingering but it is dying as modern attitudes and technology means they can't get away with as much inappropriate violence as they used to.
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Old 21st May 2018, 04:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you have it the wrong way around. It used to be that our police used violence and got away with it, today they can no longer use "fell down the stairs" to explain the cuts and bruises. We are seeing the remnants of this attitude lingering but it is dying as modern attitudes and technology means they can't get away with as much inappropriate violence as they used to.
The police are still using violence and getting away with it, though with things like CCTV in cell areas, they just have to be more careful. Beating suspects in interviews has stopped, since all are now taped, videoed and solicitors get access prior to interviews. Their first question is always "how have you been treated?".

In my experience, the police are as almost as aggressive as they used to be, but they do have the same level of aggression targetted at them.

It used to be an almost nightly activity, arresting fighting drunks. Big fit cops (the ladies included) dealt with such with tiny batons and bendy cuffs. Now there are far fewer fighting arrests, but smaller, unfit cops deal with those arrests with expandable batons, tazers and hard cuffs as if they are fighting for their lives.

The aggression of old lingers on, when it need not be like that.
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Old 21st May 2018, 04:43 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Can you direct me to the point in the video where the scum bag attempts to hit the officer?
The scum bag, as you put it, was not given the opportunity to use the rather vicious looking crowbar he had in his hand. In the circumstances, while the response is at the more violent end of the spectrum, I don't think it actually is excessive.
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Old 21st May 2018, 05:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
The scum bag, as you put it, was not given the opportunity to use the rather vicious looking crowbar he had in his hand. In the circumstances, while the response is at the more violent end of the spectrum, I don't think it actually is excessive.
Can the police then arrest anyone using violence who is in mere possession of an offensive weapon?
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Old 21st May 2018, 06:50 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Can the police then arrest anyone using violence who is in mere possession of an offensive weapon?
Of course not. Why would you think that's what I meant?
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Old 21st May 2018, 08:34 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
In my experience, the police are as almost as aggressive as they used to be, but they do have the same level of aggression targetted at them.
I haven't been out in a UK city or big town very recently but when I used to, I was shocked at the level of drink-fuelled violence against the police, fellow revellers and passing members of the public.

I tried to Google up some statistics and was unsurprised to find that the level of violence against police officers as collected in official home office statistics, 23,000 attacks a year is orders of magnitude lower than that extrapolated from a Police Federation poll of members 2.4 million attacks per year or nearly 20 for each officer.

http://polfed.org/documents/WelfareS...01-2017-V1.pdf

The vast majority of attacks are verbal rather than physical however so maybe they should be taken with a pinch of salt. The headlines that accompanied the report gave the clear impression that officers were being physically attacked several times a year.

Home office statistics show that the number of assaults without injury have been consistent for the last 10 years or so:

https://assets.publishing.service.go...7-assaults.pdf
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:59 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Of course not. Why would you think that's what I meant?
But you said hitting him with a baton, dragging him to the ground and sitting on him is not excessive, when he had a crow bar in his hands which he was using to jemmy a door.

He was not even facing the cops with it in his hands. Even then he should be given the chance to put it down.
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:08 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I haven't been out in a UK city or big town very recently but when I used to, I was shocked at the level of drink-fuelled violence against the police, fellow revellers and passing members of the public.
When I started in the police in the late 1980s, it was every weekend there was multiple arrests for fighting drunks. By the time I finally stopped working weekend nights in the mid 2010s, it was only occasionally. Plus, the former was a nice rural town in the Highlands and the latter a rough larger town in the Central belt.

Quote:
I tried to Google up some statistics and was unsurprised to find that the level of violence against police officers as collected in official home office statistics, 23,000 attacks a year is orders of magnitude lower than that extrapolated from a Police Federation poll of members 2.4 million attacks per year or nearly 20 for each officer.

http://polfed.org/documents/WelfareS...01-2017-V1.pdf

The vast majority of attacks are verbal rather than physical however so maybe they should be taken with a pinch of salt. The headlines that accompanied the report gave the clear impression that officers were being physically attacked several times a year.

Home office statistics show that the number of assaults without injury have been consistent for the last 10 years or so:

https://assets.publishing.service.go...7-assaults.pdf
Yet assaults in general have fallen

https://www.ons.gov.uk/resource?uri=...6/58db689c.png
Edited by kmortis:  Changed to link to comply with Rule 5


https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...rendingmar2016
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
But you said hitting him with a baton, dragging him to the ground and sitting on him is not excessive, when he had a crow bar in his hands which he was using to jemmy a door.
So, you agree, not mere possession.
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:58 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
So, you agree, not mere possession.
But not using it in any way directed at the police. An offensive weapon is made, adapted or intended. A crowbar comes under intended, since it not made as a weapon and it has not been adapted in any way.

When using a crowbar to jemmy open a door (a job it is designed to do, amongst many others) it is not intended as a weapon.

So, how is the police officer justified to use a high level of force (baton, pull to prone and hold down) to arrest?
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Old 22nd June 2018, 01:06 PM   #33
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I am saddened that this has been considered an accident. A police officer chases and arrests a male who then swallows drugs and chokes to death. The police officer does nothing to render medical assistance and delays calling for such;

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44551132
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Old 22nd June 2018, 01:23 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I say this is an assault by police and excessive force was used. Yet the Sun newspaper describes it as a "brilliant moment";

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...nd-with-baton/

"a police officer creeps up on a burglar as he tries to break into a house with a crowbar taking him down before his fellow cops pile in.
The bungling crook was whacked with a baton and tackled to the ground after officers in Glasgow caught him trying to force open a patio door, thinking the property was empty."


There is no threat to the police, no indication the burglar is going to attack, yet he gets hit from behind, dragged to the ground and piled upon.

I am sure it was fun and satisfying for the police, but they could have achieved the same result by issuing a warning with a drawn baton or grabbing the housebreaker from behind.
I believe that being engaged in breaking into a domicile with a crowbar rates at least one good (non-fatal) whack with whatever hard object is close to hand.

You are free to engage in whatever behavior is acceptable by local community standards where you serve, but I find no objection to striking an individual in the act of breaking and entering in the course of effecting an arrest.

You may wish to engage the poor soul in a lengthy philosophical discussion prior to taking them into custody, but most offenders caught in the act are more inclined to flee or fight than go along with the Mr. Rogers version of LE tactics you seem to be endorsing.
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Old 22nd June 2018, 01:42 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
I believe that being engaged in breaking into a domicile with a crowbar rates at least one good (non-fatal) whack with whatever hard object is close to hand.

You are free to engage in whatever behavior is acceptable by local community standards where you serve, but I find no objection to striking an individual in the act of breaking and entering in the course of effecting an arrest.

You may wish to engage the poor soul in a lengthy philosophical discussion prior to taking them into custody, but most offenders caught in the act are more inclined to flee or fight than go along with the Mr. Rogers version of LE tactics you seem to be endorsing.
Grabbing from behind would seem appropriate.

There is a lot wrong with UK police oversight - and remember Nessie has an insider's view. It's just that there are good statistics, better oversight, and the smallest police forces are either highly specialised and still with hundreds of officers (for example the Civil Nuclear Constabulary - which has weapons up to 30mm cannon on ships carrying nuclear waste) or historical relics, with very limited activities (like the Ports police forces).
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Old 22nd June 2018, 05:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Grabbing from behind would seem appropriate.

There is a lot wrong with UK police oversight - and remember Nessie has an insider's view. It's just that there are good statistics, better oversight, and the smallest police forces are either highly specialised and still with hundreds of officers (for example the Civil Nuclear Constabulary - which has weapons up to 30mm cannon on ships carrying nuclear waste) or historical relics, with very limited activities (like the Ports police forces).
In 15 yrs otj and doing training exchanges with other departments here and trips outside the U.S. doing training down south, I never encountered a LEO so fixated on non-lethal use-of-force while effecting an arrest than the op.

There is never an excuse for excessive force, but I've yet to meet anyone in LE and few members of the general public that questions the need to use force against an armed suspect that has used lethal force - the op is doing just that in another thread, essentially arguing that once the actor stops shooting there's no reason to use lethal force to stop the actor.

That's a position only a certain type of individual could possibly hold, and it sure isn't based in or on sound law enforcement or public policy - I can't imagine even the most progressive S.F. city legislator trying to sell the idea that if a shooter only kills 3 or 4 people in front of witnesses and stops shooting LE shouldn't use force - lethal or otherwise - to stop the shooter.
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Old 23rd June 2018, 02:33 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
I believe that being engaged in breaking into a domicile with a crowbar rates at least one good (non-fatal) whack with whatever hard object is close to hand.

You are free to engage in whatever behavior is acceptable by local community standards where you serve, but I find no objection to striking an individual in the act of breaking and entering in the course of effecting an arrest.

You may wish to engage the poor soul in a lengthy philosophical discussion prior to taking them into custody, but most offenders caught in the act are more inclined to flee or fight than go along with the Mr. Rogers version of LE tactics you seem to be endorsing.
I have been in exactly the same situation as shown in the video. I just quietly walked up behind the criminal and the first he knew I was there was because I had taken hold of the crowbar. I spoke to him calmly and quietly. He realised he had been caught and he was quite passive. I found criminals who were not subject force and the situation was kept calm, we also clam themselves.

IME cops are no where near as good now at being clam and using the lowest level of force to resolve a situation.

I think the video would have been far more impressive if the cops had just lined up behind the criminal, one of them tapped him on the shoulder and then just took the crowbar off him.
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Old 23rd June 2018, 02:48 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
In 15 yrs otj and doing training exchanges with other departments here and trips outside the U.S. doing training down south, I never encountered a LEO so fixated on non-lethal use-of-force while effecting an arrest than the op.
UK police are like that. We are all about arrests and rarely if ever think the correct option is to kill the suspect.

Quote:
There is never an excuse for excessive force, but I've yet to meet anyone in LE and few members of the general public that questions the need to use force against an armed suspect that has used lethal force - the op is doing just that in another thread, essentially arguing that once the actor stops shooting there's no reason to use lethal force to stop the actor.

That's a position only a certain type of individual could possibly hold, and it sure isn't based in or on sound law enforcement or public policy - I can't imagine even the most progressive S.F. city legislator trying to sell the idea that if a shooter only kills 3 or 4 people in front of witnesses and stops shooting LE shouldn't use force - lethal or otherwise - to stop the shooter.
I was unarmed my entire career (as are most UK police officers). For the first 10 years or so, I did not have an expandable baton and CS spray or body armour. I had a woolly suit and a short baton.

About 90% of career included weekend night shifts, the most likely time to have a fight. I was rarely office bound and made thousands of arrests (I know in custody I processed around 3000 prisoners a year when I was full time there).

I also spend about 10 years working alone in rural Scotland, sometimes on islands where I was it. The nearest assistance was hundreds of miles and a flight or ferry away.

I had to use calming and passive tactics and talk people down. I drew my baton a couple of times but never struck anyone with it. I never used my CS spray. I talked people in sieges and with knives to just give up.

I know lots of other cops who were just like me and would resolve situations at what was called "the lowest level possible", meaning minimal fuss or use of force.

I accept that shooting a shooter is probably the best tactic in the USA. My preference is to contain and negotiate, which is the UK policy, but that does not fit with the US mind set.

The suspects with a gun incidents I attended (there was never an actual shooting incident with an active shooter on the go, when I was on duty) were all containment duties to trace the suspect and keep others out the way till armed officers and/or negotiators arrived. Any reports of shots fired were usual false alarms or people not knowing there was lamping for foxes or a hunt nearby.
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Old 23rd June 2018, 04:14 AM   #39
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The Glasgow householder filming the ned almost breaking into their home with them upstairs must have been relieved to see the cops arrive in the nick of time. I'll bet the householder doesn't care that they gave him a dead leg ["charley horse"?]. Neither do I.
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Old 23rd June 2018, 04:44 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by TX50 View Post
The Glasgow householder filming the ned almost breaking into their home with them upstairs must have been relieved to see the cops arrive in the nick of time. I'll bet the householder doesn't care that they gave him a dead leg ["charley horse"?]. Neither do I.
You mightn't care, but you should.

It isn't about the individual - it is about the system. The burglar was caught in the act. Justice and due process should deal with him. Overly aggressive policing leaves to cases like the death of Ian Tomlinson, who happened to walk in front of the wrong police officer.
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