Universal Translator

Monday, April 13, 2015



Police were watching a suspect make an illegal gun sale, the suspect was a career criminal.  They move into apprehend the suspect and a fight ensues.  During the fight an officer pulls a weapon and announces "Taser."  He then fires one round from his duty handgun.

The reserve officer pulled his duty handgun, thinking it was his Taser.  There are two things wrong with this incident that cause these things to happen.  The first thing is officers should never wear their Taser on the same side of their body as their duty handgun.  It's too easy to confuse them in a stressful situation, and it has happened several times nationwide.

The second problem is the Taser design is too much like that of a handgun.  The Taser should be designed so that it cannot be confused with a handgun.  The grip should not feel like a handgun grip.  The configuration should not be like that of a handgun.  A new design would make it impossible to confuse the two weapons; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Officer Involved Shooting


If you are involved in an incident and you make a mistake, document the mistake.  A mistake is not always a criminal offense.  In this incident we don't know why the officer fired at the running man.  Certainly there is no obvious reason for the officer to fire.  By the officer moving the Taser from the place it was laying to a place near the body of the man is evidence the officer is attempting to place blame for the shooting on the man.

If you cover up your mistake, tamper with evidence, and lie on your report, you then move from an error in judgement to a probable criminal offense.  We all make mistakes.  We all make errors in judgement or in perception.  Those are seldom criminal offenses.  Even if they are crimes, trying to cover them up will only provide further evidence of guilt, and increase the severity of the offense.

Your reports should be as accurate as your can reasonably make them.  If you tell the truth from the beginning it is easier to get credibility for your explanation that you made a mistake.  Changing the scene and lying about what happened causes you to lose credibility and creates an atmosphere that you knowingly performed a criminal act; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Police Shooting


What can we learn from this video?  There is so much apparently wrong in this video it is difficult to address it all.  One thing this proves is that which I have always said, cameras are everywhere.  If you are not wearing a camera, or if one is not on your patrol car, there is still likely one filming you someplace.  In this instance a passerby videoed the incident, from close range, with sound.

Don't do anything that you don't want seen by your sergeant, your chief of police, you wife and your mother.  This is not 1950 where cameras are rare, cameras are ubiquitous.  Every business, every individual, traffic signals, ATM's, and many other places have cameras.

Your actions not only will be recorded on camera, but also the video will be compared to your report.  In this instance the officer reported the suspect fought for his Taser.  Clearly, that did not happen in proximate time and space to the shooting.  Also the officer tampered with the crime scene by moving the Taser closer to the injured man.  None of these behaviors are acceptable; that's what the SGT Says.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Police Officer Shot Unarmed Man


A police officer shot an unarmed man in the back as he was running away from the officer.  When can officers use deadly force and when would this be legal?  Officers can use deadly force generally, when it is reasonable, to prevent great bodily injury or death of themselves or another innocent person. 

In the event of a suspect who has tried to grab an officers Taser, it would be reasonable to us deadly force to prevent him getting the Taser or from using the Taser if no other reasonable option was likely to succeed.  In this instance, that does not appear to be the case.

If this man were an armed robber, if he had just shot someone, if the officer was concerned a possible killer would escape, then the use of deadly force by the officer may be reasonable.  This incident does not seem to meet that criteria; that's what the SGT Says.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Shot in the Back


This video shows a man running away from and officer and the officer fires a number of shots at the man, who falls to the ground.  The officer handcuffs the man and calls out a shots fired call on his radio.  The officer then backtracks his steps and picks something up off the ground, he walks back to where the man is laying on the ground and drops the item on the ground next to the man, as another officer approaches.

The second officer calls for a first aid kit and begins to render aid to the man, the officer is apparently uninjured.  The man later died of his wounds.  The officer said that he stopped the man for a minor traffic violation, they fought over his stun gun and the officer had to shoot the man to prevent him from getting the officers stun gun. 

The item the officer dropped next to the man was apparently a stun gun.  The officer was not disheveled as if he had been in a fight and he had no obvious injuries.  I find it difficult to imagine a scenario where it would be legal, moral, or correct for the officer to have been shooting this unarmed man in the back as he ran away after a minor traffic violation, and even if he had fought over the stun gun; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Getting Hired

Attire yourself in a conservative manner.  You want your appearance to be like that of other police.  Most police don't have tattoos that are visible when wearing a tee shirt and shorts.  Don't have body piercings or other body modifications. 

Your clothing, lifestyle and vehicle should all be nondescript, main stream and conservative.  Police are generally not involved in controversy, so don't have a car bumper with offensive or controversial bumper stickers.

Get along with your neighbors, employers, co-workers and relatives.  Police have to get along with the general public and so you want a reputation that says you are not argumentative, or mean.  Getting hired with an agency is difficult, that's what the SGT Says.