Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be Aggressive Enough

The police hit Rodney King about sixty times and did no major injury to him. If they hit him three times and broke both of his arms the incident would have been over in four seconds and no one would have cared about it. Sometimes you have to use force. When you have to use force, use enough force. You have to use an amount of force that is reasonable. You don't generally have to use the least amount of force.

If you hit someone with your fists, elbows, or baton, hit as hard as you can. Just as your gun only has one velocity, your impact weapons should have only one velocity. In the Rodney King incident officers were not hitting him hard enough. Sometimes officers think if they just "tap" the suspect with their impact weapon the suspect will comply. The opposite is often the case. If you hit the suspect they will expect you are hitting with all the force you can muster. If it is not a devastating blow, then they will not stop resisting.

You hit the suspect softly, then a little harder, then kind of medium, then hard, then as hard as you can and the suspect gave up. Think about how it looks on video and to on lookers. They only see that you hit the suspect five times. How about you hit the suspect as hard as you can, two blows in quick succession. He gave up. How does that look to the jury? You hit him twice. If you have to use force, use enough force to gain control right away; that's what the SGT Says.


Protect_and_Serve said...

I was once told by a Supervisor, "You use your pepper spray too much". I asked him to name the last time I had injured a violent suspect while arresting him.

He never mentioned my pepper spray again.

Bunkermeister said...

I have probably sprayed 500 people in pepper spray training and the person who got it the worst was all better in three hours with just soap and cool water.

Hard to make the same claim for baton strikes.

TheBronze said...

BM, You're exactly right! Coppers should use as much reasonable force as they can, as soon as it's determined that force is needed/necessary. Using too little force, too late, is not going to do anyone any good and may in fact result in more damage to both the suspect and the officer.

Bunkermeister said...

Out West police were often called Peace Officers. Our job is to restore the peace. Using too little force to restore the peace is a failue, just as using too much force is a failure.