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Crafty_Dog
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« on: June 26, 2006, 01:09:54 PM »

Bring this post of XtremeKali over here to start a new thread:
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Could not find an LEO thread.
Panel: Street gangs moving into suburbs By MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jun 21, 10:03 AM ET



CHICAGO - Chicago street gangs are increasingly moving into the suburbs, driven by the demolition of housing projects that once hid their illegal activities and by the perception that police in smaller communities lack the experience to deal with them, a city crime commission found.


"People in the suburbs can no longer view gangs as an inner-city problem," said Jim Wagner, the Chicago Crime Commission's president who helped write a 272-page report released this week. "It's a problem they can no longer ignore."

The study surveyed 81 suburban police departments and found most had come into contact with gangs in their communities.

The report attributed the shift to gang members' perception that suburban police aren't as well-equipped to scrutinize and disrupt drug dealing and other illegal activities. It also cited the tearing down of high-rise housing projects in Chicago "that were hideouts for gangs, incubators for gang crime and were often impenetrable to law enforcement," Wagner said.

The document, titled "The Gang Book," is meant to serve as a guide for suburban police, parents and businesses who may know little to nothing about gangs. It includes photographs of gang hand signs and tattoos, as well as block-by-block maps showing which gangs control what parts of the Chicago area.

The Chicago area has many as 100 street gangs with an estimated 125,000 members, according to the report. Ten to 20 of those gangs, including the powerful Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings and Vice Lords, are well-organized entities.

Des Plaines Mayor Tony Arredia said suburban authorities are aware of the problem.

"Gang activity in the suburbs is not new," he said. "It hasn't been new since way before I was the mayor."
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xtremekali
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 11:31:57 AM »

From SWAT to Counter Terror Unit
Is your team prepared for counterterror operations?
Posted: June 19th, 2006 09:52 PM PDT

HENRY MORGENSTERN
SOLOMON BRADMAN
Security Solutions International
Officer.com

No one in law enforcement doubts that terror will eventually rear its ugly head in the U.S.A. Given that unfortunate certainty, will today's well trained U.S. SWAT and SRT Teams be able to tackle terrorists in the same way they valiantly handle some of the worst criminals? Are the tactics for terror the same?

To make things more difficult, SWAT teams must deal constantly with different situations and adapt quickly to new equipment and weapons both lethal and less lethal. Even if that were enough, there is always policy and procedure.

Terror situations bring a new challenge to this complex task. Terror poses unique, high risk and complex operations with or without hostages. With a little creativity, it is not very hard to envision the scenarios. Schools, cruise ships, shopping malls, theme parks. . .you get the idea?

Terrorists have a different modus operandi. They may be relishing the idea that an entire SWAT team will be breaching their safe house or apartment. The place may already be booby-trapped and ready for the terrorists to take the entire SWAT team with them. Especially with suicide terrorists, the most important part of the mission is to die and take as many people as possible with them.

Israeli counter terror units face this challenge very frequently. Their elite police SWAT unit for terror operations, known by its acronym -- the YAMAM -- must deal with such scenarios. The police in Spain also found themselves surrounding the apartment where some of the perpetrators of the train attacks were holed up. You can say that the Madrid train attacks, that killed 191 persons, was Spain's 911. More than 1,500 were injured, and survivors are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

Imagine tomorrow, intelligence sources have just notified your SWAT team that they have information that there are five suicide bombers in the final stages of preparation before they are all off to attack five soft targets in your city. You have learned that the safe house is located in a crowded suburb, and this time, not everyone in the house is a terrorist! Will you know what to do?

SWAT teams need to train for the above scenarios by first learning about the enemy they are up against and the new higher threat level they will face at the scene. Simple things like standoff distances are different when dealing with explosives. It is also important to learn that taking appropriate cover against IEDs is not the same as the type of cover and position you would take against someone shooting at you.

That being said, the use of bomb techs on the team to disable booby traps should be a staple, and incorporating all other resources such as K9 and robots should all be included. All involved must train, and the above scenarios worked on prior to the event. Proper communication and coordination can be the difference between success and failure.

Using all your resources to provide the utmost safety for your team is the key. In some cases patience is a virtue. If the terrorist sdo not have hostages, and you succeed in identifying and closing off their location, the ball is now in your court. Time is on your side, and the use of fast and dynamic entries are not the right choice. A slow and deliberate attempt that slowly escalates from a bull horn to less than lethal to flash bangs and up to whatever it takes, would be the appropriate response.

Believe it or not, the hardest part of the mission may be taking the terrorist alive. A successful CT mission brings the terrorist back alive, as they are the source of the needed intelligence to capture the others involved in planning the next attack. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a simple attack. Even a single suicide attack at a mall in Israel that kills a few unlucky victims requires numerous conspirators, including drivers, handlers, and safe houses. Someone gathers intelligence and others assist with the explosives, and training the bomber for the mission. This is why trying to capture the terrorist alive will in turn save more innocent lives by assisting in getting information to catch the others involved.

At a recent training undertaken by former YAMAM operatives for SSI, the SWAT team took on these challenges and strived to perfect the techniques that would later be incorporated in their CT training programs. The five days of active tactical training began with numerous drills in sealing the objective area in a situation with known terrorists and no hostages in a non-permissive environment. Once sealed, pressure on the terrorists is escalated to get them to come out and surrender if at all possible. Sealing the area begins either by infiltration by foot, or rapid closure using multiple undercover cars. Timing and coordination are very important, so as to leave no avenue of escape. In some cases, the instructors changed the situation as the teams were moving towards the objective. Live explosive charges were used to simulate booby traps.

The training week continued and included training in how to clear buildings and rooms occupied by terrorists, snatching, bus and car interdiction, the use of canines, and the replication of real world terrorist situations experienced by the SSI trainers. The scenarios were carried out in real time.

"We have never trained on what to do against suicide bombers, booby traps and explosives. This has truly open our eyes on what dealing with a terrorist situation will be like," was the comment of the SWAT commander attending the SSI program.

There is no doubt that with the high skill levels already established on our SWAT teams across the country, adding CTU tactics to the training already being conducted, not only makes sense, but is the key to winning the war on terror.

Henry Morgenstern is the president of Security Solutions International, a company that represents Israeli know-how in counter-terror training through several highly qualified colleges, security companies and individual presenters. . A U.S. and Israeli citizen who has work experience in the USA, South America, Europe and Israel, he was educated in the United Kingdom and took an honors degree from the University of Cambridge in 1974. SSI's Suicide Terror Training has been attended by over 150 agencies coast-to-coast.
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lewis
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 08:30:37 AM »

Even in places like Louisville, KY (where I am,) the trend of getting rid of the projects and moving these people out to the suburbs is common.  In the suburb of Louisville where I work, we have seen several apartment complexes go to Section 8.  We also have a large influx of Hispanics.  They are mostly peaceful, hard working people, but their gangs always come with them.  Everyone should be vigilant for their own personal safety, those of us wearing a badge have to be extra cautious.
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xtremekali
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2006, 09:25:20 AM »

Shooting and Movement
Improve your survival potential
Posted: July 7th, 2006 06:02 PM EDT

STEVE DENNEY
Firearms Contributor
Officer.com

My students and fellow shooters often ask me what they should work on to improve their firearms skills. There are lots of things, but one that I recommend most highly is to include movement in your range routine. This opens up a whole new world for folks who spend their time on a fixed firing line, usually with others shooting at the same time. The essential need for safety, as well as the limitations of a static range environment, really stifles your real-world gunfight preparation. Some instructors, like John Farnam, make a point of emphasizing movement at their various courses. When the facility makes it possible, it should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, many law enforcement venues, especially indoor ranges, end up being used primarily as fixed firing lane facilities. It's just easier. But the streets aren't easy.

When discussing movement, I like to point out that it takes several forms. There are basically three situations. First, your target is moving, but you are not. This is probably the easiest one to master, as you remain a stable gun platform while tracking and reacting to the target. It may be the least desirable, however, from a tactical standpoint, as it does make you a fixed target if someone is shooting at you. The second would be if you are moving, but your target is not. From a tactical standpoint, you may be harder to hit, but you also have destabilized your shooting platform, thereby decreasing your accuracy potential. The third situation would be that of both you and your target moving. This, of course, is the most difficult. Another facet of this is whether you are shooting then moving, or shooting and moving at the same time. In a given situation, any of these combinations can occur. And on the street, you can count on the fact that your target will likely be bobbing, weaving, ducking, diving, lunging, turning and maybe just falling down. The replication of these movement patterns is difficult in any range environment, with the exception of force-on-force scenarios. The fact that more and more of that type of training is being used is both encouraging and very revealing about the dynamics of real gunfights. I highly recommend it.

But, assuming you are working with a typical range facility, how should you approach shooting and movement? Well, the easiest method is to practice moving toward or away from your target. On many indoor ranges, this can be done by having someone run the target in and out while you shoot. This generally replicates at least part of the first case I mentioned above. It is the least you should do, if you have a suitable facility. You can also usually work out a way to safely move toward or away from your static target on most ranges, although it depends on who you may have to share the place with while you are there. But think for a moment about the movement pattern itself. At typical police gunfight distances, either advancing or moving directly away from your target doesn't really make the target any easier, or harder, to hit. If you can rapidly close distance from far away, yes, it will help. But at typical distances, it really should not matter, just for the sake of accuracy. Advancing toward your target may be a good tactical maneuver for other reasons, however. A criminal generally arms himself (or herself) in order to get what they want through fear and intimidation--not necessarily because they really want to shoot someone. Aggressively moving toward your target is not the reaction this sort of person is expecting. In the right circumstances, you can gain a real psychological advantage, if your movement shooting skills are up to the task. Moving away, however, can be problematic. Unless you are necessarily moving to available cover, backing up is not making you a more difficult target for your opponent and it may cause you to move in an unwanted direction--down. Tripping is a distinct possibility, and being on the ground will not improve your situation. In addition, if you have an aggressive opponent who is moving toward you, you are at a distinct disadvantage. You cannot possibly back up as quickly as your opponent can move forward. This is one reason why you can seize the initiative from your opponent by advancing yourself. You should practice both, but rearward movement is usually a last resort option.

It gets really interesting when you encounter lateral (or diagonal) movement. Here is where your practice can really pay off. You have the facilities to do so, where the usual street criminal does not (most criminals who carry a gun don't get much practice time. Thank goodness!). When your opponent moves laterally, it is harder to achieve accurate shot placement. If you are both moving, results will favor the prepared. That should be you. These things work both ways, so it is important to find a way to incorporate both target movement and shooter movement into your practice time. This is usually the tough one, as most facilities don't have the capability for the targets to move laterally. If yours does, great! Make the most of it. Work on shooting and moving at the same time, and on shooting and then moving (or moving and then shooting--you get the idea). There are, of course, safety considerations when people are moving and shooting in a training environment. It is worth the trouble to work it out.

What if you don't have the facilities? Participate in one of the so-called practical, tactical, or defensive shooting sports. Yeah, they are competitive and that does make them "games." So what? They may be the best/only game in town, so make the most of it. Each of the sports has different rules and procedures, but just being able to participate in dynamic situations, no matter how contrived, will rapidly improve your skills. I participate in the monthly matches run by First Coast IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), at the Gateway Rifle and Pistol Club, in Jacksonville, FL. The cadre there regularly designs shooting stages that challenge you to not only move, but shoot from awkward positions and stances. We routinely do all of the movement combinations, shooting from sitting or lying down, strong-hand, weak-hand, near, far, with back-up guns, you name it. And the entry fee is a whopping $15! It helps that those guys are dedicated to the sport and that one of their leaders, Ed Sevetz, is a firearms instructor with an area sheriff's department. In fact, our April match, in remembrance of the 20 year "anniversary" of the FBI Miami shootout, was designed by Massad Ayoob. Each of the stages replicated, as near as possible, the shooting challenges that the FBI agents involved that day had to face--movement, distance, impaired vision, use of back-up guns, etc. There was also a film and discussion about the lessons learned at such a terrible price.

The Jacksonville group is not atypical of the IDPA clubs I have visited. Find one in your area, have some fun and improve your survival skills. Law enforcement personnel can use their duty gear for competition, or they can work from concealment, like the "civilians." You might also find out some very interesting things about the attitudes and abilities of armed citizens in today's society.

No matter how you do it, however, it is in your best interests to make practicing shooting with movement happen. If your department doesn't provide the training, get it elsewhere. As I have said many times, it is your life that is on the line.


Web Links:

International Defensive Pistol Association

Steve Denney is a former municipal police sergeant, USAF Officer and chief of security/safety officer for a large retirement and healthcare community. A former SWAT officer, crime prevention officer and both military and police firearms trainer, he is currently an instructor for LFI Judicious Use of Deadly Force, LFI Stressfire, and NRA and other defensive tactics disciplines. He currently trains police, military and private citizens. He is a charter member of ILEETA, a member of IALEFI, and serves on the Firearms Committee of ASLET.
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xtremekali
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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2006, 11:19:38 AM »

In a Troubled Area, Violence Competes Daily With Progress
The LAPD's 'South Bureau' continues to be a hot spot, with some fearing that civil unrest could erupt at any time.
By Matt Lait and Scott Glover
Times Staff Writers

July 17, 2006

Earl Paysinger doesn't mince words when talking about the 57 square miles of urban landscape he oversees as a Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief.

"It's a violent piece of real estate," the 30-year LAPD veteran said. "This part of the city has always been a great challenge for us."

The real estate he's referring to is South Los Angeles, an area singled out last week by a blue-ribbon panel as a deeply troubled hot spot where tensions between residents and police run so high that civil unrest could erupt at any time.

"It's hanging by a thread," said civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who spearheaded the panel's examination of the LAPD's Rampart Division scandal. "I would not be surprised if something were to blow there this summer."

Police officials and some community leaders acknowledge that there are serious problems to contend with ? but they do not believe the situation is as dire.

Paysinger, in fact, believes that relationships between the LAPD and the community are getting better.

South Los Angeles is policed by four LAPD divisions collectively known as "South Bureau." The district stretches from the Santa Monica Freeway to the Los Angeles harbor.

And, indeed, it is a troubled place: If it were its own city, Paysinger says, it would be the nation's most violent. The homicide rate in 2004 was four times the national average. One South Bureau division ? Southeast, with a population of 150,000 spread over 10 square miles ? had more homicides that year than North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Vermont combined. In recent years, as in most of Los Angeles, the bureau's homicide rate has gone down ? but it still runs three times higher than the citywide average.

Grandmothers, Paysinger says, have been known to put children to sleep in bathtubs to protect them from errant gunfire. Researchers believe some children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because of all the violence they witness.

Protecting the nearly 700,000 South Bureau residents from the mayhem are 1,460 LAPD officers.

"Those are not good odds," Paysinger said.

According to the report by Rice and the panel, a dangerous combination of factors makes that section of the city volatile: It includes poor, disenfranchised neighborhoods that feel victimized by gangs, drugs and the police who are supposed to protect them, and a "thin blue line" of officers who face life-threatening dangers as they try to keep peace with limited resources.

"These are not just underclass poverty descriptors," warned the Rampart report, "these are the trigger conditions for the city's next riot."

Friction between police and residents in South Los Angeles is nothing new. It touched off the Watts riots in 1965 and the civil unrest in 1992 after the acquittals of the officers involved in the beating of Rodney G. King.

In recent years, high-profile confrontations between South Bureau officers and suspects have riled residents and led to accusations of heavy-handed police tactics:

?  A Southeast Division officer in 2004 was captured on videotape repeatedly striking suspected car thief Stanley Miller with a metal flashlight after a pursuit.

?  An officer fatally shot 13-year-old Devin Brown in 2005 in the 77th Street Division after a car chase in which the youngster allegedly backed up toward the officer.

?  SWAT officers in 2005 mistakenly shot 19-month-old Susie Pena, whose father held her as a shield during a gun battle with police.

After each of those incidents, community leaders and residents accused the LAPD of using excessive force and demanded that officers be held accountable. In response, Chief William J. Bratton and Paysinger met with residents, listened to their complaints and assured them that full investigations would be conducted.

Andre Birotte Jr., the Police Commission's inspector general and a participant in some of those sessions, said he felt the city averted major unrest because Paysinger had invested time in forging key relationships in the community.

"My humble opinion is Earl has saved the city from burning down several times," Birotte said.

Residents are not the only ones frustrated by conditions in South Los Angeles. The perils of policing there were all too apparent last month when a 52-year-old robbery suspect shot and paralyzed Southwest Officer Kristina Ripatti.

The weaponry that officers seize also speaks to the dangers. Last year, police in South Bureau recovered more than 2,000 firearms; so far this year more than 1,000 have been confiscated ? more than in any other area of the city.

"These are the kinds of situations and episodes that make this a very challenging place," Paysinger said.

To overcome the community's mistrust of the LAPD, Paysinger and other police officials proactively try to educate residents on police tactics and keep them informed on both day-to-day activities and major events.

Even some LAPD critics acknowledged the efforts.

Najee Ali, an African American community activist who has helped organize protests against the LAPD, said Bratton and Paysinger "have made tremendous strides in trying to have a dialogue with South Los Angeles leaders, more than any other police administration. And that includes the black chiefs," he said.

The conflicting feelings about the LAPD were apparent last week as Sgt. Al Labrada drove through several housing projects in the Southeast Division. Many residents glared as he went past; a few, however, smiled and offered a quick wave or nod.

"People need more help here than anywhere else," said Labrada, who has worked in South Los Angeles for 10 years. "The majority are good people who want to be able to go to work and live here safely."

Paysinger was recently promoted by Bratton and will soon assume new duties away from South Bureau. His replacement will be Deputy Chief Charlie Beck, who was credited by Rice's panel with dramatically improving the department's relationship with residents in the Rampart Division.

In its report titled "Rampart Reconsidered: The Search for Real Reform Seven Years Later," the panel said Rampart experienced a "turnaround" after the 1999 corruption scandal because police officials embraced a "high road" policing model that emphasized community relationships and problem-solving over the aggressive paramilitary style that has long characterized the LAPD.

The panel recommended that the entire department adopt the same approach. They also called for the hiring of 3,000 more officers departmentwide.

In an interview last week, Rice said her concern about the South Bureau was based on dozens of conversations with residents, officers and others.

"I hope I'm wrong about this, but I don't like the vibe," Rice said. "The anger down there is so palpable. The anger actually blinds people to the good stuff."

John Mack, president of the Police Commission, said he agrees that the relationship between officers and residents in the city's south end is volatile, but not to the degree described by Rice.

"I don't want to be predicting an explosion," said Mack, a longtime civil rights activist who served as president of the Los Angeles Urban League before being appointed to the commission last year.

Mack said "a long history of friction and mutual distrust" has created an environment in which otherwise minor incidents take on added significance.

"It's a tense relationship," he said. "All you need is one incident to have things escalate."

Despite the tension, Mack said he believes police have gained ground in the way they are perceived by most of the community.

"I feel that we are making progress," he said. "Yes, it's too slow. Yet I feel that we are."


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buzwardo
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2006, 05:15:41 PM »

A lesson doubtless lost on many do-gooding Americans.

City Journal

Real Crime, Fake Justice

Theodore Dalrymple

Summer 2006

For the last 40 years, government policy in Britain, de facto if not always de jure, has been to render the British population virtually defenseless against criminals and criminality. Almost alone of British government policies, this one has been supremely effective: no Briton nowadays goes many hours without wondering how to avoid being victimized by a criminal intent on theft, burglary, or violence.

An unholy alliance between politicians and bureaucrats who want to keep prison costs to a minimum, and liberal intellectuals who pretend to see in crime a natural and understandable response to social injustice, which it would be a further injustice to punish, has engendered a prolonged and so far unfinished experiment in leniency that has debased the quality of life of millions of people, especially the poor. Every day in our newspapers we read of the absurd and dangerous leniency of the criminal-justice system. On April 21, for example, even the Observer (one of the bastions of British liberalism responsible for the present situation) gave prominence to the official report into the case of Anthony Rice, who strangled and then stabbed Naomi Bryant to death.

Rice, it turned out, had been assaulting women since 1972. He had been convicted for assaulting or raping a total of 15 women before murdering Naomi Bryant, and it is a fair supposition that he had assaulted or raped many more who did not go to the police. In 1982, he grabbed a woman by the throat, held a knife to her, and raped her. Five years later, while out of prison on home leave, he grabbed a woman, pushed her into a garden, held a knife to her, and raped her for an hour. Receiving a life sentence, he was transferred to an open prison in 2002 and then released two years later on parole as a low-risk parolee. He received housing in a hostel for ex-prisoners in a village whose inhabitants had been told, to gain their acquiescence, that none of the residents there was violent; five months after his arrival, he murdered Naomi Bryant. In pronouncing another life sentence on him, the judge ordered that he should serve at least 25 years: in other words, even now the law has not quite thrown away the key.

Only five days later, the papers reported that 1,023 prisoners of foreign origin had been released from British prisons between 1999 and 2006 without having been deported. Among them were 5 killers, 7 kidnappers, 9 rapists and 39 other sex offenders, 4 arsonists, 41 burglars, 52 thieves, 93 robbers, and 204 drug offenders. Of the 1,023 prisoners, only 106 had since been traced. The Home Office, responsible for both prisons and immigration, still doesn?t know how many of the killers, arsonists, rapists, and kidnappers are at large; but it admits that most of them will never be found, at least until they are caught after committing another offense. Although these revelations forced the Home Secretary to resign, in fact the foreign criminals had been treated only as British criminals are treated. At least we can truly say that we do not discriminate in our leniency.

Scandal has followed scandal. A short time later, we learned that prisoners had been absconding from one open prison, Leyhill, at a rate of two a week for three years?323 in total since 1999, among them 22 murderers. This outrage came to light only when a senior policeman in the area of Leyhill told a member of Parliament that there had been a crime wave in the vicinity of the prison. The member of Parliament demanded the figures in the House of Commons; otherwise they would have remained secret.

None of these revelations, however, would have surprised a man called David Fraser, who has just published a book entitled A Land Fit for Criminals?the land in question being Great Britain, of course. Far from being mistakes?for mistakes repeated so often cease to be mere mistakes?all these occurrences are in full compliance with general policy in Britain with regard to crime and criminality.

Fraser was a probation officer for more than a quarter of a century. He began to doubt the value of his work in terms of preventing crime and therefore protecting the public, but he at first assumed that, as a comparatively lowly official in the criminal-justice system, he was too mired in the grainy everyday detail to see the bigger picture. He assumed also that those in charge not only knew what they were doing but had the public interest at heart.

Eventually, however, the penny dropped. Fraser?s lack of success in effecting any change in the criminals under his supervision, and thus in reducing the number of crimes that they subsequently committed, to the great misery of the general public, was not his failure alone but was general throughout the system. Even worse, he discovered that the bureaucrats who ran the system, and their political masters, did not care about this failure, at least from the point of view of its impact on public safety; careerist to the core, they were only concerned that the public should not become aware of the catastrophe. To this end, they indulged in obfuscation, statistical legerdemain, and outright lies in order to prevent the calamity that public knowledge of the truth would represent for them and their careers.

The collective intellectual dishonesty of those who worked in the system so outraged Fraser?and the Kafkaesque world in which he found himself, where nothing was called by its real name and language tended more to conceal meaning than to convey it, so exasperated him?that, though not a man apt to obtrude upon the public, he determined to write a book. It took him two and a half years to do so, based on 20 years of research, and it is clear from the very first page that he wrote it from a burning need to expose and exorcise the lies and evasions with which he lived for so long, lies and evasions that helped in a few decades transform a law-abiding country with a reputation for civility into the country with the highest crime rate in the Western world, with an ever-present undercurrent of violence in daily life. Like Luther, Fraser could not but speak out. And, as events unfolded, his book has had a publishing history that is additionally revealing of the state of Britain today.

By example after example (repetition being necessary to establish that he has not just alighted on an isolated case of absurdity that might be found in any large-scale enterprise), Fraser demonstrates the unscrupulous lengths to which both bureaucrats and governments have gone to disguise from the public the effect of their policies and decisions, carried out with an almost sadistic indifference to the welfare of common people.

He shows that liberal intellectuals and their bureaucratic allies have left no stone unturned to ensure that the law-abiding should be left as defenseless as possible against the predations of criminals, from the emasculation of the police to the devising of punishments that do not punish and the propagation of sophistry by experts to mislead and confuse the public about what is happening in society, confusion rendering the public helpless in the face of the experimentation perpetrated upon it.

The police, Fraser shows, are like a nearly defeated occupying colonial force that, while mayhem reigns everywhere else, has retreated to safe enclaves, there to shuffle paper and produce bogus information to propitiate their political masters. Their first line of defense is to refuse to record half the crime that comes to their attention, which itself is less than half the crime committed. Then they refuse to investigate recorded crime, or to arrest the culprits even when it is easy to do so and the evidence against them is overwhelming, because the prosecuting authorities will either decline to prosecute, or else the resultant sentence will be so trivial as to make the whole procedure (at least 19 forms to fill in after a single arrest) pointless.

In any case, the authorities want the police to use a sanction known as the caution?a mere verbal warning. Indeed, as Fraser points out, the Home Office even reprimanded the West Midlands Police Force for bringing too many apprehended offenders to court, instead of merely giving them a caution. In the official version, only minor crimes are dealt with in this fashion: but as Fraser points out, in the year 2000 alone, 600 cases of robbery, 4,300 cases of car theft, 6,600 offenses of burglary, 13,400 offenses against public order, 35,400 cases of violence against the person, and 67,600 cases of other kinds of theft were dealt with in this fashion?in effect, letting these 127,900 offenders off scot-free. When one considers that the police clear-up rate of all crimes in Britain is scarcely more than one in 20 (and even that figure is based upon official deception), the liberal intellectual claim, repeated ad nauseam in the press and on the air, that the British criminal-justice system is primitively retributive is absurd.

At every point in the system, Fraser shows, deception reigns. When a judge sentences a criminal to three years? imprisonment, he knows perfectly well (as does the press that reports it) that in the vast majority of cases the criminal in question will serve 18 months at the very most, because he is entitled automatically, as of right, to a suspension of half his sentence. Moreover, under a scheme of early release, increasingly used, prisoners serve considerably less than half their sentence. They may be tagged electronically under a system of home curfew, intended to give the public an assurance that they are being monitored: but the electronic tag stays on for less than 12 hours daily, giving criminals plenty of opportunity to follow their careers. Even when the criminals remove their tags (and it is known that thousands are removed or vandalized every year) or fail to abide by other conditions of their early release, those who are supposedly monitoring them do nothing whatever, for fear of spoiling the statistics of the system?s success. When the Home Office tried the tagging system with young criminals, 73 percent of them were reconvicted within three months. The authorities nevertheless decided to extend the scheme. The failure of the British state to take its responsibilities seriously could not be more clearly expressed.

Fraser draws attention to the deeply corrupt system in Britain under which a criminal, once caught, may ask for other offenses that he has committed to be ?taken into consideration.? (Criminals call these offenses T.I.C.s.) This practice may be in the interests of both the criminal and the police, but not in those of the long-suffering public. The court will sentence the criminal to further prison terms that run concurrently, not consecutively, to that imposed for the index offense: in other words, he will in effect serve the same sentence for 50 burglaries as for one burglary, and he can never again face charges for the 49 burglaries that have been ?taken into consideration.? Meanwhile, the police can preen themselves that they have ?solved? 50 crimes for the price of one.

One Probation Service smokescreen that Fraser knows from personal experience is to measure its own effectiveness by the proportion of criminals who complete their probation in compliance with court orders?a procedural outcome that has no significance whatever for the safety of the public. Such criminals come under the direct observation of probation officers only one hour a week at the very most. What they do the other 167 hours of the week the probation officers cannot possibly know. Unless one takes the preposterous view that such criminals are incapable of telling lies about their activities to their probation officers, mere attendance at the probation office is no guarantee whatever that they are now leading law-abiding lives.

But even if completion of probation orders were accepted as a surrogate measure of success in preventing re-offending, the Probation Service?s figures have long been completely corrupt?and for a very obvious reason. Until 1997, the probation officers themselves decided when noncompliance with their directions was so egregious that they ?breached? the criminals under their supervision and returned them to the courts because of such noncompliance. Since their own effectiveness was measured by the proportion of probation orders ?successfully? completed, they had a very powerful motive for disregarding the noncompliance of criminals. In such circumstances, all activity became strictly pro forma, with no purpose external to itself.

While the government put an end to this particular statistical legerdemain, probation orders still go into the statistics as ?successfully completed? if they reach their official termination date?even in many cases if the offender gets arrested for committing further offenses before that date. Only in this way can the Home Office claim that between 70 and 80 percent of probation orders are ?successfully completed.?

In their effort to prove the liberal orthodoxy that prison does not work, criminologists, government officials, and journalists have routinely used the lower reconviction rates of those sentenced to probation and other forms of noncustodial punishment (the word ?punishment? in these circumstances being used very loosely) than those imprisoned. But if the aim is to protect the law-abiding, a comparison of reconviction rates of those imprisoned and those put on probation is irrelevant. What counts is the re-offending rate?a point so obvious that it is shameful that Fraser should have not only to make it but to hammer it home repeatedly, for the politicians, academics, and journalistic hangers-on have completely obscured it.

By definition, a man in prison can commit no crimes (except against fellow prisoners and prison staff). But what of those out in the world on probation? Of 1,000 male criminals on probation, Fraser makes clear, about 600 will be reconvicted at least once within the two years that the Home Office follows them up for statistical purposes. The rate of detection in Britain of all crimes being about 5 percent, those 1,000 criminals will actually have committed not 600, but at least 12,000 crimes (assuming them to have been averagely competent criminals chased by averagely incompetent police). Even this is not quite all. Since there are, in fact, about 150,000 people on probation in Britain, it means that at least 1.8 million crimes?more than an eighth of the nation?s total?must be committed annually by people on probation, within the very purview of the criminal-justice system, or very shortly after they have been on probation. While some of these crimes might be ?victimless,? or at least impersonal, research has shown that these criminals inflict untold misery upon the British population: misery that they would not have been able to inflict had they been in prison for a year instead of on probation.

To compare the reconviction rates of ex-prisoners and people on probation as an argument against prison is not only irrelevant from the point of view of public safety but is also logically absurd. Of course the imprisoned will have higher reconviction rates once they get out of jail?not because prison failed to reform them, but because it is the most hardened, incorrigible, and recidivist criminals who go to prison. Again, this point is so obvious that it is shameful that anyone should have to point it out; yet politicians and others continue to use the reconviction rates as if they were a proper basis for deciding policy.

Relentless for hundreds of pages, Fraser provides examples of how the British government and its bloated and totally ineffectual bureaucratic apparatus, through moral and intellectual frivolity as well as plain incompetence, has failed in its elementary and sole inescapable duty: to protect the lives and property of the citizenry. He exposes the absurd prejudice that has become a virtually unassailable orthodoxy among the intellectual and political elite: that we have too many prisoners in Britain, as if there were an ideal number of prisoners, derived from a purely abstract principle, at which, independent of the number of crimes committed, we should aim. He describes in full detail the moral and intellectual corruption of the British criminal-justice system, from police decisions not to record crimes or to charge wrongdoers, to the absurdly light sentences given after conviction and the administrative means by which prisoners end up serving less than half their time, irrespective of their dangerousness or the likelihood that they will re-offend.

According to Fraser, at the heart of the British idiocy is the condescending and totally unrealistic idea?which, however, provides employment opportunities for armies of apparatchiks, as well as being psychologically gratifying?that burglars, thieves, and robbers are not conscious malefactors who calculate their chances of getting away with it, but people in the grip of something rather like a mental disease, whose thoughts, feelings, and decision-making processes need to be restructured. The whole criminal-justice system ought therefore to act in a therapeutic or medical, rather than a punitive and deterrent, fashion. Burglars do not know, poor things, that householders are upset by housebreaking, and so we must educate and inform them on this point; and we must also seek to persuade them of something that all their experience so far has taught them to be false, namely that crime does not pay.

All in all, Fraser?s book is a searing and unanswerable (or at least so far unanswered) indictment of the British criminal-justice system, and therefore of the British state. As Fraser pointed out to me, the failure of the state to protect the lives and property of its citizens, and to take seriously its duty in this regard, creates a politically dangerous situation, for it puts the very legitimacy of the state itself at risk. The potential consequences are incalculable, for the failure might bring the rule of law itself into disrepute and give an opportunity to the brutal and the authoritarian.

You might have thought that any publisher would gratefully accept a book so urgent in its message, so transparently the product of a burning need to communicate obvious but uncomfortable truths of such public interest, conveyed in such a way that anyone of reasonable intelligence might understand them. Any publisher, you would think, would feel fortunate to have such a manuscript land on his desk. But you would be wrong, at least as far as Britain is concerned.

So uncongenial was Fraser?s message to all right-thinking Britons that 60 publishers to whom he sent the book turned it down. In a country that publishes more than 10,000 books monthly, not many of which are imperishable masterpieces, there was no room for it or for what it said, though it would take no great acumen to see its commercial possibilities in a country crowded with crime victims. So great was the pressure of the orthodoxy now weighing on the minds of the British intelligentsia that Fraser might as well have gone to Mecca and said that there is no God and that Mohammed was not His prophet. Of course, no publisher actually told him that what he said was unacceptable or unsayable in public: his book merely did not ?fit the list? of any publisher. He was the victim of British publishing?s equivalent of Mafia omerta.

Fortunately, he did not give up, as he sometimes thought of doing. The 61st publisher to whom he sent the book accepted it. I mean no disrespect to her judgment when I say that it was her personal situation that distinguished her from her fellow publishers: for her husband?s son by a previous marriage had not long before been murdered in the street, stabbed by a drug-dealing Jamaican immigrant, aged 20, who had not been deported despite his criminal record but instead allowed to stay in the country as if he were a national treasure to be at all costs cherished and nurtured. Indeed, in court, his lawyer presented him as an unemployed painter and decorator, the victim of racial prejudice (a mitigating circumstance, of course), a view that the prosecution did not challenge, even though the killer had somehow managed alchemically to transmute his unemployment benefits into a new convertible costing some $54,000.

The maternal grandmother of the murdered boy, who had never been ill in her life, died of a heart attack a week after his death, and so the funeral was a double one. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the killer killed not one but two people. He received a sentence of eight years?which, in effect, will be four or five years.

I asked the publisher the impossible question of whether she would have published the book if someone close to her had not had such firsthand experience of the frivolous leniency of the British criminal-justice system. She said she thought so: but what is beyond dispute is that the murder made her publication of the book a certainty.

A Land Fit for Criminals has sold well and has been very widely discussed, though not by the most important liberal newspapers, which would find the whole subject in bad taste. But the book?s publishing history demonstrates how close we have come to an almost totalitarian uniformity of the sayable, imposed informally by right-thinking people in the name of humanity, but in utter disregard for the truth and the reality of their fellow citizens? lives. Better that they, the right-thinking, should feel pleased with their own rectitude and broadmindedness, than that millions should be freed of their fear of robbery and violence, as in crime-ridden, pre-Giuliani New York. Too bad Fraser?s voice had to be heard over someone?s dead body.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_3_oh_to_be.html
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2006, 09:45:12 AM »

Keep Pursuits in Context
Information is critical for risk management
Posted: July 27th, 2006 04:36 AM EDT

STEVE ASHLEY
EVOC Contributor
Officer.com

We hear a lot in the media about pursuits, especially when they turn out bad. The simple truth is that, unless someone is injured or killed as the result of a pursuit, you'd probably never read anything about pursuits at all. In fact, it's probably safe to say that, absent some sort of injurious outcome, most members of the public really don't care how much we pursue, or whether we pursue at all. It's sort of one of those "out of sight, out of mind" things.

However, should someone get hurt, be it citizen or officer, the sky falls in on us. Newspapers are rife with stories regarding the incident, and it's not uncommon to read analyses of pursuit trends in the area of the chase. A typical story includes information regarding the number of pursuit related injuries and fatalities in, say, the last year. Sometimes, statistics from your geographic area are compared against national estimates, usually with commentary from some "expert," regarding how bad your numbers are. There's almost always a statement regarding the need for better policies and more restrictions.

Here's the thing: you almost never read these statistics in context--that is, against the background of your department's general traffic enforcement efforts, or your number of successful pursuits. One wonders why that is.

The Need for Context

Although the situation is improving, albeit way too slowly, it's still pretty common for departments to collect and collate only part of their pursuit related information. Sure, somewhere in the chief's desk is a folder with information, probably including copies of reports, on pursuits wherein someone was injured. It's much less common, however, for there to be accurate statistics on how many injury-free pursuits a department has conducted. That is the missing context.

Here's a possible headline, Two Killed and Three Injured in Police Chases During Last Three Years. That sounds pretty bad, even in a good-sized metropolitan area, and can lead to significant negative feedback from the public, and therefore from governmental decision makers.

Consider the same numbers within this properly documented context, "Over the last three years, the police department has been involved in 412 pursuits, three of which resulted in two suspect deaths and three injured passengers." Still not a good state of affairs, and something that your department would work on through policy, training and supervision, but a much more informed presentation of the facts.

Pursuit Reporting

It's not enough to just collect information on pursuit related injuries and fatalities; departments must also tabulate information on other pursuits. Data should be collected regarding time and location of pursuits, the nature of violations that gave rise to pursuits, the duration of pursuits, and the final outcomes. Recognize that there are nine things that can happen in a pursuit, and eight of them are bad:


The suspect can crash.
The officer can crash.
The suspect can crash into a third party.
The officer can crash into a third party.
The suspect can strike a pedestrian.
The officer can strike a pedestrian.
The suspect and officer can crash into each other.
The suspect can escape.
The suspect can be apprehended.

The fact that most of the time, suspects are apprehended without serious injury to anyone, is information that departments should make sure the media and the public are aware of.

Another important aspect of context is the nature of the offense that gave rise to a pursuit. If most of your department's pursuits are related to simple traffic offenses, that's important information. On the other hand, if you limit pursuits to more serious crimes and situations where the escape of a suspect is more likely to present a greater danger to the public, then tabulation of that data is critical as well.

The Need for Direction

Legal experts advise that there is an expectation that departmental managers will supervise, direct and control activities that could result in harm to citizens or officers. In order to do that, managers need all the information they can get. If detailed data is only being collected when a pursuit has a negative outcome, supervisors and managers don't have what they need to do their jobs. It will be hard to convince a court that administrators are properly managing high risk activity if a department doesn't even keep track of that activity. How can they manage what they don't know?

According to reported research, as well as anecdotal information, most departments have written policies in place regarding the conduct of police pursuits. More and more departments are beginning to collect data on pursuits, similar to that collected on use of force incidents. Once this effort is fully underway, management of police pursuits, and the attendant reduction of risk in those pursuits, will be greatly enhanced.

If your department hasn't adopted a pursuit reporting program, give it serious consideration. The result will likely be safer pursuits and more defensible outcomes.

In the meantime be careful out there, and wear your vest!

Steve Ashley is a retired law enforcement officer who conducts driving and use of force training for an academy in Michigan, and works as a risk manager and expert witness. Steve is a certified trainer in many subjects, and has spoken at many state, national, and international conferences. A police officer for 15 years and a risk manager for 16 years, Steve specializes in training officers to manage high risk activity. A prolific author, Steve has published numerous articles, and writes technology related columns for several periodicals.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2007, 06:27:39 PM »

Steve Sailer's latest column at http://www.vdare.com/sailer/060108_gunfight.htm contains this fascinating tidbit:

From opposite directions, they simultaneously approached the policemen on the sidewalk in front of the Presidential residence and shot them point blank, with Torresola putting three slugs in White House Policeman Leslie Coffelt, mortally wounding him. Torresola, an expert shot, then wounded two more guards, while his less skilled compatriot Collazo blasted away at the Secret Service agents at the other end of the sidewalk, who remained unaware of Torresalo's existence. Meanwhile, the agent inside Blair House struggled to unlock the cabinet holding a Tommy gun.

Awoken from his nap by gunfire, President Truman walked to his second floor window and stood looking out at the gunfight in stunned amazement, only 30 feet from where Torresola was reloading his Luger.


In this crisis, Coffelt, the only American in position to stop Torresola, stood up despite the three 9-mm rounds in him, staggered to within 20 feet of the terrorist, and, in "what has to be considered the most important shot ever taken by an American police officer," fired one perfectly aimed bullet into his head, killing Torresola instantly.

Coffelt then sat down and died.
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 04:10:03 PM »

Deputies lament limits on foot chases
Many say restrictions adopted in 2004 hamper their work. A Sheriff's Department monitor cites the dangers of running after suspects.
By Stuart Pfeifer, Times Staff Writer
January 21, 2007


Art no longer imitates life when it comes to that standard television police scene in which a brave officer races after a bad guy fleeing down an alleyway: In Los Angeles County and other parts of the nation, individual cops are now discouraged from chasing many suspects who run.

Stung over the years by the risky violence that often results when officer and suspect finally come face to face, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies are instead encouraged to radio for backup so others can help surround and capture the suspect. Deputies still may follow suspects on foot, but they must keep a safe distance until reinforcements arrive.

Police agencies across the country have enacted new policies to deal with when and how officers should pursue suspects who run. The Sheriff's Department policy, enacted in 2004, is one of the most restrictive in the nation. The policy states that deputies cannot confront suspects alone and should not split from their partners during foot pursuits.

The issue is particularly important because most deputies work in one-person patrol cars.

Many deputies say they believe the policy is too restrictive and prevents them from doing their jobs: arresting criminals. They say some suspects know that deputies won't chase them if they run and are brazenly taking advantage of the policy.

Sheriff's Deputy George Hofstetter, who has worked patrol assignments in Compton and Lakewood during more than 17 years with the department, said it's difficult for deputies to allow suspects to run from them.

"If you see somebody you believe to be a bad guy and they take off running, it's almost an instinct to chase after them. A lot of times you're not thinking, 'Am I in policy or out of policy?' " said Hofstetter, a director with the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, a union that has defended deputies disciplined for conduct during foot chases.

"It's one of those things that becomes ingrained in you: to catch the person and take them to jail."

*

A 2003 case

L.A. County Deputy Brian Bishop had faced the situation so many times it seemed routine.

Early one morning in May 2003, he switched on the lights atop his patrol car and pulled behind a Chevrolet Beretta. He followed it through a few sharp turns, then watched it slide into a curb and stall.

Bishop and his partner, Deputy William Parsons, stepped out of their car and ran toward the disabled vehicle. That's when the driver, Robert Dingman, bolted. Bishop took off after him.

Clutching his gun in his right hand, the deputy ran through the darkness until the suspect slipped and fell onto a driveway. When Bishop arrived, Dingman lunged toward him, so the deputy fired a single shot, killing him, Bishop said.

The usual shooting investigations followed, and Bishop was found to have fired in self-defense even though Dingman was unarmed.

But the Sheriff's Department faulted Bishop for giving chase, confronting the suspect alone and leaving Parsons, who was training as a patrol deputy, alone with Dingman's female passenger. Bishop was suspended for two days without pay.

"We're going to let people run away who should be taken into custody, and we'll never know who they end up victimizing," Bishop said. "It's frustrating and it's sad because it's the criminals who are winning now."

*

Restrictive policy

Police departments throughout the country have adopted policies that guide officers' responses when a suspect runs. Many of them caution officers to consider the danger of foot chases, encourage them to consider alternatives to chasing the suspects and advise them when to stop a pursuit, such as when they lose radio communication or lose sight of the suspect.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department policy is particularly restrictive because it advises deputies that they should not attempt to confront a suspect by themselves.

At the Los Angeles Police Department, officers are discouraged from splitting from their partners during pursuits but are not prohibited from confronting suspects while alone, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a department spokesman. They are advised not to chase suspects who are believed to be carrying firearms, Vernon said.

Wayne Quint, president of the Assn. of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs, said Orange County deputies are allowed to use their best judgment during pursuits and are trained to avoid situations that could endanger themselves or the public. Quint said he thought the disciplining of Bishop was "ridiculous."

"Come on, this is part of police work. You've got to chase bad guys," Quint said. "What do they want us to do? Nothing? In L.A., that's almost what it's coming down to."

Merrick Bobb, an attorney who monitors the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department under a contract with the Board of Supervisors, has long criticized foot chases and the dangers they create for both deputies and suspects.

Nearly one-fourth of the department's officer-involved shootings between 1997 and 2002 came during or at the end of foot chases, Bobb noted in a report that criticized such pursuits.

Illustrating the dangers of foot pursuits, Bobb's report detailed a case in which a deputy caught a suspect only to end up in a life-or-death struggle.

The suspect disarmed the deputy and attempted to shoot him, but the deputy placed a finger beneath the trigger and prevented the suspect from firing. The struggle was so fierce that the deputy's finger was broken.

Bobb said deputies should avoid adrenaline-pumping foot chases and instead use helicopters, dogs and additional deputies to track and apprehend fleeing suspects. He said officers have been groomed by movies and television cop shows to believe it's unmanly to let suspects run from them. But sometimes keeping a safe distance and waiting for reinforcement is the best approach, he said.

"This is not a game of cowboys and Indians. This is about the safest and most effective way to bring a suspect into custody," Bobb said. "It's not by running after the guy just because you think he disrespected you.

"While I respect and praise police officers for being brave, I don't respect them for being foolish."

Bill McSweeney, chief of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's leadership and training division, said the department is particularly concerned about deputies pursuing suspects alone. The idea is not to let suspects get away but to use a team approach in which deputies cover every possible escape route on the ground and a helicopter searches above.

"The department is always trying to strike a balance between a deep desire to apprehend serious criminals and making sure deputies don't get into something over their head that gets them killed, and that's a tug of war," McSweeney said. In foot chases, "the odds are that you're going to get hurt or the guy does something in the dark that spooks you and you shoot him. Even though you want to go for broke, it's got to be balanced."

Bishop, the deputy involved in the Dingman shooting, said he did not think it was unsafe for him to leave his partner. He said he would have abandoned the chase if the suspect hopped a fence, as he had been trained. When the suspect tripped, Bishop said, he had no choice but to confront him.

"He didn't get over the wall. Am I supposed to turn around and run away from him when he slips and falls? I still had my partner in sight. What, I'm supposed to have him attached to my hip?" Bishop said.

*

'Tying our hands'

On the day of the shooting, a warrant was out for Dingman's arrest on a charge that he violated his parole on an earlier conviction for auto theft and burglary. He had prior convictions for assault, exhibiting a deadly weapon and resisting a peace officer.

The deputies union was so upset about Bishop's discipline that it paid to air a few late-night radio ads attacking the decision, an unprecedented public relations move that underscored a deep divide within the department.

"They're just tying our hands … and it's all about liability," Bishop said.

Roy Burns, past president of the L.A. County deputies union, said the disciplining of Bishop and new departmental restrictions on foot pursuits have frustrated deputies and left the public in danger.

"This is all about, 'We're afraid you're going to get hurt.' But you know what? That's part of the job," Burns said. "When bad guys run, they have a reason for running. Those people we chase ultimately can do significant damage to the community.

"They gave him time off for good, proactive police work. All it does is send a message to every deputy sheriff: 'Do not get involved. Do not challenge bad guys.' And who pays the price? The good citizen," Burns said.

Dingman's family claimed in a lawsuit that Bishop shot Dingman while he was running. The bullet entered Dingman's back, evidence that the shooting did not happen as Bishop described it, the family contended. Los Angeles County paid $400,000 to resolve the lawsuit.

Bishop maintained that he shot Dingman after the man reached for his gun. The district attorney's office concluded that is was possible that Dingman lunged for the deputy's gun, then turned his back and was shot.

In 1998, the Police Department in Collingswood, N.J., imposed one of the most restrictive foot pursuit policies in the country. The department took action after a series of incidents in which officers followed suspects into homes and then were ambushed, Bobb noted in his report.

Collingswood officers were ordered to refrain from pursuits while alone and to abandon pursuits when a suspect entered a building, when the suspect's location was not known or when a person had been identified and could be arrested later.

In the next five years, the department reported a decrease in the number of officers injured on duty and no decrease in the number of fleeing suspects who were arrested, according to Bobb's report. The department achieved this because officers more frequently called for reinforcement and used a team approach to catch fleeing suspects, according to a report published in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

The new concern about foot pursuits does not mean that deputies and police officers should let suspects go free, Bobb said. They need to use restraint and take advantage of their resources, he said.

"Shame on you if you let suspects get away. But also shame on you if you blindly chase after someone and put yourself in danger," Bobb said.

The pursuit controversy changed Bishop's attitude toward police work. He has spent the last year in an office job, helping run background checks on prospective deputies. An appeal of his two-day suspension is pending.

"I'm less proactive because I'm worried the next time I do something — who's going to second-guess that?" Bishop said.

*


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2007, 07:35:18 PM »

Second post of the day:

RICHARD NANCE
Defensive Tactics Contributor
Officer.com


Wouldn't it be nice to know who was armed, the type of weapon they were carrying, and where on their body the weapon was concealed? Unfortunately, the first indication many officers have that someone is armed is when a weapon is used against them. While someone carrying a concealed weapon will often exhibit traits that an alert officer can recognize, this is not always the case. Therefore, you must assume that anyone may be armed until you determine otherwise.

Watch the hands

Always pay close attention to hands. While it's true that other personal body weapons such as elbows, knees, shins and feet can cause injury...hands kill! If someone's hand is concealed, you must assume that person may be armed. If you wait for confirmation that the person is armed, you will have placed yourself at an extreme tactical disadvantage.

"Take your hands out of your pockets." Do you really want him to take his hands out of his pockets? If he's clutching a weapon, you've just granted him permission to draw it. Instead, consider having a person with their hands in their pockets face away from you and slowly remove their hands, one at a time, on your command.

If a hand furtively reaches into or is pulled from a pocket or from the waist or groin area, you should be doing one of two things, depending on the distance between you and the suspect. If you are within lunging distance, move away from the threat by stepping forward at a 45 degree angle, pivot toward the suspect, and shove his near side shoulder/upper back. This will hinder his ability to draw a weapon and allow you the opportunity to draw yours. If you are further away, create distance with lateral and rearward movement (preferably toward cover) while drawing your firearm.

Visually search clothing

A firearm, edged weapon, bludgeon, or improvised weapon can easily be concealed in clothing. This is particularly true during winter, since heavy jackets often completely conceal the waist area, which is recognized as one of the most common carry locations for concealed weapons.

Be particularly leery of an individual wearing a snow jacket at noon in mid-July. Although it's not illegal to wear inappropriate clothing for the weather conditions, it certainly should be viewed as a red flag. While the individual may simply be cold for some reason, he may be wearing the jacket to conceal a sawed-off shotgun!

Look for unusual bulges in clothing where weapons could be concealed. Is the silhouette of that jacket distorted around the waist only on one side? It could be a large cellular phone...or a firearm!

Monitor body language

Often times, armed individuals will give several indications that they are carrying a weapon. Look for warning signs, such as a person with their arms crossed, hands in pockets, hand hovering around the front waist area, etc. In each case, the armed subject may be trying to keep their hand(s) close to the weapon for quick deployment. Additionally, people who are not used to carrying a concealed weapon will often touch the weapon to ensure that it's still there (especially in cases where the weapon is not carried in a holster). There may also be psychological reasons for touching the weapon, since it can represent power to the possessor.

Pat down (Terry Frisk)

Obviously you must have either consent or reasonable suspicion that a person is armed to justify a pat down of their outer garments. In either case, you should expect to find a weapon. Since most of the time, your search does not result in the discovery of weapons, it's easy to become complacent and simply "go through the motions," rather than conduct a thorough and systematic search. This is unacceptable, since missing a weapon even once could have tragic consequences.

Recently, an officer I know conducted a pat down of a parolee without backup (by the way, the parolee had backup). It's hard for me to imagine a scenario where that would be a tactically sound decision. I hate to think of what might have transpired if the parolee had been armed and committed to his cause. A better tactic would be to order the subject(s) to assume a position of disadvantage, such as seated with their ankles crossed and hands on their knees while waiting for backup. Of course, ordering the subject(s) into a prone position while waiting for backup would be a safer alternative if warranted.

Let's assume you have a backup officer present and reasonable suspicion to justify a pat down. While conducting the search, you feel the grip of a pistol in the suspect's front waist area. What's the best tactic? Do you remove it and secure it on your person? Do you take the suspect to the ground and control his arms to prevent him from accessing the pistol? What about pushing the suspect away and drawing your firearm?

Like most aspects of police work, the best response to this dilemma is dependent on several factors, including the actions of the suspect, whether or not the weapon can easily be removed, and your proficiency with unarmed defensive tactic techniques. Through realistic scenario-based training, officers can "test" each of the above responses under stress, without risk of injury or death.

Cover awareness

No discussion involving weapons would be complete without addressing the topic of cover. Cover can be defined as any object that can be positioned between you and a threat that is capable of stopping rounds.

Buildings, vehicles, large trees, even fire hydrants are examples of cover. Whether on or off duty, you should constantly be scanning for suitable cover. Far too many officers have been killed because they did not make use of readily available cover.

Don't wait until rounds are whizzing past your head to start appreciating cover. Next time you walk into the bank, supermarket, gas station, post office, mall etc., look around and take note of objects that would provide adequate cover. This is a great habit to get into and one that could very well save your life someday.

Train hard. Stay safe!
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29600


« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 08:24:22 AM »

The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free,
direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and
click on the registration button. For reprint clearance, please e-mail:
info@forcesciencenews.com.
=======================================

IN THIS ISSUE:

I. DRUNK, DRUGGED, VIOLENCE-PRONE SUSPECTS MOST LIKELY TO BE SHOT BY POLICE

II. UNDERSTANDING & INVESTIGATING OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS: 2 DAYS TOO
VALUABLE TO MISS!


I. DRUNK, DRUGGED, VIOLENCE-PRONE SUSPECTS MOST LIKELY TO BE SHOT BY POLICE

An important new study examines officer-involved shootings from a different
perspective, focusing not on what police bring to these encounters but on
certain behavioral characteristics of the people they most often use deadly
force against.

The research, based on the shooting experiences of one large sheriff's
department in California, shows that subjects who are under the influence
of drugs or alcohol and/or have a history of violence are far more likely
to be on the receiving end of police gunfire.

Specifically, among subjects the sheriff's personnel responded to with
deadly force, those under the influence of drugs were 3 times more likely
to be shot or shot at by officers than those who weren't; intoxicated
suspects 3.4 times more likely than those who were sober; and people with
previous arrests for violent crimes 3.7 times more likely than those
without that history.

"This is the first major study of its kind," says Dr. Bill Lewinski,
executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
University-Mankato. "It supplies really important data that will help us
more clearly understand the dynamics of force interactions. The more we
know about the factors involved in these confrontations, the better we can
help officers face the challenges that arise out of them."

"Most research on police use of force fails to look at the suspect's
actions or behavior," writes Lt. James McElvain of the Riverside County
(CA) Sheriff's Dept., who conducted the study.

Typically, studies on police shootings explore their frequency, the impact
of policy, the officers' decision-making, and the race or ethnicity of the
cops and suspects involved. Also typically they refer to the subjects who
get shot in these encounters as the "victims."

One prominent academic researcher has gone so far as to conclude that in
cases where the legitimacy of force is challenged, "it appears that in
every instance harm could have been averted by exercising some other
options." In other words, better policies and officer decisions could
prevent police shootings.

This approach, McElvain notes, "overlooks the fact that the citizen also is
making decisions that lead up to the point at which the officer fires his
or her weapon."

Lewinski agrees that past deadly force research too often has reflected "a
biased view and doesn't give us a clear picture of the encounter. In
reality, it is very clear from most investigations, grand jury proceedings,
review board hearings, trials and so on that most officer-involved
shootings in the U.S. are fully justified and result from the officer
shooting in self defense because he or she is victimized by an actual or
threatened assault by the subject."

McElvain's study, titled "Shots Fired: An Examination of Police Shootings
and Citizen Behaviors," was successfully submitted last December as his
dissertation for a PhD in sociology from the University of
California-Riverside.

McElvain, 42, now a patrol lieutenant with 21 years' experience in law
enforcement, has not personally been involved in using deadly force against
a human subject, but he has investigated police shootings in a previous
assignment with internal affairs. During the course work toward his degree,
he took a class on alcohol, drugs, and violence and, reflecting on his
investigative experiences, began to wonder what role these factors might
play in officer confrontations.

"I grabbed 5 years' of data from records at the Sheriff's Dept. and did a
quick calculation of percentages," he told Force Science News recently. He
found that about 70% of the civilians in officer shootings were under some
kind of chemical influence."

With the approval and encouragement of Sheriff Bob Doyle, he ended up
examining 15 years' of data--all instances of officers on the department
delivering gunfire at human beings from 1990-2004, including toxicological
reports and criminal histories. In all, he analyzed 186 shootings,
involving 314 officers and 190 civilians. (The agency currently has some
1,200 sworn personnel on the street and polices a socio-economically
diverse population of more than 500,000.)

Each element of McElvain's study--drugs, alcohol, and violent
background--showed a significantly higher correlation with being shot or
shot at by the police when measured independently against subjects of
shootings who did not have those characteristics. "In combination," he
found, "citizens with prior violent criminal arrest records and who are
under the influence of an intoxicant provide the strongest association with
police shootings."

These correlations proved to be far more significant than race or gender on
either side of the shooting relationship, McElvain reports.

His findings do not surprise him, McElvain says. Obviously both alcohol and
drugs can "disinhibit a person from coherent thinking," and if not spur
aggressive behavior at least contribute to noncompliance that "an officer
can interpret as a threat to his/her immediate safety or that of another."
Sober or drug-free, the subject might "have realized the grave
circumstances he/she was creating, and in turn, cooperated with the
officer, which would have prevented the shooting.

"Arguably, a person who engages in criminal conduct as a matter of routine
and is comfortable with using violence as a means to further his/her
activities is also less likely to be intimidated by the police when
confronted."

McElvain's research is complemented by an FBI study recently published by
the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance under the title "Violent
Encounters." This study, by Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, Edward Davis, and
Charles Miller III, analyzed 40 attacks by 43 offenders on 50 officers.

About 35% of those offenders reported using alcohol within 2 hours before
committing their assaults; in fact, they had consumed an average of 10
drinks each in that time period. More than 75% said they routinely used
illicit drugs, on average twice a week; nearly half had used drugs within 2
hours before assaulting an officer. Of 13 gang members included in that
study, only 1 indicated no alcohol or drug use prior to the incident being
evaluated, and this was a regular drug and alcohol user who didn't abuse
substances as usual that day because he wanted to be "sharp" while robbing
a bank.

A significant portion of the offenders in the FBI study had a history of
committing violent crimes, including prior assaults on LEOs.

"Both these studies," says Lewinski, "show that officers in deadly force
situations are commonly dealing with individuals who are very difficult to
deal with. The challenge is to try to come up with things that can help
officers 'read' these situations more quickly and then influence subjects
who we know can be only minimally influenced at best to reduce their
threatening behavior.

"More research will be necessary before effective training methods can be
established, but these studies are major steps in broadening our
understanding of the dynamics of dangerous encounters. They also can help
the civilian community understand how complex and difficult force
confrontations can be."

McElvain sees the possibility of some immediate practical applications of
his findings. For example, "If we can identify citizens who are under the
influence and have a history of violence, we may be able to approach them
differently," he told Force Science News. "It may be helpful in those
instances to get a second officer on the scene, armed with less-lethal
force."

Dispatchers can play a vital role in conveying important information by
probing complainants about the sobriety status of suspects and by running
record checks on criminal history and prior contacts when an offender's
name is known, he says.

Advanced training programs may also be able to help officers better pick up
cues to an offender's mental state. "But when you talk about training,
you're talking about money," he says. In agencies where armed encounters
are rare, administrators may not feel this problem represents a training
priority.

Lewinski points out, however, "If we can't figure out better ways for
officers to deal with drunk, drugged, and violence-prone subjects, it not
only is going to be dangerous for those citizens but also for officers who
are victimized by the subjects' impulsiveness and altered state."

Meanwhile, McElvain has plans to mine his research database for more fresh
findings. Among other things, he is currently exploring how officers'
education, age, military experience, gender, race, and prior shooting
involvement may correlate to uses of deadly force, and he wants to map out
how police shootings relate to neighborhood types. "I think there are 5 or
6 different studies to come off of this data," he predicts.

[Our thanks to Tom Aveni, a member of FSRC's Technical Advisory Board, for
alerting us to Lt. McElvain's research project.]
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29600


« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 11:36:40 AM »

The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free,
direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and
click on the registration button. For reprint clearance, please e-mail:
info@forcesciencenews.com.
=======================================

In this issue:

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

II. WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE--IN PERSON--ABOUT HOW FSRC'S UNIQUE RESEARCH CAN
HELP YOU SURVIVE ON THE STREET & IN COURT

III. KICKIN' ASS! DR. BILL LEWINSKI ACHIEVES A COVETED 5TH DEGREE BLACK BELT

=======================================

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

Two perspectives on law enforcement's role in the violent human meltdown
known as excited delirium faced off on National Public Radio recently, in
broadcasts that have themselves become controversial.

On one side in the 2-program report were 2 police critics, a staff lawyer
with the ACLU and the director of a California "watchdog" group called
PoliceWatch. The lawyer denied that ED is a recognized condition and charged
that police are using the term "as a means of whitewashing" excessive force
and "inappropriate use of control techniques" during arrests. The watchdog
rep claimed that law enforcers want to blame "victims" who are
inappropriately "dying at the hands of officers." She said police have a
responsibility to "make sure" that anyone they take into custody "stays
alive, whatever the condition of the person's brain or body temperature or
their agitated state."

Voices on the other side included a neurology professor from the University
of Miami, the former chief medical examiner for San Antonio, and a senior
corporal from Dallas PD with first-hand experience in trying to control
raging ED subjects. The professor said the condition is "definitely
real...the result of a neurochemical imbalance in the brain." The ME said,
"[T]hese people are dying of an overdose of adrenaline" and insisted that
it's wrong to blame the police. And the cop said, "There's no one thing that
simply describes this. One minute a person is fighting and screaming, the
next minute he's dead."

By the time NPR finished its total of less than 13 minutes of air time on
the subject, emails were flying among followers of the ED issue. One
authority, Chris Lawrence, a Canadian police college instructor, a technical
advisor to the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
University-Mankato, and a columnist for PoliceOne.com, perhaps sums up the
sentiment of many.

NPR's failure to spotlight this thorny topic in depth for its 26 million
listeners, he believes, served only to "stir the pot" of controversy without
illuminating its many perplexities. "No one in the media presents an
in-depth, knowledgeable discussion of this subject even for an hour,"
Lawrence told Force Science News. "A series of sound bites can't do it
justice. It's too complicated. People are left with the impression that no
one knows what's going on, and that's not to anyone's benefit."

If you missed the NPR programs, which aired on more than 800 stations on
2/26 and 2/27, you can read transcripts and listen to the broadcasts at
www.npr.org. Just conduct an in-site search for "excited delirium" and
you'll get to the appropriate links.

Meanwhile, FSN asked Lawrence, who was not involved in NPR's programming, to
address and expand on some of the more provocative highlights of what was
broadcast.

ASSERTION: In questioning ED as a legitimate phenomenon, rather than
something the police are just making up, the ACLU attorney, Eric Balaban,
said, "I know of no reputable medical organization-certainly not the
American Medical Association or the American Psychiatric Association-that
recognizes excited delirium as a medical or mental-health condition."

NPR's reporter Laura Sullivan added: "He's right. Excited delirium is not
recognized by professional medical associations, and you won't find it
listed in the chief psychiatric reference book. The International
Association of Chiefs of Police hasn't accepted it either, saying not enough
information is known."

RESPONSE: Descriptions of the symptoms that characterize ED have appeared in
medical literature under various names, including Bell's Mania and fatal
catatonia, for more than a century, Lawrence says. "Excited delirium" is
fairly recent terminology, "but it is not a problem that is new."

The literature search that was made when the Psychiatric Assn. compiled its
latest edition of the 980-page Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV TR, "the chief psychiatric reference book" cited on NPR)
was cut off in 1996, Lawrence says--more than a decade ago.

"If you do an online search today at the website PubMed, provided by the
National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, you'll
find at least 20 articles on ED from professional medical journals," the
vast majority of which were published after the DSM cut-off.

"For the last 10 years, the National Association of Medical Examiners has
said ED is real and has recognized it as a problem. They've published a
position paper that repeatedly references it in the context of cocaine abuse
and, in some cases, the failure of mental patients to take prescribed
psychotropic drugs. This is not something we're making up. Saying it doesn't
exist doesn't contribute to solutions for dealing with it."

[For more details of ED in medical literature, see archives of Lawrence's
columns at www.policeone.com. The NAME position paper was authored by 4 MDs
and a PhD and appeared in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and
Pathology, Mar. 2004.]

ASSERTION: By blaming ED, authorities in effect "want the victim to be
looked at as the cause of his or her own death," PoliceWatch director Dawn
Edwards charged on NPR. "The bottom line is that these people are dying at
the hands of, or in the custody of, police officers." In her view, it's a
police responsibility to assure that anyone taken into custody "stays alive."

RESPONSE: During one of the broadcasts, the former ME, Dr. Vincent Di Maio,
who has written a textbook on ED, challenged Edwards' position. Civil
liberties groups are wrong in blaming officers for ED deaths, he said. "They
buy into this mode that if somebody dies, somebody's got to be responsible.
And of course it can't be the person who's high on coke and meth," even
though drug abuse appears to be closely associated with many ED episodes.

Lawrence points out that deaths ascribed to ED have occurred even in
hospitals with the most sophisticated medical intervention immediately at
hand. To expect guaranteed life preservation from officers attempting to
deal with an out-of-control offender on the street is wholly unrealistic.

Professionals knowledgeable about ED agree that it needs to be viewed
ultimately as a medical problem, he says. "But this condition is a very
complicated event. It involves multiple body mechanisms. The breakdown of
any one of these by itself could result in death. Even the efforts of a
highly trained physician may not prevent the subject from dying.

"By the time police are called, the ED subject may be deep into mental and
physical distress, possibly at an irreversible intensity. We're dispatching
a first responder who generally has a first aid certificate. He may never
have seen ED before or even recognize what it is. And we're supposed to say,
'Now you handle this very complicated event, with your first-aid skills, and
by the way, we're going to hold you solely responsible if he dies'? How
realistic is that?"

By pointing out certain factors, such as drug usage and mental illness, that
seem commonly associated with ED episodes, Lawrence says, "we're not trying
to blame the 'victim.' We are trying to better understand the person
experiencing excited delirium and to identify things about him that may
assist everyone in helping him to survive."

ASSERTION: NPR's Sullivan stated during the second program that the debate
about ED "becomes more complicated" because TASERs are often involved when
officers try to control physically violent subjects who end up dying. "Civil
liberties groups fear that the diagnosis is being used" not only to "cover
up police abuse" but also to "protect companies like Taser International
from lawsuits," she said. "Taser may have financial reasons to support-and
even encourage-the use of the excited delirium diagnosis."

RESPONSE: In the view of Lawrence, a DT instructor, the deployment of TASERs
is not so diabolical. "Electronic control devices provide a modern, prompt,
humane method of restraint" in many ED situations, he says. "Physical force
and technology that depend on pain compliance tend not to work because these
subjects don't seem to feel pain. Mechanical leverage techniques that lock
up the joints can be difficult to apply because ED people are very, very
strong and they won't let you do it.

"With an ECD, you can cause them to lose control of the muscles that
maintain balance, and they fall down. This can provide a very brief window
of opportunity to quickly get them handcuffed and to secure their legs with
a strap device to minimize kicking and effectively establish some control.
You end up with fewer injuries both to the suspect and to the officers
involved."

The TASER is just the latest scapegoat blamed for causing ED deaths,
Lawrence says. He cites the recent testimony of Dr. Christine Hall, a
Canadian ER physician and ED researcher, at a coroner's inquest into the
death of a psychiatric patient who was TASERed while in a highly agitated
state.

Hall testified that when people in this state died while being restrained by
the police in the 1970s, the blame was often placed on baton use. In the
1980s, it was multiple-officer restraint and "positional asphyxia." In the
1990s, it was pepper spray. Now it's the TASER.

"The blame shifts as tactics and technology change and police critics
continue to look for something other than the condition itself as the cause
of death," Lawrence says.

Whatever the mode, the goal of police intervention, he stresses, is to
control dangerous behavior, to get ED subjects "assessed by someone with
more medical training than a police officer has, and to get him transported
to a place of sophisticated medical treatment. You are not going to get any
medical assistance until control has been established. There's no way around
this point.

"Even if you could drive a doctor to the scene and say, 'You manage this,'
nothing could be done until the subject is stabilized, and stabilization
requires restraint. At some point someone has to take control of the
individual, unless he somehow gets back to reality on his own and says, 'I'm
going to let you help me,' and that's not a very likely development with
people who are dying in excited delirium."

ASSERTION: The ACLU's Balaban expressed concern that the messages police
receive about ED may actually exacerbate confrontations. If officers are
being told in training that ED subjects "have superhuman strength," he
speculated, officers may treat them "as if they are somehow not human,"
leading "officers to escalate situations."

RESPONSE: The fact is, Lawrence says, that the display of extremely abnormal
strength is one of the characteristics that makes a subject who's
experiencing ED so difficult to control.

Indeed, Sr. Cpl. Herb Cotner of Dallas PD, interviewed by NPR, told of ED
manifesting itself by "someone doing pushups with two 150-pound officers on
their back." He described one ED experience in which the subject smashed
through a plate-glass window, fell from a fence, broke his leg several
times--and still walked 2 blocks to fight with police. Another confrontation
involved a handicapped individual who "dragged us across a parking lot."

Lawrence observes: "That may not be the way the ACLU would like it to be,
but the truth is the truth. Officers must be trained for reality."

Next month [4/07] during a 2-day Force Science seminar in London, England,
Lawrence will present a briefing on ED for European police officials and
attorney Bill Everett, also an FSRC Board Member, will speak on managing the
media during high-profile, controversial incidents, such as a death by ED.

The interest abroad in this topic, "indicates that this is a problem that is
international in scope," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC.
For more information on this program and instructions on how to register for
it, go to: http://www.forcescience.org/training/seminars/

[NOTE: Force Science News has transmitted 9 articles dealing with excited
delirium since this newsletter was founded in 2004. To review them for a
broader understanding of the subject, go to:
http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home/search.html and enter "excited
delirium" in our archival search engine.]

Our thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective
Law Enforcement, for tipping us about the NPR series.
Logged
sgtmac_46
Power User
***
Posts: 109


« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2007, 04:07:42 PM »

The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free,
direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and
click on the registration button. For reprint clearance, please e-mail:
info@forcesciencenews.com.
=======================================

In this issue:

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

II. WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE--IN PERSON--ABOUT HOW FSRC'S UNIQUE RESEARCH CAN
HELP YOU SURVIVE ON THE STREET & IN COURT

III. KICKIN' ASS! DR. BILL LEWINSKI ACHIEVES A COVETED 5TH DEGREE BLACK BELT

=======================================

I. IS EXCITED DELIRIUM A FAKE CONDITION INVENTED TO WHITEWASH ABUSIVE FORCE?
A CRITICAL LOOK AT NPR'S RECENT REPORTS

Two perspectives on law enforcement's role in the violent human meltdown
known as excited delirium faced off on National Public Radio recently, in
broadcasts that have themselves become controversial.

On one side in the 2-program report were 2 police critics, a staff lawyer
with the ACLU and the director of a California "watchdog" group called
PoliceWatch. The lawyer denied that ED is a recognized condition and charged
that police are using the term "as a means of whitewashing" excessive force
and "inappropriate use of control techniques" during arrests. The watchdog
rep claimed that law enforcers want to blame "victims" who are
inappropriately "dying at the hands of officers." She said police have a
responsibility to "make sure" that anyone they take into custody "stays
alive, whatever the condition of the person's brain or body temperature or
their agitated state."

Voices on the other side included a neurology professor from the University
of Miami, the former chief medical examiner for San Antonio, and a senior
corporal from Dallas PD with first-hand experience in trying to control
raging ED subjects. The professor said the condition is "definitely
real...the result of a neurochemical imbalance in the brain." The ME said,
"[T]hese people are dying of an overdose of adrenaline" and insisted that
it's wrong to blame the police. And the cop said, "There's no one thing that
simply describes this. One minute a person is fighting and screaming, the
next minute he's dead."

By the time NPR finished its total of less than 13 minutes of air time on
the subject, emails were flying among followers of the ED issue. One
authority, Chris Lawrence, a Canadian police college instructor, a technical
advisor to the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
University-Mankato, and a columnist for PoliceOne.com, perhaps sums up the
sentiment of many.

NPR's failure to spotlight this thorny topic in depth for its 26 million
listeners, he believes, served only to "stir the pot" of controversy without
illuminating its many perplexities. "No one in the media presents an
in-depth, knowledgeable discussion of this subject even for an hour,"
Lawrence told Force Science News. "A series of sound bites can't do it
justice. It's too complicated. People are left with the impression that no
one knows what's going on, and that's not to anyone's benefit."

If you missed the NPR programs, which aired on more than 800 stations on
2/26 and 2/27, you can read transcripts and listen to the broadcasts at
www.npr.org. Just conduct an in-site search for "excited delirium" and
you'll get to the appropriate links.

Meanwhile, FSN asked Lawrence, who was not involved in NPR's programming, to
address and expand on some of the more provocative highlights of what was
broadcast.

ASSERTION: In questioning ED as a legitimate phenomenon, rather than
something the police are just making up, the ACLU attorney, Eric Balaban,
said, "I know of no reputable medical organization-certainly not the
American Medical Association or the American Psychiatric Association-that
recognizes excited delirium as a medical or mental-health condition."

NPR's reporter Laura Sullivan added: "He's right. Excited delirium is not
recognized by professional medical associations, and you won't find it
listed in the chief psychiatric reference book. The International
Association of Chiefs of Police hasn't accepted it either, saying not enough
information is known."

RESPONSE: Descriptions of the symptoms that characterize ED have appeared in
medical literature under various names, including Bell's Mania and fatal
catatonia, for more than a century, Lawrence says. "Excited delirium" is
fairly recent terminology, "but it is not a problem that is new."

The literature search that was made when the Psychiatric Assn. compiled its
latest edition of the 980-page Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (DSM-IV TR, "the chief psychiatric reference book" cited on NPR)
was cut off in 1996, Lawrence says--more than a decade ago.

"If you do an online search today at the website PubMed, provided by the
National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, you'll
find at least 20 articles on ED from professional medical journals," the
vast majority of which were published after the DSM cut-off.

"For the last 10 years, the National Association of Medical Examiners has
said ED is real and has recognized it as a problem. They've published a
position paper that repeatedly references it in the context of cocaine abuse
and, in some cases, the failure of mental patients to take prescribed
psychotropic drugs. This is not something we're making up. Saying it doesn't
exist doesn't contribute to solutions for dealing with it."

[For more details of ED in medical literature, see archives of Lawrence's
columns at www.policeone.com. The NAME position paper was authored by 4 MDs
and a PhD and appeared in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and
Pathology, Mar. 2004.]

ASSERTION: By blaming ED, authorities in effect "want the victim to be
looked at as the cause of his or her own death," PoliceWatch director Dawn
Edwards charged on NPR. "The bottom line is that these people are dying at
the hands of, or in the custody of, police officers." In her view, it's a
police responsibility to assure that anyone taken into custody "stays alive."

RESPONSE: During one of the broadcasts, the former ME, Dr. Vincent Di Maio,
who has written a textbook on ED, challenged Edwards' position. Civil
liberties groups are wrong in blaming officers for ED deaths, he said. "They
buy into this mode that if somebody dies, somebody's got to be responsible.
And of course it can't be the person who's high on coke and meth," even
though drug abuse appears to be closely associated with many ED episodes.

Lawrence points out that deaths ascribed to ED have occurred even in
hospitals with the most sophisticated medical intervention immediately at
hand. To expect guaranteed life preservation from officers attempting to
deal with an out-of-control offender on the street is wholly unrealistic.

Professionals knowledgeable about ED agree that it needs to be viewed
ultimately as a medical problem, he says. "But this condition is a very
complicated event. It involves multiple body mechanisms. The breakdown of
any one of these by itself could result in death. Even the efforts of a
highly trained physician may not prevent the subject from dying.

"By the time police are called, the ED subject may be deep into mental and
physical distress, possibly at an irreversible intensity. We're dispatching
a first responder who generally has a first aid certificate. He may never
have seen ED before or even recognize what it is. And we're supposed to say,
'Now you handle this very complicated event, with your first-aid skills, and
by the way, we're going to hold you solely responsible if he dies'? How
realistic is that?"

By pointing out certain factors, such as drug usage and mental illness, that
seem commonly associated with ED episodes, Lawrence says, "we're not trying
to blame the 'victim.' We are trying to better understand the person
experiencing excited delirium and to identify things about him that may
assist everyone in helping him to survive."

ASSERTION: NPR's Sullivan stated during the second program that the debate
about ED "becomes more complicated" because TASERs are often involved when
officers try to control physically violent subjects who end up dying. "Civil
liberties groups fear that the diagnosis is being used" not only to "cover
up police abuse" but also to "protect companies like Taser International
from lawsuits," she said. "Taser may have financial reasons to support-and
even encourage-the use of the excited delirium diagnosis."

RESPONSE: In the view of Lawrence, a DT instructor, the deployment of TASERs
is not so diabolical. "Electronic control devices provide a modern, prompt,
humane method of restraint" in many ED situations, he says. "Physical force
and technology that depend on pain compliance tend not to work because these
subjects don't seem to feel pain. Mechanical leverage techniques that lock
up the joints can be difficult to apply because ED people are very, very
strong and they won't let you do it.

"With an ECD, you can cause them to lose control of the muscles that
maintain balance, and they fall down. This can provide a very brief window
of opportunity to quickly get them handcuffed and to secure their legs with
a strap device to minimize kicking and effectively establish some control.
You end up with fewer injuries both to the suspect and to the officers
involved."

The TASER is just the latest scapegoat blamed for causing ED deaths,
Lawrence says. He cites the recent testimony of Dr. Christine Hall, a
Canadian ER physician and ED researcher, at a coroner's inquest into the
death of a psychiatric patient who was TASERed while in a highly agitated
state.

Hall testified that when people in this state died while being restrained by
the police in the 1970s, the blame was often placed on baton use. In the
1980s, it was multiple-officer restraint and "positional asphyxia." In the
1990s, it was pepper spray. Now it's the TASER.

"The blame shifts as tactics and technology change and police critics
continue to look for something other than the condition itself as the cause
of death," Lawrence says.

Whatever the mode, the goal of police intervention, he stresses, is to
control dangerous behavior, to get ED subjects "assessed by someone with
more medical training than a police officer has, and to get him transported
to a place of sophisticated medical treatment. You are not going to get any
medical assistance until control has been established. There's no way around
this point.

"Even if you could drive a doctor to the scene and say, 'You manage this,'
nothing could be done until the subject is stabilized, and stabilization
requires restraint. At some point someone has to take control of the
individual, unless he somehow gets back to reality on his own and says, 'I'm
going to let you help me,' and that's not a very likely development with
people who are dying in excited delirium."

ASSERTION: The ACLU's Balaban expressed concern that the messages police
receive about ED may actually exacerbate confrontations. If officers are
being told in training that ED subjects "have superhuman strength," he
speculated, officers may treat them "as if they are somehow not human,"
leading "officers to escalate situations."

RESPONSE: The fact is, Lawrence says, that the display of extremely abnormal
strength is one of the characteristics that makes a subject who's
experiencing ED so difficult to control.

Indeed, Sr. Cpl. Herb Cotner of Dallas PD, interviewed by NPR, told of ED
manifesting itself by "someone doing pushups with two 150-pound officers on
their back." He described one ED experience in which the subject smashed
through a plate-glass window, fell from a fence, broke his leg several
times--and still walked 2 blocks to fight with police. Another confrontation
involved a handicapped individual who "dragged us across a parking lot."

Lawrence observes: "That may not be the way the ACLU would like it to be,
but the truth is the truth. Officers must be trained for reality."

Next month [4/07] during a 2-day Force Science seminar in London, England,
Lawrence will present a briefing on ED for European police officials and
attorney Bill Everett, also an FSRC Board Member, will speak on managing the
media during high-profile, controversial incidents, such as a death by ED.

The interest abroad in this topic, "indicates that this is a problem that is
international in scope," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC.
For more information on this program and instructions on how to register for
it, go to: http://www.forcescience.org/training/seminars/

[NOTE: Force Science News has transmitted 9 articles dealing with excited
delirium since this newsletter was founded in 2004. To review them for a
broader understanding of the subject, go to:
http://www.forcesciencenews.com/home/search.html and enter "excited
delirium" in our archival search engine.]

Our thanks to Wayne Schmidt, executive director of Americans for Effective
Law Enforcement, for tipping us about the NPR series.
It's easy for the lawyers of the ACLU and AI to sit in their ivory towers of academia and tell me what they don't want me to do.  I'm still waiting for Amnesty International and the ACLU to come out in the field and demonstrate to me the proper way to restrain someone high on PCP who is attacking my officers.  I'm waiting for that class, but not holding my breath.  In Missouri we have a saying....'Show Me'. 
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 12:11:53 PM »

Cover: Myths, realities & the importance of spotting it early
By Mike Rayburn
Adjunct Instructor, Smith & Wesson Academy
If an officer is able to reach cover during a shooting situation and use it effectively, then the chances of that officer surviving the incident are greatly increased. Given this fact, it only makes sense that we should be locating — and when necessary using — cover whenever possible. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
The biggest problem with trying to use cover is that in many cases, there is no cover available to the officer. [In fact, in the "Cover" section of the Force Science News article, New study: We're getting better prepared to win on the street and in court, it's reported that only 15% of officers polled in a new study on officer-involved shootings had the luxury of using cover. The rest were caught unprotected and even if they tried to move to cover, they didn’t have time to reach it before the shooting was over.] We work in close proximity to the people we deal with on a daily basis. Whether we’re making a field interview contact, handling a domestic, handcuffing an arrested person, or just generally dealing with the public, we have to get in close to these people to interact with them. This is true whether this interaction results in some type of enforcement action or not.



When was the last time you asked the operator of a motor vehicle for his driver’s license from 21 feet away? Or how about trying to handcuff someone from 10 feet away? I know it sounds silly, but I’m trying to make a point. We deal in close proximity to people on a daily, almost routine, basis. It’s that word “routine” that tends to bite us in the nether regions. We tend to forget about looking for cover during the contact should things suddenly go bad and we need it.

This brings me to the second biggest problem with cover. Most officers don’t think about it until it’s too late. The time to start thinking about cover and how you’re going to move to it is not when a gunfight erupts. The time to think about cover is always…to constantly have it in the back of your head. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you should always have a sense of what cover is available to you and how you can move to it.

Once you’ve determined the cover available to you, you have to decide whether you’re going to be able to move to it quickly under stress should a shooting occur. A concrete wall across the street is good, but a big tree three steps away from you is better. If there isn’t cover available, which unfortunately is the case in a lot of officer-involved shootings, then at the very least, you should move. Movement in a gunfight is essential.
If you’re behind cover, stay there and use it effectively. Remember, a large percentage of officers who do this survive shooting incidents. So if you’ve got cover and you’re using it, the odds are in your favor.

Another aspect to consider when talking about cover is visualization -- planting a mental image in your head as to where that cover is located and how you’re going to move to it quickly and with sure footing. This will better prepare you to act quickly if things suddenly go bad. If you don’t have that image pre-planted in your brain, it’s not going to come to you when you’re suddenly under fire. Your brain will be too occupied with processing everything else going on to think about what is—and isn’t—cover and how to move to it.

A simple way to demonstrate this fact is to set up a training scenario where an officer has to walk past simulated cover placed off to the side during an approach to a “subject”. The cover should be placed such that the officer must move backwards and laterally to reach it once he is within close proximity of this subject.
Now have the officer walk up to the “subject” with his or her handgun holstered and as he gets to within a yard or two of the mock person, yell “fire!”

If the officer didn’t already make a mental note of where that cover was, he or she will turn their head and look for it as they’re shooting and moving backwards. No problem, right? WRONG! Do you really think that during a firefight, with someone shooting at you from three to six feet away, you’re going to be able to take your eyes off the shooter to look around for cover?

Now have that same officer go through the course again, but this time have him make sure to mentally note the cover and where it’s located before the drill begins. If he does this, you’ll see him move flawlessly to it, without ever taking his eyes off of the target. It’s as simple as that. Just a quick mental note.

This is so simple that you can practice this mental imagery in the comfort of your own home. Stand directly in front of your television set. (Do this when the kids aren’t home so you don’t have to listen to the complaints.) Now without looking, move back to your sofa without tripping over the coffee table, while keeping your eyes fixed on the television set. Easy right?

Now have someone move the coffee table to one side or the other. If you don’t make a mental note of where that coffee table is, you’re going to trip over it as you try to move back to the sofa.

It’s the same thing on the street. If you don’t make a mental note of where that cover is, you will not be able to move to it smoothly and flawlessly while keeping your eyes on the threat.

One last thing about looking for cover: the first place you should look for it is on your strong side. Why? Because for most of us, this will be the side you automatically (dare I say “instinctively”) move to under stress. To prove this, run a force-on-force scenario.

Have the bad guy suited up in his protective gear with a rubber knife. Have the officer stand approximately 10-12 feet, (the average distance in an edged weapon attack), away from the bad guy with his Simunitions or Air Soft gun in his holster. Tell the officer that he or she is required to move laterally, (because moving backwards is too slow and awkward) to one side or the other and fire some rounds into the charging assailant.
Now, without warning, have the suited up aggressor run at the officer. You’ll see for yourself that well over 99% of the time officers will move to their strong side. They do this automatically without ever being told, or trained, to do so. If this is the case, then we need to train our officers to look for cover on their strong sides first, and then look for additional cover from there.

If you doubt the validity of this drill, let me give you one last fact. Get up and walk over to a set of stairs. Your first step up will be with your strong side foot. Walk a little further away from those same stairs and try it again. Your first step up will be with your strong side foot. We do this automatically and instinctively. If this is the case, then why not train this way? Why not train the way we’re going to fight.
Keep these facts, and problems, about cover in mind whenever you’re dealing with anyone, and you’ll win that fight.

About the author: Michael T. Rayburn is a 29-year veteran of Law Enforcement and is currently an adjunct instructor at the Smith & Wesson Academy. He is the author of three books, Advanced Vehicle Stop Tactics, Basic Gunfighting 101.
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2007, 10:04:01 AM »

The camera doesn't lie, right? Wel-l-l-l-l-l-l........

Force Science News #76
July 13, 2007


   
======




Brief, dark, and grainy, the video image is a punch to the gut.

A California sheriff's deputy trying to detain a subject who's on the ground after a high-speed chase says to him, "Get up! Get up!" The man says, "Ok, I'm gonna get up," and starts to rise. Without another word, the deputy shoots him, 3 times in quick succession.

With millions of others, you probably became a vicarious eye-witness when the scene was telecast over and over world-wide. Be honest. The man complied with an officer's command, and the shooting was not an unintentional discharge. Didn't it look like a slam-dunk case of egregious abuse of force?

Late last month [6/28/07], after less than 4 hours' deliberation following a trial that lasted over a month, a jury acquitted the deputy, Ivory Webb Jr., of attempted voluntary manslaughter and firearms assault. The charges could have sent him to prison for 18 years. For people who knew nothing more about the case than what they'd seen on TV or the Internet, the verdict seemed a puzzlement, if not an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

But jurors said the tale of the video took on a whole different flavor when considered in context with circumstances that were little known publicly until Webb's trial.

Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, was part of the defense team. He was brought into the case "to explain the human factors behind the shooting," based on his expertise as a behavioral scientist and on FSRC's unique studies of lethal-force dynamics.

In a recent interview with Force Science News, Lewinski reprised his courtroom testimony and his insider's knowledge of the pressure-cooker confrontation that embroiled Ivory Webb and resulted in his becoming the first LEO ever charged criminally for an on-duty shooting in the history of San Bernardino County.

"It was important to paint a picture of what happened from Webb's perspective," Lewinski says. "The video was so vivid, so seemingly clear-cut, that people didn't properly factor in what led up to the shooting."

The Players. Ivory Webb was 46 years old at the time of the shooting, a former college football player (Rose Bowl '82), the son of a retired California police chief, and a veteran of nearly 10 years with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Most of his career had been spent as a jail officer. Although he'd been on the street for over 4 years, "he had never been the primary officer on a felony vehicle stop," Lewinski says. "He performed pretty much as a backup officer."

The subjects he confronted at the shooting scene were Luis Escobedo, 22, who had a rap sheet from previous run-ins with police and would later be arrested for CCW, and Elio Carrion, 21, an Air Force senior airman and security officer.

The Chase. On the last weekend night in January, 2006, Luis Escobedo and Elio Carrion were at a late-night barbeque in Montclair, east of Los Angeles, celebrating Carrion's recent return from a 6-month stint in Iraq. They'd been "heavily" consuming beer and tequila when they decided to take a fellow partygoer's Corvette for a spin. Both had blood alcohol levels of more than double the state's legal limit.

Escobedo took the wheel (although he had no driver's license) and on a "lightly trafficked industrial road" near some railroad tracks, he opened up the sleek muscle car to see how fast it would go. Soon they passed a San Bernardino deputy who gave pursuit but couldn't keep up.

Webb, returning to patrol from another call, heard radio traffic about the chase and moments later saw the Corvette "coming directly at me. If I hadn't swerved into the other lane, they would have smashed right into me."

Webb barreled after them and soon was driving over 100 mph to keep up. The Corvette screeched around a corner, caromed off curbs, and at one point "spun around and came directly at me a second time." Before colliding, it suddenly smoked into a U-turn and wove wildly from one side of the street to another, then crashed into a cinder block wall facing opposing traffic and "hung up there." The chase had ended in the municipality of Chino.

When Webb pulled up, the vehicle was shaking as the occupants tried to force the doors open, he said. The trunk lid had popped up from the impact, blocking the view from behind. He nosed in slightly toward the right rear of the Corvette and stepped out of his patrol car.

The Confrontation. "Considering that they'd played chicken with him twice and had shown no regard for human safety with their reckless speeding, Webb reasonably assessed the car's occupants as really dangerous," Lewinski says. "He had his full uniform on, his overheads were flashing, and he had his gun and flashlight out, so there was no mistaking his authority.

"Carrion began to exit the vehicle and took a step in the direction of Webb's patrol car. Webb ordered him to show his hands clearly. Carrion didn't. Webb ordered him to get down. Carrion didn't. Inside the vehicle, Escobedo kept reaching his hands into areas Webb could not see." The deputy's commands to both subjects were repeated in a stream, with no compliance. In his frustration and concern, Webb ratcheted up his language with liberal infusions of profanity.

At trial a retired LASD lieutenant testified as a tactical expert for the prosecution and condemned Webb for not remaining "calm and assertive," as officers are trained to do. But Lewinski took Webb's words out of the context of antiseptic Monday morning quarterbacking and put them in the context of his on-the-spot fears.

The chase had led the deputy into an unfamiliar section of Chino and, essentially, "he was lost," Lewinski says. He knew the street he was on but in the blur of the pursuit he'd had a hard time tracking the cross streets. Several times he named the nearest intersection incorrectly when radioing for help. Deputies trying to reach him sometimes cited directions and their own locations erroneously, too.

The two suspects could overhear the radio jabber. "Webb knew that they knew his back up couldn't find him and that he was all alone with two drunken young men who were not complying with any of his orders," Lewinski says.

The pair was physically separated, so Webb constantly had to shift his focus and his flashlight from one to the other to keep tabs on their actions. And they kept trying verbally to intimidate him, Lewinski explains. "Carrion at one point told the deputy, 'I've spent more time than you in the fuckin' police, in the fuckin' military.'

"Webb recognized all this from his jail experience as a common tactic among gangbangers: separate, keep up a barrage of chatter to distract, then attack. Webb ordered them to shut up, but they didn't."

At a point when Carrion had gotten within his reactionary gap, Webb kicked him to take him to the ground. (The prosecution's expert would claim later that police are not trained to kick suspects because it puts them off-balance. But Lewinski points out that in fact kicks and leg strikes are common staples in contemporary defensive tactics.) On the ground, Carrion was propped up on his arms, "controlled to some degree" but not proned out like Webb wanted.

The grinding crash of the speeding Corvette against the wall and the flashing lights and all the yelling that followed had alerted a used car salesman living across the street that something worth filming was going down. He grabbed his Sony digital zoom camera and started recording after Carrion climbed out of the car.

This man, a Cuban refugee, was wanted on old felony warrants for aggravated assault in Florida. His past would surface after his sensational footage saturated the airwaves.

But for now, his camera was about to capture what photographers call "the money shot."

The Shooting. When the video was first reviewed and broadcast, the figures of Webb and Carrion could be grossly seen on the darkened street, the deputy with his gun out standing over the semi-grounded suspect. But subtleties were hard to distinguish. The audio track, too, was tough to make out, although what could be heard sounded discouragingly incriminating.
Carrion: We're here on your side. We mean you no harm.
Webb: OK, get up! (inaudible) Get up!
Carrion: OK, I'm just gonna get up.

Carrion starts to move up. Three shots ring out from Webb's .45. Carrion is hit in the left shoulder, the left thigh, and the left ribs. He's critically wounded but survives.

The digital recording was "enhanced" by an FBI laboratory to reveal more visual detail. Through ultra-sophisticated technology of David Notowitz, a video expert engaged by Webb's attorneys, it was then enhanced even further, to the point that images were recovered from a section of the recording that seemingly had been completely whited out by the amateur cameraman ineptly fiddling with the controls.

Webb had experienced difficulty articulating precisely what happened just before he started shooting. In Lewinski's opinion, he suffered memory problems that are not uncommon after high-intensity officer-involved shootings. "But when the enhanced footage was slowed down and time coded so we could study the action fragment by fragment, I became convinced he was reacting instinctively to a legitimate perceived threat."

As Carrion braces on his hands, resistant to going fully to the ground, he first can be seen jabbing a hand up toward Webb's gun. The weapon is well within his grasp, but he quickly lowers his hand without attempting a grab.

Then the video confirms that he twice reaches his hand inside his black Raiders jacket. Carrion would claim on the witness stand that he was just pointing to his chest. "But the enhanced image shows his hand buried in the jacket up to the knuckles," Lewinski says. "It was definitely inside."

Less than a second later, Webb jerks his gun barrel up slightly as if motioning with it as he commands, "Get up! Get up!"

"He's talking to the hand, focusing on it," Lewinski says. "What I sincerely believe he was thinking was, 'Get your hand up,' meaning get it away from where you may have a weapon hidden and out where I can see it. But the words came out different than his thought.

"Some of our studies have shown that when officers feel they are in control of a situation, they tend to give clear and relevant commands. But when they feel out of control, their commands often deteriorate. For Ivory Webb, that was an enormously stressful situation and there was nothing he felt in control of.

"Under stress and time compression, people commonly experience slips between thought and speech." En Route to the trial, for example, Lewinski asked a harried airline ticket agent for directions to a travelers' lounge. "Down there," she said-and pointed up. Even the prosecutor while cross-examining Lewinski misspoke in referencing something, and apologized for it. "It's easy to do, isn't it?" Lewinski softly replied.

Lewinski cited a case of an officer who, facing a suspect with a knife, repeatedly shouted "Show me your hands!" even though both hands were visible. The officer was trying to say "Drop the knife" but "resorted to familiar commands from his training under stress," Lewinski explained.

In the uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances on the street in Chino, Carrion reaching into his jacket had "extremely threatening implications," Lewinski says. "He turned out not to be armed, but Webb couldn't know that. For the first time in the encounter, Carrion obeyed the command he heard. He began to rise up and a little forward, like starting to lunge. Webb had already made the decision to fire, thinking his life was in jeopardy, and pulled the trigger."

A tactics expert who volunteered for the defense, Sgt. Kenton Ferrin of Inglewood (CA) PD, said he would have shot under the same circumstances. Webb "thought he was going to die," Ferrin testified.

The prosecutor's expert, however, asserted that each of Webb's shots was a deliberate decision, bolstering the contention that the deputy in effect had committed a cold, calculating execution. But Lewinski pointed out that the time-coded video enhancement showed there was just 6/10 of a second between each round. He explained that FSRC's time-and-motion studies had proven that in that tight sequencing, with both the officer and the subject moving slightly, there's no possibility of conscious decision-making prompting each shot. "At that point, after the first round, it was just an instinctive process."

"The purpose of Dr. Lewinski's testimony," says Webb's attorney Michael Schwartz of the Santa Monica law firm Silver, Hadden, Silver, Wexler and Levine, "was to help the jury see that behavior the prosecution considered grounds for suspicion and criminal action could, in fact, be understood as common human behavior in circumstances of extreme stress."

The Outcome. The first poll inside the jury room was 11 for acquittal, 1 for conviction. The dissenter soon changed his mind. When the verdict was announced, Ivory Webb burst into tears and praised God.

That was just the first of the legal challenges he faces. Elio Carrion and his family have asked federal authorities to bring criminal charges against Webb, and a civil suit has of course been filed.

Meanwhile, with cell phone cameras and camcorders proliferating, a profusion of controversial police actions seems destined in days ahead to be seen and judged by millions who understand little about them.

After the Webb verdict, a reporter for the Associated Press interviewed Eugene O'Donnell, a former cop and prosecutor who now teaches police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

"Videos are drenched with caveats," O'Donnell cautioned. "One thing we've learned about videos is that there are often missing pieces."


================

The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the registration button.

(c) 2007: Force Science Research Center, www.forcescience.org.
 
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2007, 07:02:55 AM »

GUNFIGHT COP A SUPER HERO

KEPT COOL & KEPT FIRING DESPITE BULLET WOUNDS


By LEELA de KRETSER, Additional reporting by LORENA MONGELLI, MURRAY WEISS and LARRY CELONA
 
Officers Herman Yan, 26 (top), and Russel Timoshenko, 23, approach a stolen SUV on Rogers Avenue — parking their car next to a trash can so Timoshenko has cover if he is fired at. But the perps would wait until he was past the can before shooting.







July 11, 2007 -- Cool-headed cop Herman Yan went into autopilot - and followed his NYPD training to the letter - as he ignored the bullets raining down on him and fired back at the gunmen who had brutally shot his partner twice in the face, police experts said yesterday.
Supercop Yan, bleeding profusely after he was struck by a bullet in the arm and reeling after taking a slug in his bulletproof vest, showed no fear as he faced down the thugs who had gravely wounded his partner, Russel Timoshenko, just seconds before.
Three seconds after Timoshenko fell to the ground, exclusive surveillance footage clearly shows the 26-year-old Yan backing down the street as he fires at the stolen BMW X5 that he and Timoshenko had pulled over on Rogers Avenue just after 2:15 a.m.
With nothing to shelter him from the gunfire, Yan is seen on the tape ducking and weaving, trying to keep his body small so it would not be struck by the fusillade, said several experts who reviewed the video for The Post.
"It's all about cover and concealment. He had no cover in front of him, so he did everything he could to keep his body a small moving target," said retired NYPD Detective Mike Charles.
As the perpetrators keep shooting at him, Yan sizes up the situation, and determines that his best move is to get back to the radio car.
All the while, his thoughts are obviously on getting to his partner to try to save his life, said Charles.
Seconds pass before he is seen calmly radioing for assistance - calling in the key details that would help authorities quickly identify two suspects.
The brave officer even refuses to give in to his injuries as he tries to make his way to his partner to check on Timoshenko's condition. In one frame, Yan is seen falling to the ground, clutching his bleeding arm - but before his body touches the asphalt, he jumps back to his feet and continues to head toward his partner.



Yan, released from Kings County Hospital yesterday, said of his gravely ill partner, "I believe in miracles.
"I hope he recovers fully. I will recover fully and be back on the street again. I hope the same thing happens to him."
Yan, his right arm in a sling, added, "I feel fine."
Asked about the bulletproof vest credited with saving his life, Yan said, "Always put it on."
Detective Charles, who spent 20 years on the force and now trains police forces overseas, said, "Everything [Yan] did was perfect and absolutely heroic.


"Look at the way he tries to get low [in the footage during the shooting]. This officer has been shot, but he has no thought for his pain. He is thinking of the threat, his partner and calling in for help."
The brave officer's actions allowed Timoshenko to be carried into a police car just a minute and a half after he was shot. He was taken to the Kings County Hospital, where he is now fighting for his life.
From the moment the two officers pulled over the SUV, they followed their training to a T, said Charles and other experts.
Timoshenko gets out of the police car in line with trash can, making sure he can quickly duck for cover if someone opens fire.
Both officers put their right hands to their guns and walk toward the vehicle at the same pace in a straight line, the procedure whenever a cop pulls over a car.
But the officers face immediate danger when they arrive at the vehicle and see that the windows are tinted, blocking their view of any potential gunmen in the car.
"One of the most dangerous situations in policing is car stops, but officers become even more vulnerable when it's 2:30 in the morning and the vehicle has tinted windows," Charles said. The video shows that Timoshenko was by the rear quarter panel of the SUV- before he could get a clear view of the gunman - when he's shot and falls.


http://www.nypost.com/seven/07112007/news/regionalnews/gunfight_cop_a_super_hero_regionalnews_leela_de_kr etser__additional_reporting_lorena_mongelli__murra y_weiss_and_larry_celona.htm
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2007, 08:27:25 PM »

Second post of the day:

Fascinating shooting story:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqvFAoKK0lE
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2007, 07:20:38 AM »

Social Programs to Combat Gangs Seen as More Effective Than Police
Area Officials Advocate Mix of Prevention and Enforcement
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007; B03



When it comes to fighting gangs, there's the New York City approach, and there's the Los Angeles approach, according to the Justice Policy Institute. And one statistic dramatizes the difference:
Two years ago, Los Angeles police reported 11,402 gang-related crimes; New York police, 520.

In a report being issued today, "Gang Wars," the Washington-based institute says it found overwhelming evidence that cities such as New York and suburbs and rural areas that use extensive social resources -- job training, mentoring, after-school activities, recreational programs -- make significant dents in gang violence. Areas that rely heavily on police enforcement, such as Los Angeles, have far less impact.

The institute analyzed dozens of academic reports on combating gangs and conducted research on the best ways to reduce gang violence. The report does not discuss gangs in the Washington area or its suburbs, partly because extensive investigations have not been performed in the region.

"Nobody we talked to thought that D.C. had a real gang problem," said Kevin Pranis, one of the report's authors. "Which is good news."

Institute officials say they hope the report will persuade legislators, in Washington and across the country, to allocate more money to proven social programs that target illegal gang behavior and less for large-scale arrest-and-imprison initiatives that often show short-term gains but make gang problems worse.

Officials in the District and its suburbs often stress the importance of both prevention and enforcement. In 2003, then-D.C. police chief Charles H. Ramsey launched the Gang Intervention Partnership Unit, working with schools, neighborhood groups and resident activists to reduce violence.
An independent report issued last year, looking at the unit's effects on the city's Latino population, gave a resounding endorsement: The number of Latino gang-related homicides in the city dropped from 21 between 1999 and 2003 to zero between 2003 and 2006.

"Suppression [enforcement] alone, that doesn't work," said Sgt. Juan Aguilar of the D.C. police. "That's only a Band-Aid. You've got to get to the root of the problem. It's social."

Similar sentiments were expressed by officials in Arlington and Fairfax counties, who said their police departments work closely with a variety of social service providers. In 2005, after a spate of gang violence in Northern Virginia, Fairfax launched a Coordinating Council on Gang Prevention and required several county service providers to participate.
Last year, Arlington launched its "Attention to Prevention" initiative to provide mentoring, leadership training and tutoring for youths. Police spokesman John Lisle said, "It's clear to us, to reduce the impact of gangs, it's not just a matter of locking people up."

The Justice Policy Institute describes itself as a think tank dedicated to ending society's reliance on incarceration and promoting effective solutions to social problems.

Statistics show that youth crime in the United States is at its lowest levels in 30 years and that gangs are responsible for a relatively small share of crime. In addition, according to a national Justice Department survey of police departments, gang membership declined from 850,000 in 1996 to 760,000 in 2004.

But occasional outbursts of violence prompt the media and politicians to seek immediate answers, said the report's authors, Pranis and Judith Greene.

"And it's more about politics than it is about serious efforts to do something," Greene said yesterday. "It's frustrating to see officials come forward with money for mass arrests, when the money is so sorely needed in programs that are tried and true and can really work."

In New York, the use of social programs to prevent gangs started in the 1950s, and the programs have continued to receive funding throughout the cycles of gang activity, the new report says. Street-level social workers, gang intervention programs and job training have been used for decades. "New York really doesn't have a chronic gang problem," said Greene, a New York resident.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, "retains the dubious honor of being the gang capital of the world," the report says. A 25-year anti-gang effort has cost taxpayers billions of dollars but has resulted in six times as many gangs and twice the number of gang members, because Los Angeles has not adequately funded social programs, the report says.

"There are very little services," said Luis J. Rodriguez, a former Los Angeles gang member who is a member of that city's Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development. He said the city has 61 gang intervention workers to handle about 40,000 gang members.

"We need substantial, root-based work, ways for people to get out of gangs," Rodriguez said. "But there are no jobs, rehabilitation or treatment, and schools and services do not work with gang kids."
var comments_url = "http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/17/AR2007071701716_Comments.html" ;var article_id = "AR2007071701716" ;
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Bandolero
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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2007, 10:49:32 AM »

In DC, there are many blocks in which a group of guys which for all practical purposes are a gang, control the block (especially drug dealing). They may have informal labels like the "5NO Crew." (meaning they are on 5th Street between N Street and O Street. They are not Crips or Bloods (hell they have sent those folks home in body bags), so they don't have this formal gang name that is part of a larger network, but for all intents and purposes, they are a gang. I wonder how DC MPD counts those stats, because if they are counting them as non-gang crimes then they are not giving them the "credit" they really should be.

Baltimore was much like that in the mid-late 1990s when I worked there.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2007, 11:22:39 PM »



Now here is a candid LEO

http://www.snopes.com/crime/cops/judd.asp
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2007, 12:04:56 PM »

Law Enforcement can have a lot of overlap with martial arts issues and that is why this thread is on this forum.  The following piece doesn't really meet that criterion, but here it is anyway:
==============

Justice served: The Joe Arpaio Model
(This is the second in a two-part essay about frontier justice along our southern border. Part one, “Justice denied”, addressed a mockery of justice perpetuated against law-enforcement officers attempting to secure that all-too-porous border. Please join the nearly 52,000 Patriots who have already signed our petition, Free the Texas Three.)

As a former uniformed law-enforcement officer, I know that frontier outlaws are sometimes best deterred with frontier justice. Even the most leftward of the Lefties are willing to concede this point.

Just last week, in fact, San Francisco’s own Sen. Dianne Feinstein got a bit testy when hearing the testimony of Luis Barker, former chief Border Patrol agent for the El Paso region. Feinstein asked Barker what measures a Border Patrol agent should take when attempting to stop a fleeing Mexican drug smuggler.

“Measures other than deadly force,” Barker replied. Feinstein fired back, “No wonder we have so many drugs coming over the border.”

There is a region near our southwest border, however, that the wisest traficantes de la droga tend to avoid.

Why?

Because Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is there—and he’s bound and determined by oath to uphold the law.

Maricopa County is the fourth most populated county in the nation (3,768,123 U.S. citizens), with Phoenix as its county seat. In 1992, the good citizens of Maricopa County saw fit to elect an Army veteran and career federal drug-enforcement agent as their sheriff, on the promise that he would treat those convicted of crimes like criminals, rather than a social-welfare constituency. Since then, Sheriff Arpaio has been re-elected every time he faced the voters, because he and his 3,000 employees are keeping that promise.

Here is a sample of justice served at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO)—a good model for the rest of the nation.

Criminals in Maricopa County Jail can no longer smoke or drink coffee. “This isn’t the Ritz-Carlton,” Sheriff Joe informed his indignant inmates. “If you don’t like it, don’t come back.” The Sheriff also discontinued inmate subscriptions for pornography. He revised the jail menu offerings, reducing the cost of meals to 40 cents per serving—and requires that the inmates pay for them. When they complained that he feeds his police dogs better, Sheriff Arpaio responded with characteristic compassion: “The dogs never committed a crime and they are working for a living.”

The jailhouse weight rooms are gone, too, but there’s plenty of exercise to be had on one of Sheriff Joe’s chain gangs. These include chain gangs for women, so Arpaio can’t be called a chauvinist or sued for discrimination. “Crime knows no gender,” he says, “and neither should punishment.” MCSO chain gangs clean streets, remove graffiti and bury the indigent.

He also started juvenile chain gangs for youthful gang bangers and launched rehab programs like “Hard Knocks High,” the only accredited high school run by a Sheriff in an American jail, and “ALPHA,” an anti-substance-abuse program that has greatly reduced recidivism—the rate of reconvictions.

The Sheriff disconnected the MCSO jail’s cable TVs until criminal lawyers pointed out that he might be in violation of a federal-court order. So he hooked the cable up again, but piped in only the Disney and Weather channels. Asked by a reporter why he chose the Weather Channel, he replied, “So they will know how hot it’s gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.”

Sheriff Arpaio also used canteen funds to purchase former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich’s history lecture series on DVD, which he shows in the jail. Asked by a reporter if he provided equal time to Democrats, Sheriff Arpaio said, “Some might say these guys already got enough of those ideas.”

Additionally, on Friday nights, inmates are treated to classic “G”-rated movies, and recently, the Sheriff launched KJOE radio, an in-house broadcast station, which plays classical and patriotic music, as well as educational programs.

Sheriff Joe has even posted a “Hall of Shame” Web page dedicated to deadbeat parents, which lists photos and descriptions of parents who owe back child support, etc.

But Arpaio is probably best known by convicts, and most loathed by them, for establishing a “tent-city jail.” When he first took office, non-violent offenders were routinely released in order to alleviate prison overcrowding, but the new Sheriff put a stop to that, which swelled the ranks of inmates. On behalf of taxpayers, Arpaio opened a tent-city jail in order to avoid building an expensive jail annex.

The tent city, surrounded by razor wire, houses thousands of inmates, most of whom get a bit uncomfortable in the 115-degree summer heat. Arpaio gave the inmates permission to dress down to their boxer shorts—shorts which, like socks and towels, are dyed pink so as not to be stolen. Of course, some of the longer-term inmates complained, but Sheriff Arpaio responded, “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents, too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths!”

In 2005, responding to limited federal enforcement resources to secure our borders, Arizona passed a law making it a felony (punishable by up to two years in prison) to smuggle anyone across the border. In addition, the Maricopa County Attorney issued a legal opinion that anyone being smuggled can be charged under the same law as a co-conspirator. (At last count, 14 other states are revising state legislation and stepping up their prosecution of illegal aliens.)

Consequently, Sheriff Arpaio issued instructions to his deputies and civilian posse to round up illegal aliens. “My message is clear: If you come here and I catch you, you’re going straight to jail... I’m not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I’ll give them a free ride to my jail. I’m going to put them on chain gangs, in tents and feed them bologna sandwiches.”

The Sheriff also gives his inmates, who do not speak English, a two-week basic language course built around American history. He explains, “These inmates happen to be incarcerated in the United States of America. In Maricopa County where I run the jails, we speak English.” At the end of the course, they are required to sing “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Lately, Sheriff Arpaio’s detractors have been turning up the heat on him.

Last week, Arpaio set up a hotline that allows citizens to report suspected illegal aliens to the sheriff’s office. Predictably, Latino leaders voiced their displeasure: “What right does he have,” inquired Phoenix attorney Antonio Bustamante, “to investigate people based on the color of their skin, or their accent or the way they look?” Added Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor, “We feel the chances of being racially profiled just went up dramatically.”

Of course, Arpaio is opening investigations only on the basis of a suspected felony violation, not race or ethnicity. “There’s nothing unconstitutional about putting up a hotline,” Arpaio said, pointing out that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have similar hotlines.

There are other legal challenges to the Sheriff’s “unorthodox” methods for dealing with criminals—challenges that emanate from the Left’s preference to view criminals as victims. Not one to shy away from a fight, Arpaio has said he will go “all the way to the Supreme Court” to fight those challenges. “I’m going to keep locking them up,” he says.

“Justice,” in the words of James Madison, “is the end of government. It is the end of civil society.” Thank God that there are still men among us like Joe Arpaio—those still willing to dispense justice and defend civil society.

(Sheriff Arpaio and his wife of 48 years, Ava, have two children and four grandchildren—all residents of Phoenix. Earlier this year, he accepted an appointment as honorary state chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Through it all, Sheriff Arpaio has retained his sense of humor. In May, after Hollywonk Paris Hilton’s conviction, he contacted Los Angeles authorities and asked if they would like to transfer her to Maricopa County jail to serve out her sentence. They “respectfully declined,” he notes.)

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2007, 07:41:03 PM »

Mon Aug 6, 7:38 AM ET
 


BANGKOK, Thailand - Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring "Hello Kitty," the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame, a senior officer said Monday.

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Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late — among other misdemeanors — will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Col. Pongpat Chayaphan. The officers won't wear the armband in public.

The striking armband features Hello Kitty sitting atop two hearts.

"Simple warnings no longer work. This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor," said Pongpat, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.

"(Hello) Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It's not something macho police officers want covering their biceps," Pongpat said.

He said police caught breaking the law will be subject the same fines and penalties as any other members of the public.

"We want to make sure that we do not condone small offenses," Pongpat said, adding that the CSD believed that getting tough on petty misdemeanors would lead to fewer cases of more serious offenses including abuse of power and mistreatment of the public by police officers.

Hello Kitty, invented by Sanrio Co. in 1974, has been popular for years with children and young women. The celebrity cat adorns everything from diamond-studded jewelry, Fender guitars and digital cameras to lunch boxes, T-shirts and stationery.
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bjung
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« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2007, 10:13:11 PM »

Quote
Police officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area, or arriving late

funny, but sadly there still doesn't seem to be any penalties for rampant corruption
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2007, 05:18:13 AM »

Some good points for us civilians in here too:

www.ForceScienceNews.com
 

Distractions and aggressive subjects; what a new study and past experience tell us

Force Science News #79
August 24, 2007


   
Researchers from the University of Kentucky confirmed recently what skillful cops have known for years: well-timed, well-crafted distractions can derail difficult suspects from violent intentions.

The researchers tested this theory with drunks, but according to behavioral scientist Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center, their findings are relevant to a wide variety of tough-to-handle subjects, including the drug addled, the mentally ill, and the emotionally distraught or irate. Lewinski teaches distraction techniques in the law enforcement program at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

"Distraction works well if you can pitch it right," he says. And in an interview with Force Science News, he offers some practical guidelines for doing so.

[Please note the opportunity at the end of this report to share distraction strategies that have worked for you and that could be helpful to other officers.]

First, the Kentucky study:

THE PREMISE.

With an assistant, Dr. Peter Giancola, a psychology professor at U.K. in Lexington, recruited 48 healthy male social drinkers between 21 and 33 years old, to test the hypothesis that well-timed distraction can help curb violence associated with intoxication.

As LEOs well know, "acute alcohol consumption is [often] related to aggressive behavior," Giancola states, with "alcohol involved in about 50 per cent of violent crimes." According to a psychological theory called the attention-allocation model, drunkenness narrows a person's field of attention so he or she "can really only focus on one thing at a time." In hostile situations, drunks who are inclined toward violence tend to focus on provocative, aggression-facilitating stimuli rather than on inhibitory cues, Giancola says.

Of course, not everyone becomes aggressive when they drink, he explains. "Many people become sleepy and happy. So, this theory only works for people who already have traits that put them at risk," such as impulsiveness, irritability, and a personal acceptance of violence (the belief that "beating my wife and kids is a good thing, because it keeps them in line," for example).

"Alcohol doesn't make you do different things," Giancola says. "It just allows what is already inside you to come out. It takes the brakes off."

THE TEST.

Giancola and his associate used a laboratory computer-game simulation to determine whether distraction might help defuse volatile, alcohol-fueled conflicts, such as bar brawls, by diverting drunks away from provocative cues. He claims this was "the first systematic test of the attention-allocation model" as it relates to intoxication and aggression.

Half of the Kentucky test subjects were given alcohol-spiked orange juice that brought their average BAC reading to 0.10. The other half were given a placebo drink and remained sober. All engaged in what they thought was a computer game that measured their reaction times against those of an unseen "competitor." When the test subjects supposedly "lost" a speed drill, they received a mild electric shock. When they "won," they could deliver a shock to their opponent. A subject's physical aggression was determined by the intensity and length of shock he chose to deliver.

To simulate distraction, half the drunk subjects and half the sober group were told to perform an "important" memory test during the game and were promised a cash reward if they did so successfully. This involved remembering the sequence in which small squares randomly appeared on the computer screen and clicking on them in the proper order.

THE FINDINGS.

Both the intoxicated and sober groups experienced a decline in reaction time when they had to tend to the memory-task distraction. However, the sober subjects "had sufficient attentional resources to attend to both the distracting and the provocative stimuli." They showed about the same level of aggression as sober subjects who were not distracted by the memory test.

There was significant difference, though, between the distracted and the nondistracted drunks. The former exhibited far less aggression than the latter. Giancola concluded that being mentally diverted left the drunken subjects with "less cognitive space [in their attention capacity] to house and process hostile cues."

With further testing, the researchers found that the degree of distraction is important. If the attempted diversion is too mild, it won't attract enough of the subject's attention. If it's too intense or confusing, it "might engender more aggression due to frustration," Giancola reported.

Lewinski concurs that distraction can be a valuable tool in curbing aggression. "On the street, it can work not only with drunks but with sober people who are emotionally aroused," he says. "If you can capture their attention and pull them away from whatever is stoking their agitation, you may be able to get them to work with you instead of blowing up on you."

Distractions come in 2 varieties, he explains: physical and psychological.

PHYSICAL DISTRACTION.

In the physical realm, Lewinski recalls a veteran Minneapolis officer who wore a powerful lifeguard's whistle on a thin thread around his neck. When he walked into a heated domestic or a bar fight where the players were "intensely emotionally engaged" and paying no attention to him, he'd let loose a shrill blast of the whistle and yell, "Everybody out of the pool!"

"People couldn't intentionally ignore him when that sudden, loud whistle blew," Lewinski says, "and he added a little humor with the pool command. Together, they were enough to break through the subjects' emotional barrier and get attention focused on him and off the escalating agitation."

Similarly, officers sometimes find that flicking room lights on and off during a nighttime domestic, for example, can be "a powerful attention-getting technique," Lewinski says. "Subjects are distracted from their battle temporarily, trying to figure out what's going on."

A physical distraction may even help you connect with delusional or hallucinating subjects. He cited a study conducted on psych wards in Michigan that discovered that attendants could often break through a patient's psychotic shell by clapping loudly and simultaneously shouting at them "while maintaining a calm demeanor. The noise shifts their attention and the calm appearance suggests that someone non-threatening is there to work with them."

Sometimes your challenge will be to eliminate physical distractions that compete with you for a subject's attention. Examples:


• "A loud radio can be especially distracting and agitating to people who are drunk or drugged," Lewinski says. "Get it shut off, along with the TV."
• Flashing red lights on your squad car "often have the same effect. If you can turn them off without jeopardizing your safety, that may help you gain and keep a subject's attention."

• Dogs and little kids "are terrible distractions when you're trying to work with parents. Getting them into another room or into the care of a neighbor or some other responsible person will help free the adults to concentrate on you."

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRACTION.

The key to psychologically shifting a subject's focus is hitting on a distraction that is important to them, "something that's enough to influence them," Lewinski says. "Otherwise, you may confuse them, anger them, and make the situation worse. You will appear to be uncaring or not listening to what's concerning them."

Say you're in a private residence, trying to deal with a mother whose son has been caught up in troubles with the police. She's becoming "more and more agitated about what you're doing to her child. Allowed to continue working herself up, she could become violent.

"If you see athletic trophies in the room or pictures of the son in a sports uniform, you might acknowledge these mementoes and try something like this as a distraction: 'We're talking about the trouble your son's in. I know he's also been a good boy. Can you tell me about that?'

"This is something important to her. It may deflect her from her agitation and help you establish enough rapport to get back to the problem on a more logical and influential basis. Certainly it's likely to be more effective than trying to distract her by talking about your bowling scores, which have no importance in her life."

In contacts that eventually erupt in violence, "officers often miss that the subject is escalating emotionally through self-agitation. They're not sensitive enough to recognize this and proactively intervene to ease the situation and it just gets worse.

"Good officers, by contrast, start reading the level of a subject's emotional intensity from the beginning of the encounter and are always looking for cues to psychological strategies that might help control the situation."

For example, if you're dealing with a drunk who's starting to get worked up but is still at a relatively low level of agitation, you might tell him that you need to know all the addresses where he's lived for the last 5 years, Lewinski suggests. "This can be a challenging intellectual task for someone in an altered state, and may fully consume his diminished mental capacity."

On the other hand, subjects displaying a high emotional intensity-a couple bent on tearing each other apart in a domestic dispute, for instance-"may require a distraction that's much more visceral. You might say, 'Just a minute. I know you have children. Before we get into your situation, can you tell me if your kids are safe and where they are?' This distraction is likely to be important to them and offers an opportunity to calm them a bit while they respond."

One officer, sensing that an agitated suspect was building toward a physical attack on him, diverted the suspect by asking him how he thought other kids would taunt his children at school the next day if got himself on the news that night for assaulting a police officer.

"There are many reasons people may want to cooperate with you," Lewinski observes. Sometimes an apt distraction at the very beginning of a contact can keep the interaction on an even keel throughout. Lewinski offers these real-life examples:


• When officers in one Canadian province stopped individual bikers from a gang known to be troublesome, they found that they encountered less hostility when they started their face-to-face contact by admiring the violator's motorcycle and getting him to discuss its attributes a bit-including its ability to "go really fast." Often they could segue to this pertinent question: "How fast do you think you were going just now?" "By then, they'd built enough rapport to defuse the situation a bit."
• When Lewinski worked with Arizona patrol officers on a project involving the mentally ill and homeless, he always carried water and fruit in his car. "Drinking mostly alcohol and caffeine, these subjects are usually dehydrated, and they don't eat much," he explains. "You can distract them by asking if they're hungry or thirsty, and while they're engaged in eating they're calming down. You come across as a caring individual, and when you start talking about the problem they're having or presenting, you're seen as less threatening." Similarly, in cold climates "you can frisk them and then invite them to sit in your car and warm up for a few minutes, then engage in the problem that brought you to the scene."

Obviously, such ploys should be reserved for times when they seem to be strategically to your advantage; your job isn't social work. And in some situations, there won't be time to attempt distractions; immediate physical intervention may be necessary to establish control.

Remember, too, that distractions don't always work. Lewinski recalls a case in which officers were dispatched to a house where a man was randomly firing a deer rifle from the screened-in front porch. Later it was learned that he was experiencing an emotional meltdown over the recent death of his father.

Once the officers persuaded the distraught suspect to put the gun down, they gathered around him and worked at calming him down. Noticing an magnificent elk's head mounted on the porch wall, one officer directed the subject's attention to it and asked him about it, thinking to distract him from his grief. Turned out it was a prize bull the dead father had bagged and probably the most iconic relic he'd left behind. The subject went ape all over again.

"Sometimes, it's just the cut of the cards," Lewinski admits. "But good distractions have proven successful enough that they're worth trying in appropriate circumstances. Just be prepared with other options in case they fail. Nothing works perfectly all the time."

NOTE: We'd like to hear about successes and failures you've had with distractions. Your experiences could be helpful to other officers in critical situations. Just shoot us an email at cr@pixelhype.com and we'll print a representative sampling in a future issue of Force Science News.

=====

For another summary of the University of Kentucky study, see "Distraction Can Defuse Drunken Violence" [Read it now.] A full copy of Dr. Giancola's study, "Alcohol and Aggression: A Test of the Attention-Allocation Model," is available for a fee in the July 2007 issue of Psychological Science, archived here.


 
 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2007, 01:15:04 AM »

From our friend CWS:

23 Aug 07

More on the subject. This is from a fellow Training Officer with a large PD:

"Two of our patrol officers were just involved (Tuesday) in what was nearly a
lethal fight with a robbery suspect in, of all places, a fast-food restaurant
bathroom!

Our officer was in foot-pursuit of a single, bank-robber suspect. The suspect
had at least one pistol with him that he had used to threaten bank employees.
He ran into a local fast-food restaurant and hid in the restroom. Our
fleet-footed officer was right on top of him. When he made physical contact,
the suspect stuck his pistol in the officer's stomach. However, our officer
responded instantly by grabbing the suspect's gun and prevented it
from pointing at him. The suspect's pistol never discharged.

The suspect, large and muscular, bit and fought, trying his best to get back
control of his pistol, but was unable to. Our officer was more than a match
for him, but both the officer's hands were occupied, and he was unable to get
to his own pistol.

A second officer entered bathroom moments behind the first. Seeing what was
going on, he jammed his own service pistol (G22) into the side of the suspect's
head and immediately attempted to fire. The pistol did not fire, because the
slide was pushed out of battery far enough to engage the disconnector.

The astonished officer, not understanding why his pistol would not fire,
abandoned efforts to shoot the suspect, and, using his pistol as a club,
savagely beat the suspect's head until the suspect, by then pleading for the
beating to stop, relinquished control of his own pistol and surrendered.

The suspect was taken into custody without further resistance. He suffered
several cuts but no serious injury. Our officers are okay, but shook-up, as
you might imagine!

Both these officers have been on the job for less than two years. During my
investigation, I apologized to both that, during their academy training, they
were apparently never told that their Glock pistols would not fire with the
slide out of battery. Indeed, the subject of contact-shooting was scarcely
addressed at all. The Academy curriculum is currently being updated/corrected
with regard to that.

However, neither officer carried a serious blade nor a back-up pistol, despite
the fact that their academy training did extensively address those subjects. I
instructed both to get serious blades and back-up guns into their lives
straightaway, before something like this happens to them again!"

Comment: We have a grossly inadequate amount of time to train young police
officers, and lethal-force training, it seems, is always least important in the
eyes of many academy administrators, training administrators, and chiefs of
police. For example, in the case of these two officers, the subject of
contact-shooting was never even mentioned. The omission nearly cost them their
lives!

Had the second officer's pistol discharged into the suspect's cranium when he
intended for it to, the fight would have almost certainly ended instantly.
However, as mentioned in recent Quips, when attempting contact shots using an
autoloading pistol, there is always the danger (as in the above case) that the
slide will be pushed out of battery, preventing the pistol from firing at all.
And, even when the pistol does discharge as planned, there is the danger that
bone chips, particles of skin and other bodily tissues, and blood will be
blasted into the pistol, preventing it from firing a second shot.

There are several methods for addressing these issues, from physically holding
the slide forward with the support-side hand as the trigger is pressed, to
withdrawing the pistol, performing a tap-rack-resume, and immediately
attempting to fire again, to posthaste transitioning to a back-up revolver and
re-performing the contact shot. All are valid. None are perfect. This issue
is one with which Operators need to be familiar, and which academies need to
teach, along with knife-fighting and other life-saving skills!

/John

************************************************** **********************

24 Aug 07

Why am I always armed? Why do I train continuously?

This from a friend who works in a prison:

"Today, I had an opportunity to hear stories from several violent offenders,
straight from their own lips. All were in excellent physical shape and would
(and do!) put up a serious fight in any situation. I know few people could
prevail against them with only bare hands. When there is more than one, any
one of us would be in serious danger. Put any one of them into regular
clothing, and they would blend right in most anywhere.

One inmate revealed the reason he was in the prison was multiple murders. He
got high on meth one evening and decided to break into a home. He tied up the
terrified (an unarmed) husband and wife, then decided to murder them. With a
pocket knife, he sawed on a woman's neck until he had cut her head off. Before
he himself was similarly murdered, her husband heard every one of her screams
and gurgles!

He took the victims' car and headed out of state. On the way, he ran out of
gas, so he stopped another car, murdered the unarmed driver (again with a
pocket knife), and took that car.

He continued to meet and murder people over the next week, seven in three
states. Finally, he returned home, married his girlfriend, and became a
father! Using DNA analysis, detectives secured a warrant for his arrest two
years later.

This is just one prison story, and by no means the worst! This institution
alone is full of them."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2007, 01:27:10 PM »

My first 'martial arts' post, not perfectly placed here, but a good story about a citizen's defense of self and family that led to the arrest of a fugitive. Perhaps his martial arts skill was wrestling(?) He is a law partner of John Hinderacker at Powerline: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018281.php http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018280.php

Radtke was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul on Saturday and, although he didn't want to talk about his ordeal, authorities had a message for him: Thanks.

Sgt. Andrew Ellickson said he was convinced that if Radtke's brave actions hadn't stopped the suspect, he would have caused more damage and injuries.

"He wouldn't have been stopped," Ellickson said.

Leland Klanderman agreed: "The guy was determined."

Radtke, an attorney for Faegre & Benson, and his wife, Jody, had just put their three sons to bed Friday.

They were headed downstairs to relax when the front door flew open, according to Jody's mother, Sandy Brandt.

The Radtkes were staring at a ragged-looking man with a rifle, she said.

Authorities said the man forced Keith and Jody Radtke toward the garage.

Quick decision

At this point, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said, Radtke's world began to narrow into a "funnel."He had to make a decision," Hutton said.

When they got into the garage, Radtke saw an opportunity and pounced, knocking the rifle out of the suspect's hands.

Radtke put the suspect in a bear hug and yelled for his wife to go inside and call 911, Hutton said. She did.

Radtke didn't realize there also was a .45-caliber gun in the suspect's waistband, and the suspect was able to get a hold of it and shot Radtke in the lower back.

Radtke continued to struggle with the suspect and knocked the handgun across the garage floor. The suspect bit Radtke several times, and Radtke put him in a wrestling hold.

Nearby officers arrived at the scene, separated the men and used a Taser to subdue the suspect.

 
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Bandolero
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2007, 07:16:49 PM »

My first 'martial arts' post, not perfectly placed here, but a good story about a citizen's defense of self and family that led to the arrest of a fugitive. Perhaps his martial arts skill was wrestling(?) He is a law partner of John Hinderacker at Powerline: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018281.php http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018280.php

Radtke was listed in good condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul on Saturday and, although he didn't want to talk about his ordeal, authorities had a message for him: Thanks.

Sgt. Andrew Ellickson said he was convinced that if Radtke's brave actions hadn't stopped the suspect, he would have caused more damage and injuries.

"He wouldn't have been stopped," Ellickson said.

Leland Klanderman agreed: "The guy was determined."

Radtke, an attorney for Faegre & Benson, and his wife, Jody, had just put their three sons to bed Friday.

They were headed downstairs to relax when the front door flew open, according to Jody's mother, Sandy Brandt.

The Radtkes were staring at a ragged-looking man with a rifle, she said.

Authorities said the man forced Keith and Jody Radtke toward the garage.

Quick decision

At this point, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said, Radtke's world began to narrow into a "funnel."He had to make a decision," Hutton said.

When they got into the garage, Radtke saw an opportunity and pounced, knocking the rifle out of the suspect's hands.

Radtke put the suspect in a bear hug and yelled for his wife to go inside and call 911, Hutton said. She did.

Radtke didn't realize there also was a .45-caliber gun in the suspect's waistband, and the suspect was able to get a hold of it and shot Radtke in the lower back.

Radtke continued to struggle with the suspect and knocked the handgun across the garage floor. The suspect bit Radtke several times, and Radtke put him in a wrestling hold.

Nearby officers arrived at the scene, separated the men and used a Taser to subdue the suspect.

 

I wonder if a head butt at the moment of bear hug would have changed the dynamics.
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« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2007, 09:15:01 AM »

www.ForceScienceNews.com
 

I. Police and sleep problems: Are you a 40%er?
II. Another alarm sounds about tired cops.
III. Of no practical value...just funny.

Force Science News #80
September 7, 2007


   
I. Police and sleep problems: Are you a 40%er?

In law enforcement, you strive to be a 5%er, a symbol of excellence and commitment. But you may also be a 40%er. And that ain't so good.

After surveying 5,296 LEOs in North America, a Harvard Medical School group reports that nearly 40% (38.8%) of active-duty officers are suffering from sleep abnormalities. These include apnea, insomnia, shift work disorder, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy with temporary paralysis.

Yet sleep disorders in cops often go undiagnosed and largely untreated, according to one of the researchers, Dr. Shantha Rajaratnam. For example, "almost half the individuals diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea [a dangerous condition in which impaired breathing can lead to a heart attack or stroke] do not regularly take treatment," he says.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that "police officers work some of the most demanding schedules known, which increases their risk of sleep disorders. The public expects officers to perform flawlessly, but unrecognized-and untreated-sleep problems lead to severe disruption of sleep, which significantly reduces an individual's ability to think clearly and perform well."

Besides increasing your risks from accidents, injury, and poor judgment calls, sleep loss and disturbance also make you more vulnerable to depression, obesity, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease, and diabetes.

The average age of officers in the Harvard survey was 38; 77% were men. Among the diagnosed disorders, insomnia was most common, followed by shift work problems, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy (falling asleep uncontrollably).

Given the survey's unsettling findings, Rajaratnam recommends that widespread "sleep disorder screening and treatment programs should be implemented" in the policing community.

II. Another alarm sounds about tired cops

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin has added its voice to the growing concern about police fatigue, with an article in its August issue characterizing the problem as "an accident waiting to happen."

Among other things, the author, Spcl. Agt. Dennis Lindsey, a senior instructor at the DEA Academy and an international fellow at the Australian Institute of Police Management, cites a disturbing study that itemizes 9 workplace performance qualities susceptible to fatigue, all of them critical in policing. When fatigued, the study found, you experience a significantly lessened ability to:

1. comprehend complex situations that require processing a substantial amount of data within a short time frame;

2. manage events and improve strategies;

3. perform risk assessment and accurately predict consequences;

4. be innovative;

5. take personal interest in the outcome of action;

6. control your mood and behavior;

7. recollect the timing of events;

8. monitor your personal performance; and

9. communicate effectively.

"When [an officer] is deprived of sleep, actual changes occur in the brain that cannot be overcome with willpower, caffeine, or nicotine," Lindsey writes. "The decline in vigilance, judgment, and safety in relation to the increase in hours on the job cannot be trivialized.

"In the last 25 years, the job of enforcing the law has become increasingly complex from a cognitive perspective. [P]olicing the community is creating tasks that require much higher levels of attentiveness than in the past."

Yet, "modern law enforcement practices have developed well-entrenched unwritten rules that treat sleep in utmost disregard and disdain. Agencies often encourage and reward workaholics," and, through their staffing and shift practices, virtually mandate fatigue.

"Agencies must acknowledge this problem to improve working conditions for their personnel and to protect them from the scientifically documented consequences that fatigue can cause."

Among the research highlights Lindsey reports are these:

• After 20 hours of wakefulness, neurobehavioral functions are impaired equivalent to that of a drunk with a BAC of 0.10. Noticeable impairment sets in well before that;

• Even moderate levels of sleepiness "can substantially impair the ability to drive safely," even before you actually fall asleep at the wheel;

• The ability to maintain speed and road position on a driving simulator is significantly reduced when the normal awake period is prolonged by just 3 hours;

• "After 24 hours of sustained wakefulness, the brain's metabolic activity can decrease by up to 65% in total and by up to 11% in specific areas of the brain, particularly those that play a role in judgment, attention, and visual functions;"

• As people, including officers, "try to fight through periods of fatigue, the human body, in an effort to rest, goes into microsleeps" where you literally fall asleep "anywhere from 2 to 10 seconds at a time. It is difficult to predict when a person, once fatigued, might slip into a microsleep."

• As little as 2 hours of sleep loss on just one occasion "can result in degraded reaction time, cognitive functioning, memory, mood, and alertness;"

• "Fatigue is 4 times more likely to cause workplace impairment than alcohol and other drugs." Ironically, chemical abuse normally is "addressed immediately by management. However, the lack of sleep, probably the most common condition adversely affecting personnel performance, often is ignored."

"Fatigue is a serious, challenging problem that requires informed, forward-thinking managers to take action sooner rather than later," Lindsey insists.

• His recommendations include:

1. POLICY REVIEW. Administrators should review all "policies, procedures, and practices that affect shift scheduling, overtime, rotation, the number of work hours allowed, and the way the organization deals with overly tired employees."

2. TRAINING. Administrators should review "recruit, supervisor in-service, and roll-call training...to determine if personnel receive adequate information about the importance of good sleep habits, the hazards associated with fatigue and shift work, and strategies for managing them." Personnel should be "taught to view fatigue as a safety issue."

3. WORK/REST RULES. Agencies should consider "several different work/rest rules. The most common policy is the 16/8 formula. For every 16 hours of work, departments must provide 8 hours of rest time. If resources are limited, managers may have to choose between using volunteers/reserves, implementing mutual aid agreements, or declaring an emergency and breaking the work/rest policy. Any policy must include flexibility."

4. OFFICER COMPLIANCE. "Officers should not consider vacations just as missed days of work. They should turn off their cell phones and advise courts of scheduled leave. They always should take the time off that their departments provide and use it, remembering that no one is irreplaceable."

Lindsey warns: "Law enforcement fatigue and sleep deprivation...are becoming serious political and legal liabilities for police managers.... Exhaustion due to shift work, voluntary and mandatory overtime assignments, seemingly endless hours waiting to testify in court, physical and emotional demands of dealing with the public, and management expectations of doing more with less, combined with family responsibilities, put the modern law enforcement professional at serious emotional and physical risk....

"Police work is [a] profession in which we would want all practitioners to have adequate and healthful sleep to perform their duties at peak levels. Not only is fatigue associated with individual misery, but it also can lead to counterproductive behavior. It is well known that impulsiveness, aggression, irritability, and angry outbursts are associated with sleep deprivation.

"It is totally reprehensible that the cops we expect to protect us, come to our aid, and respond to our needs when victimized should be allowed to have the worst fatigue and sleep conditions of any profession in our society."

For Dennis Lindsey's full article, titled "Police Fatigue," click here.

To read our previous reports on police fatigue, search the archives of Force Science News at: www.forcesciencenews.com.

[Thanks to Julie Van Dielen of In the Line of Duty and to Gary Klugiewicz, national advisory board member of the Force Science Research Center, for tips that led to the development of this transmission.]

III. Of no practical value....just funny

When psychologists talk about techniques for coping with Critical Incidents, they usually mention "reframing"-looking at a troubling development from a different perspective to help make it more acceptable emotionally.

Who turns out to be a master at reframing but our favorite Internet cartoon character, that old crone, Maxine!

Maxine's minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon, so he placed 4 worms into 4 separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol, the second into a container of cigarette smoke, the third into a container of chocolate syrup, and the fourth into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of a fiery sermon, he revealed the results:

Worm in alcohol: DEAD.
Worm in cigarette smoke: DEAD
Worm in chocolate syrup: DEAD
Worm in good clean soil: ALIVE!!

He then asked the congregation, "What can you learn from this demonstration?"

Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and shouted:

"As long as you drink, smoke, and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"

Behavioral scientist Dr. Bill Lewinski of the Force Science Research Center observes: "Reframing needs to be reasonable. Otherwise you're at risk of outcomes that aren't always beneficial."

 
 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2007, 08:42:39 AM »

'NY Times

A New York City police officer turned himself in to colleagues on the street yesterday and said he might have shot and killed another driver in a predawn road-rage encounter in Upper Manhattan on Sunday, the authorities said.

Jayson Tirado with his daughter, Jaylene, now 4.

The officer, Sean Sawyer, 34, approached a police radio car around 1 a.m. near Central Park, said he had chest pains and requested an ambulance. He then told the sergeant and an officer in the radio car that he believed he had been involved in a shooting while he was off-duty in East Harlem about 19 hours earlier in which a man was killed, the authorities said.

The road-rage shooting was similar to many such confrontations: The mundane discourtesy of jockeying for position while trying to exit off a busy highway led to an angry exchange of words from car window to car window. It was after 5 a.m., and the victim and his two passengers had been drinking, the police said.

But this argument, which started on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, did not end with shouts. Instead, it appears that the two drivers took turns chasing each other for several blocks after they exited in East Harlem, the police said.

One of the passengers in the victim’s car told investigators that the driver who died, Jayson Tirado, 25, raised his hand, pointed a finger at the officer and said something about “Mr. Ruger,” apparently referring to a make of semiautomatic handgun.

At that point, the officer is believed to have opened fire with his 9-millimeter mini-Glock handgun, the police said.

Up to three shots were fired, the police said. Mr. Tirado was hit once as the cars idled at 117th Street and First Avenue, but he managed to continue driving for about three blocks. He then stopped at 120th Street, and paramedics took him to Harlem Hospital Center, where he died.

Mr. Tirado’s two passengers, Jason Batista, 21, and Anthony Mencia, 23, said in interviews yesterday evening that the other driver did not identify himself as an officer before opening fire.

Officer Sawyer worked undercover, the authorities said. He joined the Police Department in 2004 and had been working in the narcotics division in Queens.

He was held yesterday at the 25th Precinct station house in Harlem before being released about 8 p.m. Earlier in the day, a prosecutor visited the station house, and officials were trying to determine whether to charge Officer Sawyer with a crime and whether he had acted in self defense, according to the authorities.

The officer was suspended from duty without pay and stripped of his gun and badge, said Stephen C. Worth, a lawyer for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. He could face charges related to the shooting itself, and he may face departmental discipline, possibly for leaving the scene, officials said.

Though the officer was not arrested, the case could go before a grand jury. But a spokesman for Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, declined to comment about whether the case would be presented to one.

After the shooting, Officer Sawyer went home. Then he saw the news later on Sunday and learned that someone had been shot and killed, said a person with direct knowledge of the officer’s account. The officer started “reaching out to people and ultimately turns himself in,” the person said.

Mr. Tirado was described as a physically slight man who was focused on raising his 4-year-old daughter, earning money by fixing up cars and doing other odd jobs. The news that he was shot by a police officer who fled the scene drew expressions of surprise and anger from friends and relatives.

Mr. Tirado’s mother, Irene, 54, stood in the doorway of her seventh-floor apartment in the Jacob Riis Houses, a public housing complex in the East Village, and said that her son was shot and left to die.

“Now, I find out it was a police officer,” she said, clutching photos of Mr. Tirado as she cried.

The confrontation unfolded on the southbound Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. About 5 a.m. on Sunday, a 27-year-old motorcyclist hit a light pole and was killed as he tried to switch lanes at 117th Street, the police said. All southbound traffic was then diverted from the drive.

Among those forced to exit were Mr. Tirado, driving a Honda Civic, and Officer Sawyer, in a yellow Nissan Xterra. They yelled at each other as they maneuvered at the 116th Street exit; Mr. Tirado was not letting the Nissan sport utility vehicle exit, the police said. “That is where this dispute starts,” one law enforcement official said.

===========
Officer Sawyer, who had finished his shift at 7 p.m. on Saturday and was not due back to work until today, was alone in the Xterra, the police said. Mr. Tirado had two passengers in the Civic, the police said.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that Mr. Tirado and his passengers “had been drinking.” In fact, he said, “there was one who stated that he was in such a state that he did not remember any of the events that happened.”
Officer Sawyer followed Mr. Tirado west on 116th Street, where more words were exchanged, one investigator said. The officer, at one point, apparently sped ahead of Mr. Tirado, who might have chased him down again, the investigator said.

Both vehicles eventually turned right onto northbound First Avenue. There, Mr. Tirado cut in front of the officer’s Nissan and hit his brakes. The officer swerved slightly to the right, and both cars came to a stop at about 117th Street, the police said.

The police said that one of Mr. Tirado’s passengers, in an interview, said that Mr. Tirado turned as if reaching behind his seat and made the Ruger remark. He then aimed his fingers in the shape of a gun, the police said. No gun was found, one investigator said.

Officials said that Mr. Tirado’s precise words about the Ruger were unclear. One official said that Mr. Tirado said, “I have a new Ruger for you,” before reaching back and raising his arm with his index finger and thumb in the shape of a gun.

It was unclear yesterday if the officer had been drinking or where he had been between the end of his shift on Saturday night and the shooting on Sunday.

Mr. Batista, one of the men in Mr. Tirado’s car, said that as Mr. Tirado exited the F.D.R. Drive, the Nissan tried to pull in front of them, but that Mr. Tirado did not let that happen. Then, at Pleasant Avenue, the Nissan’s driver pulled up to the driver’s side of the Honda, threatened the men and sped away.

He said the Nissan approached the Honda again at First Avenue and 117th Street and fired three shots through the back passenger side window of the Honda. The shots missed Mr. Batista, who was in the back seat, but hit Mr. Tirado. Mr. Mencia, the other passenger, was asleep in the front seat, Mr. Batista said.

“A minute,” Mr. Batista said. “In a minute all that happened, from getting off the exit to having my man shot in my hands.”

Nearly 19 hours later, at about 1 a.m. yesterday, Officer Sawyer walked up to two police officers from a housing unit who were near his home — a sergeant and a police officer in a car at Central Park West and 102nd Street — and said he was feeling some chest pains and wanted an ambulance, the police said.

The man identified himself as a police officer and he said he believed he had been involved in a shooting in which someone was killed, the authorities said. He gave the sergeant his mini-Glock. Officer Sawyer said he was giving them a gun used in the shooting, saying, “This is the gun,” said a law enforcement official. An ambulance arrived and took the officer to the hospital.

Late yesterday, four detectives removed a cardboard box from the officer’s apartment building.

Officer Sawyer was described by the person with knowledge of his account as married and the father of two sons. That person said he believed that Officer Sawyer had not been involved in an on-duty shooting. He is a born-again Christian, said a relative, who spoke outside the officer’s home in Upper Manhattan.

“He didn’t seem like he was a violent type; I’m shocked,” said Sonia Liberato, a neighbor who said that Officer Sawyer had lived in the area for several years. “He’s really good with the kids,” Ms. Liberato said.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2007, 01:15:31 PM »

http://www.policeone.com/writers/col...icles/1243754/



New findings on how offenders train with, carry and deploy the weapons they use to attack police officers have emerged in a just-published, 5-year study by the FBI.
Among other things, the data reveal that most would-be cop killers:
--show signs of being armed that officers miss;
--have more experience using deadly force in “street combat” than their intended victims;
--practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;
--have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. “If you hesitate,” one told the study’s researchers, “you’re dead. You have the instinct or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re in trouble on the street….”
These and other weapons-related findings comprise one chapter in a 180-page research summary called “Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers.” The study is the third in a series of long investigations into fatal and nonfatal attacks on POs by the FBI team of Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, clinical forensic psychologist, and Ed Davis, criminal investigative instructor, both with the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit, and Charles Miller III, coordinator of the LEOs Killed and Assaulted program.
“Violent Encounters” also reports in detail on the personal characteristics of attacked officers and their assaulters, the role of perception in life-threatening confrontations, the myths of memory that can hamper OIS investigations, the suicide-by-cop phenomenon, current training issues, and other matters relevant to officer survival. (Force Science News and our strategic partner PoliceOne.com will be reporting on more findings from this landmark study in future transmissions.)
Commenting on the broad-based study, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, called it “very challenging and insightful--important work that only a handful of gifted and experienced researchers could accomplish.”
From a pool of more than 800 incidents, the researchers selected 40, involving 43 offenders (13 of them admitted gangbangers-drug traffickers) and 50 officers, for in-depth exploration. They visited crime scenes and extensively interviewed surviving officers and attackers alike, most of the latter in prison. Here are highlights of what they learned about weapon selection, familiarity, transport and use by criminals attempting to murder cops, a small portion of the overall research:

Weapon Choice
Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available “was the overriding factor in weapon choice,” the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked a particular gun “because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being.”
Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was “hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws.”
Familiarity
Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they first started packing “most of the time.” Gang members especially started young.
Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% “regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year,” the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and “street corners in known drug-trafficking areas.”
One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers “go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything.”
In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50 officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what their department required, and that was mostly in competitive shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the officers they assaulted, and this “may have helped increase [their] marksmanship skills,” the study says.
The offender quoted above about his practice motivation, for example, fired 12 rounds at an officer, striking him 3 times. The officer fired 7 rounds, all misses.
More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of these “street combat veterans,” all from “inner-city, drug-trafficking environments,” had taken part in 5 or more “criminal firefight experiences” in their lifetime.
One reported that he was 14 when he was first shot on the street, “about 18 before a cop shot me.” Another said getting shot was a pivotal experience “because I made up my mind no one was gonna shoot me again.”
Again in contrast, only 8 of the 50 LEO victims had participated in a prior shooting; 1 had been involved in 2 previously, another in 3. Seven of the 8 had killed offenders.
Concealment
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, “most often a female companion.” None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.
In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
Almost all carried when on the move and strong majorities did so when socializing, committing crimes or being at home. About one-third brought weapons with them to work. Interestingly, the offenders in this study more commonly admitted having guns under all these circumstances than did offenders interviewed in the researchers’ earlier 2 surveys, conducted in the 1980s and ’90s.
According to Davis, “Male offenders said time and time again that female officers tend to search them more thoroughly than male officers. In prison, most of the offenders were more afraid to carry contraband or weapons when a female CO was on duty.”
On the street, however, both male and female officers too often regard female subjects “as less of a threat, assuming that they not going to have a gun,” Davis said. In truth, the researchers concluded that more female offenders are armed today than 20 years ago--“not just female gang associates, but female offenders generally.”
Shooting Style
Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street combat veterans, “claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights,” the study says.
“They practice getting the gun out and using it,” Davis explained. “They shoot for effect.” Or as one of the offenders put it: “[W]e’re not working with no marksmanship….We just putting it in your direction, you know….It don’t matter…as long as it’s gonna hit you…if it’s up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever….Once I squeeze and you fall, then…if I want to execute you, then I could go from there.”
Hit Rate
More often than the officers they attacked, offenders delivered at least some rounds on target in their encounters. Nearly 70% of assailants were successful in that regard with handguns, compared to about 40% of the victim officers, the study found. (Efforts of offenders and officers to get on target were considered successful if any rounds struck, regardless of the number fired.)
Davis speculated that the offenders might have had an advantage because in all but 3 cases they fired first, usually catching the officer by surprise. Indeed, the report points out, “10 of the total victim officers had been wounded [and thus impaired] before they returned gunfire at their attackers.”
Missed Cues
Officers would less likely be caught off guard by attackers if they were more observant of indicators of concealed weapons, the study concludes. These particularly include manners of dress, ways of moving and unconscious gestures often related to carrying.
“Officers should look for unnatural protrusions or bulges in the waist, back and crotch areas,” the study says, and watch for “shirts that appear rippled or wavy on one side of the body while the fabric on the other side appears smooth.” In warm weather, multilayered clothing inappropriate to the temperature may be a giveaway. On cold or rainy days, a subject’s jacket hood may not be covering his head because it is being used to conceal a handgun.
Because they eschew holsters, offenders reported frequently touching a concealed gun with hands or arms “to assure themselves that it is still hidden, secure and accessible” and hasn’t shifted. Such gestures are especially noticeable “whenever individuals change body positions, such as standing, sitting or exiting a vehicle.” If they run, they may need to keep a constant grip on a hidden gun to control it.
Just as cops generally blade their body to make their sidearm less accessible, armed criminals “do the same in encounters with LEOs to ensure concealment and easy access.”
An irony, Davis noted, is that officers who are assigned to look for concealed weapons, while working off-duty security at night clubs for instance, are often highly proficient at detecting them. “But then when they go back to the street without that specific assignment, they seem to ‘turn off’ that skill,” and thus are startled--sometimes fatally--when a suspect suddenly produces a weapon and attacks.
Mind-set
Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had “experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority” to use deadly force “but chose not to shoot.” They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. “It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available,” the researchers concluded.
The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis said the study team “did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don’t hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant.”
“Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms,” the report states. “In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.
“Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves.” Nor, in the interest of personal safety, can officers “let their guards down in any type of law enforcement situation.” NOTE: For new findings from the FBI researchers about highly dangerous suicide-by-cop confrontations, read the exclusive 2-part report by Force Science Research Center board member Chuck Remsberg here.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2007, 08:42:17 AM »


Spotting deception in suspect responses about weapons   
 
Submitted by:
Officer Richard Johnson, Largo (FL) PD


10/31/2007 



 
As patrol officers, we frequently ask people, "Do you have any weapons?" The normal response is "No." Any other response should tell you "Yes!" When a subject is trying to be deceptive, they will often pause, stammer, hem & haw, change the subject, etc. to change the focus from what they are hiding; in this case a weapon. If they are being deceptive about being armed, act immediately!
 
Review the incredibly sad video of South Carolina Trooper Mark Coates when he is shot and killed by Richard Blackburn during a traffic stop. Coates asked Blackburn, "Do you have any weapons?" and Blackburn doesn't answer directly. Rather he says, "Um...well...you know." A short time later, he produces a .22 caliber handgun and shoots Trooper Coates. Recognizing this hesitant, deceptive behavior saved my life. Interviewing a shoplifting suspect, I asked, "Do you have any weapons?" Much like the Blackburn, he responded, "Um...well...you know." Fortunately, I reacted immediately and was able to disarm him as he tried to pull a combat knife out of his pants. What I didn't know at the time was that he was wanted for attempting to kill a police officer elsewhere in the state. Look for and recognize deception when it comes to weapons and act immediately when you encounter it.

 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2007, 08:51:04 AM »

Saw this on local news last night. Police tasers are equipped with cameras that help the officer document the scene.

http://wcco.com/local/taser.cameras.minneapolis.2.480654.html

Mpls. Police Use Tasers Equipped With Cameras
Reporting
Caroline Lowe
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― The Minneapolis Police Department has become one of the latest law enforcement agencies to use Tasers equipped with cameras. The new Tasers have the cameras mounted on the end of them. Once an officer turns on his Taser, the camera starts recording audio and video of the encounter.

The MPD released video to WCCO-TV from several incidents which occurred in recent months. They included a confrontation with a man armed with a knife at a pool hall, a domestic call where a man holds a crying baby hostage and several encounters where the suspects cooperated after the Taser was turned on but before the officer used the electronic jolt.

"More often than not it does give us a very good picture of the scene just prior to Taser deployment," said Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Scott Gerlicher.

Gerlicher also believes the Taser cameras will increase community confidence in how the MPD handles encounters with suspects.

"We think it affords us a lot better accountability for the officers and for the public to know that we can go back and look at the video and see under the circumstances with which the Taser was deployed," said Gerlicher.

The MPD currently has cameras on 10 of the department's 200 Tasers. Officials hope to eventually provide Taser cameras to all officers on patrol.

The MPD Taser coordinator, Officer Adam Grogove, invited WCCO-TV reporter Caroline Lowe, who also has her Minnesota police license, to try out their new tool. Lowe has been "tased" twice for previous reports but this was the first time she had been on the other end of a Taser.

Grobove wore a protective suit and was armed with a knife when he played a "bad guy" confronting Lowe.

Lowe yelled at him to "back off" and then shot off her Taser cam when he continued to lunge forward. After he was struck with a burst from Lowe's Taser, two other officers took control of "bad guy" Grobove and handcuffed him.

The "staged" incident with Lowe was all captured on video and audio recorded by the Taser cam.

According to a report by the Minneapolis Police Department, officers used Tasers 232 times last year. So far, they have received no complaints from the community.

The Minnesota State Patrol will be getting their first Taser cameras in the next few weeks. They will join Minneapolis, St. Cloud and the Itasca County Sheriff's Office who already have the Taser cameras.
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« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2007, 07:31:47 AM »

NY Times:



By ADAM LIPTAK
Published: November 18, 2007


For the first time in a generation, the question of whether the death penalty deters murders has captured the attention of scholars in law and economics, setting off an intense new debate about one of the central justifications for capital punishment.

Related
Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate, by John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers (Stanford Law Review, December 2005)
Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? Acts, Omissions and Life-Life Trade-offs, by Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermuele (Stanford Law Review, December 2005)
Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence From Post-moratorium Panel Data, by Hashem Dezhbaksh, Paul H. Rubin and Joanna M. Shepherd (American Law and Economics Review 2003)
Deterrence Versus Brutalization: Capital Punsishment's Differing Impacts Among States, by Joanna Shepherd (Michigan Law Review, November 2005)
Prison Conditions, Capital Punishment and Deterrence, by Lawrence Katz, Steven D. Levitt and Ellen Shustorovich (American Law and Economics Review 2003)
Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment, by H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings (Journal of Law and Economics, October 2003)
Capital Punishment and Capital Murder: Market Share and the Deterrent Effects of the Death Penalty, by Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin E. Zimring and Amanda Geller (Texas Law Review, June 2006)
According to roughly a dozen recent studies, executions save lives. For each inmate put to death, the studies say, 3 to 18 murders are prevented.



The effect is most pronounced, according to some studies, in Texas and other states that execute condemned inmates relatively often and relatively quickly.



The studies, performed by economists in the past decade, compare the number of executions in different jurisdictions with homicide rates over time — while trying to eliminate the effects of crime rates, conviction rates and other factors — and say that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise. One influential study looked at 3,054 counties over two decades.



“I personally am opposed to the death penalty,” said H. Naci Mocan, an economist at Louisiana State University and an author of a study finding that each execution saves five lives. “But my research shows that there is a deterrent effect.”



The studies have been the subject of sharp criticism, much of it from legal scholars who say that the theories of economists do not apply to the violent world of crime and punishment. Critics of the studies say they are based on faulty premises, insufficient data and flawed methodologies.

The death penalty “is applied so rarely that the number of homicides it can plausibly have caused or deterred cannot reliably be disentangled from the large year-to-year changes in the homicide rate caused by other factors,” John J. Donohue III, a law professor at Yale with a doctorate in economics, and Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in the Stanford Law Review in 2005. “The existing evidence for deterrence,” they concluded, “is surprisingly fragile.”

Gary Becker, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1992 and has followed the debate, said the current empirical evidence was “certainly not decisive” because “we just don’t get enough variation to be confident we have isolated a deterrent effect.”



But, Mr. Becker added, “the evidence of a variety of types — not simply the quantitative evidence — has been enough to convince me that capital punishment does deter and is worth using for the worst sorts of offenses.”

The debate, which first gained significant academic attention two years ago, reprises one from the 1970’s, when early and since largely discredited studies on the deterrent effect of capital punishment were discussed in the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstitute capital punishment in 1976 after a four-year moratorium.



The early studies were inconclusive, Justice Potter Stewart wrote for three justices in the majority in that decision. But he nonetheless concluded that “the death penalty undoubtedly is a significant deterrent.”



The Supreme Court now appears to have once again imposed a moratorium on executions as it considers how to assess the constitutionality of lethal injections. The decision in that case, which is expected next year, will be much narrower than the one in 1976, and the new studies will probably not play any direct role in it.



But the studies have started to reshape the debate over capital punishment and to influence prominent legal scholars.



“The evidence on whether it has a significant deterrent effect seems sufficiently plausible that the moral issue becomes a difficult one,” said Cass R. Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago who has frequently taken liberal positions. “I did shift from being against the death penalty to thinking that if it has a significant deterrent effect it’s probably justified.”



Professor Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard, wrote in their own Stanford Law Review article that “the recent evidence of a deterrent effect from capital punishment seems impressive, especially in light of its ‘apparent power and unanimity,’ ” quoting a conclusion of a separate overview of the evidence in 2005 by Robert Weisberg, a law professor at Stanford, in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science.

“Capital punishment may well save lives,” the two professors continued. “Those who object to capital punishment, and who do so in the name of protecting life, must come to terms with the possibility that the failure to inflict capital punishment will fail to protect life.”



To a large extent, the participants in the debate talk past one another because they work in different disciplines.



“You have two parallel universes — economists and others,” said Franklin E. Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of “The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment.” Responding to the new studies, he said, “is like learning to waltz with a cloud.”



To economists, it is obvious that if the cost of an activity rises, the amount of the activity will drop.



“To say anything else is to brand yourself an imbecile,” said Professor Wolfers, an author of the Stanford Law Review article criticizing the death penalty studies.



To many economists, then, it follows inexorably that there will be fewer murders as the likelihood of execution rises.



“I am definitely against the death penalty on lots of different grounds,” said Joanna M. Shepherd, a law professor at Emory with a doctorate in economics who wrote or contributed to several studies. “But I do believe that people respond to incentives.”

============



Page 2 of 2)



But not everyone agrees that potential murderers know enough or can think clearly enough to make rational calculations. And the chances of being caught, convicted, sentenced to death and executed are in any event quite remote. Only about one in 300 homicides results in an execution.


“I honestly think it’s a distraction,” Professor Wolfers said. “The debate here is over whether we kill 60 guys or not. The food stamps program is much more important.”


The studies try to explain changes in the murder rate over time, asking whether the use of the death penalty made a difference. They look at the experiences of states or counties, gauging whether executions at a given time seemed to affect the murder rate that year, the year after or at some other later time. And they try to remove the influence of broader social trends like the crime rate generally, the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, economic conditions and demographic changes.



Critics say the larger factors are impossible to disentangle from whatever effects executions may have. They add that the new studies’ conclusions are skewed by data from a few anomalous jurisdictions, notably Texas, and by a failure to distinguish among various kinds of homicide.

There is also a classic economics question lurking in the background, Professor Wolfers said. “Capital punishment is very expensive,” he said, “so if you choose to spend money on capital punishment you are choosing not to spend it somewhere else, like policing.”



A single capital litigation can cost more than $1 million. It is at least possible that devoting that money to crime prevention would prevent more murders than whatever number, if any, an execution would deter.

The recent studies are, some independent observers say, of good quality, given the limitations of the available data.



“These are sophisticated econometricians who know how to do multiple regression analysis at a pretty high level,” Professor Weisberg of Stanford said.



The economics studies are, moreover, typically published in peer-reviewed journals, while critiques tend to appear in law reviews edited by students.

The available data is nevertheless thin, mostly because there are so few executions.



In 2003, for instance, there were more than 16,000 homicides but only 153 death sentences and 65 executions.



“It seems unlikely,” Professor Donohue and Professor Wolfers concluded in their Stanford article, “that any study based only on recent U.S. data can find a reliable link between homicide and execution rates.”



The two professors offered one particularly compelling comparison. Canada has executed no one since 1962. Yet the murder rates in the United States and Canada have moved in close parallel since then, including before, during and after the four-year death penalty moratorium in the United States in the 1970s.



If criminals do not clearly respond to the slim possibility of an execution, another study suggested, they are affected by the kind of existence they will face in their state prison system.



A 2003 paper by Lawrence Katz, Steven D. Levitt and Ellen Shustorovich published in The American Law and Economics Review found a “a strong and robust negative relationship” between prison conditions, as measured by the number of deaths in prison from any cause, and the crime rate. The effect is, the authors say, “quite large: 30-100 violent crimes and a similar number or property crimes” were deterred per prison death.



On the other hand, the authors found, “there simply does not appear to be enough information in the data on capital punishment to reliably estimate a deterrent effect.”



There is a lesson here, according to some scholars.



“Deterrence cannot be achieved with a half-hearted execution program,” Professor Shepherd of Emory wrote in the Michigan Law Review in 2005. She found a deterrent effect in only those states that executed at least nine people between 1977 and 1996.



Professor Wolfers said the answer to the question of whether the death penalty deterred was “not unknowable in the abstract,” given enough data.



“If I was allowed 1,000 executions and 1,000 exonerations, and I was allowed to do it in a random, focused way,” he said, “I could probably give you an answer.”
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« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2007, 10:37:19 AM »

Force Science News #85
2 officer-survival studies due to kick off in new FSRC facilities


   
Pilot studies for 2 new research projects with significant officer-survival implications will get underway next month [12/07] at a new testing facility designed by the Force Science Research Center near the campus of Minnesota State University-Mankato.
One study will seek to measure the time required for an "attentional shift" during a high-stress, potentially violent confrontation. That is, how long does it take the average law enforcement officer to detect, absorb, and react to changes in his visual field while he is attempting to concentrate on and deal with a primary threat to his safety.
"What we discover in this study could change the way many officers approach potentially dangerous situations," Lewinski claims. "Not by making them paranoid, but by convincing them of the importance of planning ahead rather than attempting the impossible by trying to out-time a sudden, unexpected threat."
The second pilot will expand on earlier FSRC studies of biomechanics (how and how fast do suspects move during certain force confrontations) and also will try to identify important visual cues that may constitute precursors of an armed assault.
"We plan to look particularly at suspects who are lying prone on the ground, with the hands hidden under their body," Lewinski explains. "How long does it take a suspect to roll up enough from that position to point a gun and fire at an officer, and what early indication might an officer see as a warning that such a threat is being activated."
New Testing Facilities.
The pilot studies, which are intended to get the bugs out of testing procedures before researchers launch their comprehensive investigations, will be conducted in a newly opened 1,000-sq. ft. laboratory built to FSRC's specifications as part of the Center's new headquarters in downtown Mankato.
Occupying 3,500 sq. ft. in a historic stone building more than a century old, the centralized headquarters, which have been in development for over a year, permit consolidation of administrative offices, conference space, and the laboratory "for testing the technology and design elements of our research projects," Lewinski says. Some full-scale research can be conducted there as well.
The lab's appointments include an EEG (electroencephalogram) room, specially insulated against sound, vibration, and electrical interference, where sophisticated computerized equipment can record brain activity of officers as they engage in a variety of experimental activities. This room was designed by FSRC's deputy director, Dr. Bill Hudson, an electrical engineer, and Dr. Jonathan Page, a specialist in experimental psychology and a member of FSRC's technical advisory board.
The lab also is outfitted with an updated simulation equipment package, supplied by Ti Training of Englewood, CO, an FSRC research partner. "This will allow us in the future to create our own simulation scenarios, specifically tailored for our research needs," Lewinski explains. Todd Brown, a Ti representative and one of the Center's tech advisors, will coordinate this component of the laboratory.
A state-of-the-art lighting system in the laboratory "permits us to control light at any level, from full-bright illumination to total darkness, without hampering the versatility or accuracy of our recording equipment during experiments," Lewinski says.
The pilot shakedowns for the Center's 2 new projects are expected to take about a month, with the full-scale research then extending into next spring.
Attentional Shift Study.
The post-pilot component of this research will involve a minimum of 60 officer volunteers, participating in testing first at the FSRC laboratory and then at LE agencies elsewhere in Minnesota.
One at a time, the officers will face a downrange target with their gun out, as if concentrating on controlling a dangerous suspect. In unpredictable patterns, various lights will pop on within their focal area (7 to 9 degrees to each side). Some may represent new threats, others mere distractions.
The officers will have to notice each light display, mentally identify the meaning of it, and respond appropriately, pulling the trigger when a reaction is required.
The gun involved has an ultra-sensitive sensor embedded in it, allowing a computerized measurement of trigger pull in 320 discrete units, with the trigger position recorded every 10 milliseconds, Lewinski says.
"We'll be able to tell the quickest, the slowest, and the average time for recognition of changes in the visual field and for reaction to them, and we expect the implications to be profound," Lewinski says.
For one thing, he believes the findings will motivate officers to take more time to assess suspects and environments before entering potentially dangerous scenes.
"Once officers understand how very badly behind the reactionary curve they are when sudden shifts in attention are required, they'll be encouraged to more thoroughly assess ahead of time what they may be moving into and to strategize how best to enter and cope with the situation to minimize the possibility of threatening surprises," Lewinski explains.
"When they learn to maximize preventive tactics, such as using cover or otherwise positioning themselves to advantage, they'll be more comfortable with encounters and better able to focus on their primary transactions."
For this study, expected to run from January through April, Jonathan Page, a researcher of cognitive and brain science at Minnesota State, will monitor the volunteers' brain activity with EEG equipment. Andy Miner of MSU's Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept. will operate the stimulus and computer gear involved. The gun/sensor unit to be used was designed by Miner and Bill Hudson. Overseeing the research will be Ray Knutson, a reserve officer with Minneapolis PD and a clinical psychologist in the Minnesota state hospital system, specializing in criminally deviant behavior. He will detail the project as part of his doctoral research.
Biomechanics/Visual Cues Study.
In earlier research, FSRC has identified and timed some 15 different motions and their variations that suspects display when engaging officers in gunfights. This new study will expand that database, with particular emphasis on suspects who are prone on the ground with their hands hidden.
The test subjects will be 60 civilian volunteers who will be filmed and timed to see how long it takes them to roll from a prone position (handgun hidden under them at waistline or at chest level) to a position where they can shoot.
Timing will also be done of what Lewinski terms the "pseudo-suicide threat." That's where a subject who is pointing a handgun at his own head, suddenly points it at an officer and fires.
The action will be filmed by 3 computer-linked, synchronized high-speed cameras that will be positioned at different angles. During an analysis of the action, which can be filmed at up to 650 frames per second, the recorded images can be frozen frame by frame so that all 3 angles can be viewed simultaneously on a computer screen for detailed scrutiny and timing.
The cameras, part of a $25,000 technology package, will be provided by the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, an FSRC research partner. Most of the research will be conducted there, with Erik Walters, a tactics instructor at the college, coordinating the project. Lewinski will be in charge of the research.
Based on some preliminary investigation, Lewinski believes that the study may find that a prone subject can roll to either side and shoot in as little as one-third of a second. "If 2 officers were approaching a prone suspect in a contact/cover configuration, this would be faster than a cover officer could respond to stop the threat even if he had his finger on the trigger when the suspect moved."
Part of the research analysis will involve trying to identify early cues that a downed suspect is beginning to roll. "The filming may show that a suspect's hips may be the first part of his body to move when he's starting to roll," Lewinski says. "If we can pin down the precise dynamics, our findings may be able to give an officer a split-second jump on reacting.
"The findings may also suggest how best to approach-or whether to approach at all-when a suspect is lying on his hands."
This research, scheduled to begin in Janbuary, is expected to run until May.
Other New Developments.
Two other new developments are underway that will help advance FSRC's mission to study use-of-force issues and communicate its findings to the law enforcement community:
• Cst. Dave Blocksidge has been directed by the London Met Police to act as liaison with FSRC in the management of a variety of English-funded research projects currently underway in the London area.
• Dr. Lewinski has been named an associate editor of the Law Enforcement Executive Forum, a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly publication of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute.
Starting next March, the Forum will dedicate a section on Force Science research in its forthcoming issues, in both print and electronic formats. Contributors are encouraged to submit articles on behavioral science research related to street-level law enforcement issues. The Forum will supplant the online e-journal previously planned by FSRC.
   
Visit www.forcescience.org for more information
 
 
================
The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the registration button. 
 
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2007, 11:54:04 PM »


   
I. "Canadian Response" technique brings quick restraint of combative, super-strong subjects, FSRC advisor tells excited delirium conference
[View this article with photos on PoliceOne.com]
A technique for "working smarter rather than harder" to restrain unusually strong, combative subjects was described by an advisor to the Force Science Research Center at a recent international conference on in-custody deaths that featured presentations by nearly 20 of the world's leading authorities on excited delirium (ED).
The technique, which requires a coordinated effort by several officers, involves "humanely misaligning" a struggling suspect's muscles and joints to control his movements and reduce his capability of resisting while restraint devices are applied, explains Chris Lawrence, who outlined the tactic at the 2nd annual symposium of the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths last month [11/07] in Las Vegas.
"A resisting subject can generate significant power with his arms, legs, and shoulders," Lawrence says. "If you take these out of their natural power alignment, the individual can be controlled with less effort and with greater safety."
Initially conceived as a response tool for ED confrontations, the procedure can be used effectively in managing a wide variety of strong, combative subjects, from drunks to the violently enraged and drug-fueled, says Lawrence, a prominent Canadian defensive tactics trainer and a technical advisor to FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
The technique was devised, tested, and refined by a cadre of Canadian police trainers led by Lawrence, in consultation with street officers, DT instructors, and ED medical experts scattered through North America. Lawrence, a columnist for FSRC's strategic partner PoliceOne.com, has researched and reported on ED developments to LE audiences for about 9 years.
BENEFITS. "Often when officers try to control a resistant person who's exerting tremendous strength, as in excited delirium, they end up trying to out-muscle him," Lawrence told Force Science News. "This requires significant exertion, and unless the officers' efforts are greater than the suspect's, they won't prevail. Even if they succeed, there's a risk of injury to the officers, the subject, sometimes even to innocent bystanders.
"Rather than work harder, the suggestion is to work smarter," with the coordinated application of leverage and body mechanics. With this method, which Lawrence informally calls the Canadian Response, "even officers whose size and strength can't begin to match that of the suspect should still quickly prevail, with a greater margin of safety for everyone involved."
In training sessions, Lawrence selects "the biggest guy in the class" to role-play the subject and "5 other big people" to try to control him. The officers are told to "use any technique you want to get the subject into a prone, controlled position," while the subject is instructed to "do anything you want to get out."
Typically, Lawrence claims, "within 4 to 5 seconds, the subject has been able to rise up at least to his hands and knees."
After instruction in the Canadian Response, 5 of the smallest people in class take on the biggest one. "I stand there ordering him to get up, but he can't. The usual reaction is, 'I can't believe this.'"
"The Canadian Response shares the key component of all good physical control techniques," notes FSRC's executive director, Dr. Bill Lewinski. "It allows officers to maximize their biomechanical advantages and diminishes the biomechanical advantages of the subject. When done well, it should literally rob the subject of his power, regardless of his size, strength, and physical and emotional intensity."
Maximizing speed and minimizing exertion in achieving effective restraint is especially important when dealing with ED subjects who are not compliant with verbal persuasion, Lawrence explains.
"There's nothing a police officer with a first-aid certificate can do to help the subject at the side of the road. Experts agree that getting these people to a medical facility as promptly as possible without unnecessarily intensifying their agitated, overstressed state with a prolonged struggle appears to increase their chances of surviving what can be a fatal episode. Unless they are physically controlled, however, ambulance crews won't transport them, so restraint, when necessary, becomes imperative as a first step in receiving medical care."
GROUND POSITIONING. The Canadian Response works best with 4-5 officers concentrating on a subject who's on the ground, front side down. (Lawrence does not specifically address how he gets there, but the presumption is that he's tackled, Tasered, tripped, or otherwise brought down and maneuvered to a prone position; pain compliance will not reliably do the job because the subject may well be impervious to pain.)
"The ground provides a consistent , reliable platform that works to the officers' mechanical advantage," Lawrence says, "and getting the subject proned out actually results in lesser force being necessary than if he were on his back. So long as the subject is face down, you're in less danger from his natural weapons," his limbs.
ARM CONTROL. Experimentation showed that even highly muscled individuals display the least strength in weight-lifting when their arms are straight out at their sides, Lawrence says, so this is the position the first 2 officers want to get the proned subject's arms into-extended out at an angle of 90 degrees or slightly higher from the ribcage.
If the officers sit facing away from the subject, they can each grab an arm, fully extend it, clamp it with the crook of their elbow, and lock it in against their side and across their thigh-a seated variation of the arm-bar maneuver. With one hand controlling the subject's wrist, they turn his palm up, then use their upper-body weight to lean against and apply pressure to the back of his deltoid (shoulder) muscle, pushing toward the ground.
"This pins him, without causing injury," Lawrence says. "By keeping his arms locked out and anchored, his wrists turned and off the ground, and his shoulders down, you misalign his muscles and joints. His arms are less effective in offering resistance, but his ability to breathe remains uncompromised."
In some cases, Lawrence points out, subjects may go prone with their arms tucked under them, hands clasped tight against their chest-what Lawrence calls a powerful "turtle position." To avoid a strenuous struggle to gets the arms free, you are often best off to use a baton as a leverage tool and pry them out.
LEG CONTROL. The next 2 officers secure the subject's legs. "Again, the principle is misalignment of the muscles to reduce the subject's ability to generate power," Lawrence says.
These officers each capture a foot and get on the ground between the subject's legs to move the heels as far apart as possible. Pushing against each other back-to-back can help gain leverage in parting and extending the legs.
Continuing to face away from each other, each officer then wraps his/her body around an ankle, turning the toes out and bringing his/her weight to bear against the end of the long leg bones to hold the limbs down securely.
"This positioning substantially reduces the subject's ability to raise his legs and exert himself with the most powerful parts of his body," Lawrence says.
5th OFFICER. If an additional officer is present, he or she can be plugged in where needed most.
If more control is necessary, this officer, kneeling at the subject's head, can apply pressure through his/her hands to the subject's shoulders, roughly where the rotator cuffs are (not on the spine). "This tends to be more effective than holding the subject's head," Lawrence explains, "because a head hold leaves more possibility for the subject to torque his shoulders, move his upper trunk substantially, and try to get up or buck to a more powerful position."
If the subject seems well-controlled, the 5th officer "can also work as a quarterback, overseeing the process and scanning for threats." Or he/she can move in to begin the handcuffing process.
HANDCUFFING. The Canadian Response involves the use of multiple pairs of handcuffs, not only for easier initial application but also because this allows the subject to be transported by ambulance in a more desirable position for monitoring.
If an extra officer is not available, the arm-control officers must handle the cuffing on their own. If they have trouble reaching their cuffs, a leg officer may be able to hand up a set to get the process started. "This is very flexible," Lawrence says.
One arm-control officer goes first, transitioning from the pin position by raising the subject's wrist high, turning the arm, and bending the elbow so the arm folds behind the subject's back in a cuffing position. The officer turns to face the subject's spine as he/she brings the arm around. The subject's upper arm is held firmly between the officer's knees, one of which is placed over the subject's scapula, the other on the ground. Once a cuff is on that wrist, the other officer repeats the process with the other arm.
Now the unused portions of the 2 handcuff sets can be hooked together. Or, with large subjects, they can be connected to a third set of cuffs interposed between them. "The idea is to create enough separation between the subject's hands that he can lie flat, without riding on his cuffed wrists, once he is turned over on his back for ambulance transport," Lawrence says.
He warns, however, that a subject who must be transported by patrol car rather than by ambulance should not be handcuffed with extended space between his wrists.
Important: The subject should not be turned onto his back until his legs are firmly restrained.
LEG RESTRAINT. Once the subject is handcuffed, his legs are then brought together, under control, and are securely strapped together. Once the strap is cinched snug, the loose end can be stood on to keep the subject from moving his legs. Note: This is a hobble restraint, not hog-tying.
TRANSPORT. After the legs are strapped, the subject can be rolled to his side. When he's transferred to a gurney for transport to a medical facility, the strap can be tied to the end of the stretcher to keep the subject from raising or thrashing his legs. EMS personnel will apply additional restraints of their own, but at least one officer should still ride in the ambulance for added security.
"With the daisy chain of handcuffs, the subject should be able to lie on his back with his hands beside his hips so that the paramedics or EMTs can better monitor him," Lawrence says. "With him supine [face up], they're better able to watch his breathing, use a stethoscope to check his heart, apply a blood pressure cuff, start an IV, and so on.
"The usual gurney strapping will prevent him from sliding the cuffs below his butt and attempting escape."
Lawrence cautions that use of this control procedure is by no means an iron-clad guarantee against injury to officers or subjects. Nor can it assure that a subject beset by ED won't still die suddenly and unexpectedly, despite the best efforts of police and medical personnel. "There is still a great deal that's unknown about this complicated phenomenon," he says, "including exactly why the ED experience culminates in death for some of these subjects. Plus, no tactic is guaranteed to work on a particular subject, and every control technique has some element of risk.
"But based on what we know so far, the Canadian Response seems to provide hope for safely handing an afflicted subject off to medical personnel. It requires no new equipment for officers to buy or to carry on their belts or in their car, and it incorporates the kind of simple DT movements that they are already familiar with."
Obviously, performing smoothly as a team requires practice. "But officers who've trained in the technique are amazed at how successful it can be," Lawrence says.
He plans to demonstrate the technique at the ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Assn.) 2008 training conference, Apr. 1-5 in Wheeling, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
Lawrence can be reached at chris.lawrence@policeone.com.
[For previous articles on challenges and recommendations related to controlling ED subjects, search the Force Science News archives at www.forcesciencenews.com. Our thanks to PoliceOne trainer Gary Klugiewicz, a member of FSRC's national advisory board, for tipping us to Lawrence's Las Vegas presentation.]
II. FSRC to bring reality to English Parliament
Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center, will make a presentation this month [12/07] before a committee of Parliament in London, England, regarding FSRC's latest findings on use-of-force dynamics, decision-making, perceptions, and memory.
Parliament's House Affairs Committee on Human Rights is looking into issues regarding Taser use, the nature of law enforcement-related violence, civil rights, and other concerns related to police interaction with British citizenry.
"I expect lively dialogue with members of the committee after presenting our research," Lewinski says, "and I hope to emphasize what science reveals about police use of force." 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2008, 08:43:57 AM »


Deputy did not act unreasonably in fatally shooting a man who had refused to submit to a pat down and then disarmed the deputy of his baton. Lewis v. County of Riverside, #06-55764, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29148 (9th Cir.).
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/coa/memdispo.nsf/pdfview/121207/$File/06-55764.PDF

City and its personnel were not liable for suicide of a man arrested for DUI and detained in a cell for intoxicated and combative prisoners.  The fact that he had fought with officers did not establish that he was suicidal. Branton v. City of Moss Point, #07-60653, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 76 (5th Cir.).
http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/07/07-60653.0.wpd.pdf
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« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2008, 06:57:51 AM »

Force Science News #91
Part 1 of a 2-part series
   
The story is a frequent staple of the evening news. An officer shoots and kills a minority subject who turns out to be...unarmed. Protests explode, and the familiar litany is again asserted: racial bias by the cops underlies many of these inflammatory events.

Now a new study by a member of the Force Science Research Center's national advisory board confirms what law enforcement officials have argued all along: Such controversial shootings aren't about race. What really prompts an officer to pull the trigger in circumstances that are rapidly evolving and uncertain is the suspect's behavior.

"That's the bottom-line finding," researcher Tom Aveni told Force Science News. "If you confront a police officer in what appears to be a felonious context, it's the way you act that will get you shot-not your race. And that's true regardless of the officer's sex, age, experience, or type of duty location."

In fact, Aveni was able to pinpoint specific body-language that tends to be associated with the decision to shoot.

Moreover, among less important factors that also influence decision-making, even a suspect's clothing and age are likely to be more compelling than his or her ethnicity in determining officers' reactions.

Aveni's conclusions come from his detailed analysis of the reactions of 307 officers who engaged armed and unarmed suspects in simulated confrontations designed to accurately reflect conditions under which officer-involved shootings often occur. Founder of the consulting and training organization The Police Policy Studies Council in addition to serving on FSRC's board, Aveni funded the project largely from his own pocket. He also received some financial aid and substantial logistical assistance from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority, an insurer of law enforcement agencies.

The full report of his findings, titled "A Critical Analysis of Police Shootings Under Ambiguous Circumstances," can be found at: www.theppsc.org

"This is a very significant, first-of-its-kind investigation," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of FSRC at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "Tom Aveni has measured critical variables in shooting situations that other researchers have ignored completely. As a result, his findings are far more realistic and meaningful in identifying the factors that truly drive deadly force decision-making."

Aveni himself believes the study potentially will "radically alter the way police use of deadly force is examined in the future."

PROJECT ORIGIN. Something of a dual motivation propelled him into the study, which was "years in the making," Aveni says. For one thing, he was intrigued by an assertion made by the ACLU some years ago that 25% of all suspects shot by police are "unarmed and not-assaultive." And he was also curious about research concerning the "disproportionate" use of deadly force by officers against racial minorities.

"Race has been explored extensively as a factor" in police shootings, Aveni says, particularly in those where no suspect weapon is found after the smoke clears. "The implication has been that the police are racist" and that negative stereotyping causes them to overreact with excessive force in circumstances where, in fact, no lethal threat exists.

As Aveni reviewed existing research, he found that studies on the subject seemed invariably to explore the matter "without meaningful context." They merely reported gross numbers without "delving deeply into the generally overlooked critical micro-behavioral components that are the very essence of the police decision-making process."

Consequently, if minorities indeed are disproportionately targeted in "ambiguous" shootings where a deadly threat is not clearly confirmed before an officer fires, "one is left to wonder why."

With the cooperation of 6 law enforcement agencies in Michigan-3 municipal police departments and 3 sheriff's departments, representing urban, suburban, and rural jurisdictions-Aveni set about to "better understand the behavior of officers forced to make critical, split-second decisions that may result in the taking of a life."

TESTING FORMAT. A troupe of actors from a local theater, representing a diversity of races, sexes, ages, and attire, were videotaped depicting subjects at a furniture store location. They performed specifically prescribed reactions as if interrupted by an officer responding to a purported robbery-in-progress, a burglar alarm activation, or a possible mugging-in-progress.

Using a mix of players, clothing, and reactions, 80 different scenarios were taped. These were then projected in random order on a laser-based IES Interactive Training MILO system. Participating officers, also diverse as to race, gender, age, experience, agency affiliation, and assignment, then were randomly exposed, one at a time, to 3 different scenarios with 3 different outcomes: a suspect who intends to surrender empty-handed, a suspect who intends to surrender with a non-weapon object (cell phone, flashlight, police ID wallet) in hand, and a subject determined to shoot.

All scenarios were taped in low-light conditions, to "inject more ambiguity into the situations" and to reflect the fact that more than 70% of police shootings of unarmed subjects occur in settings with unfavorable illumination.

"Realistic uncertainties like officers regularly encounter on the street were built into all the scenarios," Aveni explains. Officers were told that the robbery-in-progress report, for example, had come via a 911 hang-up; no further details available, including no description of the offender and no information on whether a weapon is involved. When the participating officer "arrives" at the scene, viewing things from the camera's perspective, an unidentified subject bursts out of the front door and starts to run away.

When an officer responds to the burglar alarm, he or she spots a subject trying to crowbar a side door. The subject drops the bar, eliminating the only potential weapon-that's visible, at least.

In the possible mugging scenario, officers were told only that they are doing business checks in an industrial park at 0100 hours. Yelling that suggests a "verbal altercation" is heard. The camera leads the participating officer around a visual obstruction, where he or she then sees one individual pushing another against a wall; again, no explanation immediately available.

Officers stood about 15 feet away from the action. They were told to react to what they saw on the screen as they would on the street. Most immediately issued loud verbal commands: "Police! Don't move!" or "Show me your hands!" or both. In each scenario, the subject "responded" by standing with back to the officer, hands out of sight at waist level. "This added to the 'threat ambiguity' of each situation," Aveni says.

Each subject had been coached to look back over his or her shoulder at least once during the encounter, as if taking a "target glance" at the participating officer. Then, unexpectedly, the subject abruptly turned to the left, toward the officer. Hands were kept at waist level at least through the first half-turn, and then they moved up somewhat as the turn was completed.

Subjects who were armed (1/3 of the scenarios) fired a .38 Special S&W M640 revolver, loaded with full-flash Hollywood blanks. The participating LEOs were warned that if someone on screen shot at them first, a modified paintball apparatus beside the simulator screen would also begin firing foam-rubber balls at them. "This factor was injected into the study in the hope that it might diminish participant apathy or complacency," Aveni explains.

The scenarios lasted, at maximum, about 30 seconds apiece. All the "confrontations" were videotaped to allow minute analysis later.

RESULTS. Aveni found that of the 307 LEOs participating, 38%-nearly 4 in every 10-shot unarmed subjects depicted in the scenarios (in all, 117 such subjects got shot). Some officers shot more than one suspect who turned out not to have a weapon. Carefully tabulating and analyzing details of the officers' actions to illuminate the percentage, he reached several important conclusions:

What didn't matter. "No significant correlation existed between the officers' actions and the suspects' race," Aveni says. "Likewise, there was no significant correlation between what the officers did and their own gender, age, experience, or type of jurisdiction in which they worked-urban, suburban, or rural.

"Statistically, there was a significant correlation in black officers shooting unarmed subjects. But with only 9 African-American LEOs participating in the study, that number may be too small to warrant firm conclusions."

What did matter. The strongest correlation was found between the subjects' actions and the officers' decision to shoot. Also significant, though of somewhat lesser influence, was the type of crime believed to be involved in the scenario and 2 attributes of the subject-age and attire.

Aveni explains: "Officers were more likely to shoot in the robbery scenario than in the possible mugging and more likely to shoot in the mugging scenario than in the apparent burglary-in-progress."

The nature of the crime involved, he says, clearly affected the officers' "vigilance and situational readiness." Responding to the reported robbery, they were more likely to have their sidearm drawn quickly and pointed at the suspect when verbal commands were issued, compared to the spontaneously discovered possible mugging and the alarm activation call (a frequent false run in police work) where their readiness was "measurably worse."

Also, officers were "more likely to shoot when the subject was young and also when the subject was wearing scruffy 'punk' clothing rather than 'business' attire."

Predictably, officers overwhelmingly shot at suspects when suspects shot at them. But many also fired "preemptively," before a weapon could actually be discerned, resulting in rounds being delivered to unarmed subjects. "The major influence here was how the subject behaved," Aveni says. Particularly involved was what he calls "the acting quotient."

Acting quotient. All suspects in the scenarios followed the same choreographed pattern of movement: With their back to the participating officer, they initially kept their hands at waist level, glanced over their shoulder, then turned without warning to face the officer, concealing their hands until well into the turn.

Aveni had not anticipated that the actors would perform with different levels of energy and conviction. Yet some performed more "convincingly" than others, and that proved to be a key component of the research.

"The subjects most likely to get shot," Aveni says, "displayed a high-level 'acting quotient.' They performed with unchoreographed nuances. That is, they made their moves with vigorous intensity and speed, versus tepidly. They kept their hands low, rather than high. They tended to crouch partially or fully as they turned instead of remaining upright, and they fully or partially clenched their hands, rather than keeping them open."

Such energetic movement in a setting where a serious crime appears to be involved "is much less likely to be viewed as innocuous," Aveni says. "A suspect's intensity had much to do with whether an officer felt compelled to pull the trigger before the circumstances became manifest. It became one of the most reliable predictors of whether a person got shot."

Time pressure. For their own safety, officers had little time to react. Even with "tepid" movements, the suspects' hands came around "almost always too fast to determine" the true nature of any object being held or whether the hands were, in fact, empty, Aveni says.

As the hands typically swung through an arc of 4-5 feet, the officers' eye movement inevitably lagged behind, so that the action was perceived "as a blur or a smear of motion. Judgment about what, if anything, the suspects held could not be made with certainty until the hand movement stopped. When a suspect had a gun, that was too late."

With an officer behind the reactionary curve, Aveni says, "the lag time can allow the suspect to fire one or more shots before the officer can shoot back." Indeed, in the study armed suspects were able to shoot first 61% of the time.

From a critical juncture in a scenario, an officer typically had "1/3 of a second or less" to decide whether to use deadly force or risk being shot, Aveni claims.

"Those officers who managed to shoot armed suspects before the suspect was able to fire seemed to have elected to use deadly force before it could be clearly determined that the suspect did, in fact, have a handgun. The officers decided to fire either before the suspect started to turn or at the earliest possible moment turning was perceived.

"This tends to explain why a significant percentage of unarmed subjects, who intended to surrender with or without innocuous objects in hand, also were shot."

All unarmed role players in the scenarios were told to culminate their movements in the "surrender" position: hands held at sternum height or above, palms facing forward, fingers pointed "mostly upward."

Aveni reports that "92% of the unarmed subjects who were shot during the study were in the 'surrender position' " at the time the officers' shots reached them.

Lewinski offers some pertinent observations. First, he says, "time pressure is notorious for significantly increasing errors in judgment. That's true not just in officer-involved shootings but also in activities that are not life-threatening, such as fingerprint analysis. As time tightens, the incidence of false-positive and false-negative decisions expands."

Time plays into these situations in another critical way, too, Lewinski explains. "A passage of time necessarily occurs between the instant an officer makes a decision to shoot and the instant his rounds impact. Force Science research has clearly established that if a suspect is moving, his position will be different when a bullet strikes than it was when the decision was made to shoot.

"This can account for subjects being shot in the surrender posture. They weren't necessarily in those 'no-shoot' postures when the officer's shooting decision was made."

Aveni's study further revealed "a common tendency" for officers to continue shooting once they started. Aveni offers 2 explanations: 1) "it takes time to 'apply the brakes' of a neuromuscular response" like firing a gun. Studies by FSRC have shown that officers, on average, fire 2 or more shots after they've received a visual cue that shooting should end; 2) the scenarios Aveni used did not have a branching capability, so the suspects did not fall when "hit." Thus, "any officer trained to 'fire until your foe falls' would likely continue shooting."

Lewinski elaborates. "In the midst of shooting to save their lives, officers often can't see where their bullets are striking. They rely on highly detectable visual cues that the subject has ceased being a threat, such as the suspect dramatically thrusting his or her arms overhead or collapsing.

"Even then, officers often will continue to shoot because of the perception-reaction lag time, resulting in bullets hitting the body as the suspect falls."

Agency differences. Marked differences in performance were evident among the 6 departments that participated in Aveni's study. At the "highest-frequency" end of the scale, nearly half the officers from one agency shot unarmed suspects. The lowest frequency was compiled by an agency whose participating officers shot unarmed suspects 24% of the time. The rest ranged from 39% to 44%.

"The question will undoubtedly arise: 'What noted differences were there between the agency with the lowest frequency of mistake-of-fact shootings and the agency with the highest frequency?' " Aveni observes, noting that both these agencies patrol urban jurisdictions.

"The answer, simply put: 'It was a difference in training.' "

[In Part 2 of our report, we'll explore what that difference is, as well as other implications that Aveni's findings have for officer survival, training, investigations, policy-making, and courtroom defenses.]
 
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« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2008, 04:44:13 AM »


1. The March 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new articles:

* Enforceability of Civil Liability Release Agreements

* Regulation of Off-Duty Activities - Sexual Conduct

* Legal Issues Pertaining to Inmate Property

Access the Law Journal's menu page at http://www.aele.org/law/MLJ2008MAR.html
 
2. The March 2008 issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded. The current issues, back issues since 2000, three 30+ year case digests, and a search engine are FREE. Everyone is welcome to read, print or download AELE publications without charge. The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law
 
Among 100 different cases noted, there are several that warrant mention here:
 
*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Firearms Related: Intentional Use
Officer who fatally shot a a man outside his home was entitled to qualified immunity when the decedent had threatened to commit violent acts, was armed with a knife, refused to comply with repeated orders to drop the knife, and raised the knife blade above his shoulder and pointed it towards officers. Larsen v. Murr, #06-1094, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 25 (10th Cir.).
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/10th/061094p.pdf

* Restraint Asphyxia
Deputy sheriffs were not entitled to qualified immunity in a lawsuit claiming that they used excessive force in removing a morbidly obese man from a courtroom after he was found in contempt of court, causing him to die after several deputies allegedly placed themselves on his back while he was on the floor. Richman v. Sheahan, #07-1487, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 200 (7th Cir.). Viewable at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/7th/071487p.pdf

*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***

* Disciplinary Interviews
Divided Ninth Circuit panel rejects a civil rights suit brought by deputies that were required to remain on duty to assist superiors with a criminal investigation of an unlawful use of force. They were paid overtime, were allowed to contact counsel and were not treated like criminal suspects.

"A law enforcement officer is not seized for purposes of the Fourth Amendment simply because a supervisor orders him to remain at work after the termination of his shift or to come into the station to submit to questioning about the discharge of his duties as a peace officer."

Dissenting judge noted that the deputies "weren't told they were free to leave, and they weren't told they didn't have to answer questions." Aguilera v. Baca, #05-56617, 510 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir.). Viewable at: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0556617p.pdf

*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***

* Religion
Two Rastafarian and three Muslim inmates lose their suit challenging a policy prohibiting them from wearing beards. The Fourth Circuit cited a need to suppress contraband, to maintain discipline, security, health and safety, and to prevent inmates from quickly changing their appearance. McRae v. Johnson, #06-7548, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 246 (4th Cir.). Viewable at http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/067548.U.pdf
 
3. The Massachusetts Municipal Police Institute has published a 102 page Search Warrant Applications Manual, prepared by MPCA General Counsel Jack Collins. Although focused on Massachusetts law, it can be used as a model to prepare a similar document for other states. It can be downloaded in PDF format at:
http://www.municipalpoliceinstitute.org/documents/SEARCH_WARRANT_APPLICATIONS_MANUAL_Illustrated.pdf

4. Jack Collins also has authored two recent articles for Police Chief magazine:
* Salary Exempt Employees under the FLSA, Jan. 2008
* Handling Discrimination Retaliation Claims, Dec. 2007
Downloadable at http://policechiefmagazine.org/

AELE's 2008 seminar brochures are on the website at http://www.aele.org/Seminars.html
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« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2008, 01:37:49 PM »

From the Opinion section of the LA Times:
===============================
Would you rather have an elite fighting force made up of the best cops, or of officers who 'look like L.A.'?
By Robert C.J. Parry
March 16, 2008
On a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 2005, Jose Peña fueled himself with cocaine and grabbed a 9-millimeter pistol. Waving the gun at the head of his 19-month-old daughter, Suzie, he told the LAPD officers who arrived at the scene that he was Tony Montana -- the character played by Al Pacino in "Scarface" -- and that he was going to kill his daughter and himself. He'd already shot at her sister and at the police, so the threat was believable.

The situation was straightforward: If an LAPD SWAT crisis negotiator couldn't dispel Peña's narcotic fantasies, the little girl's life would rest with a SWAT rescue team's ability to cross a 50-foot alley, access the building, find and enter the room he was in and save Suzie before Peña pulled the trigger.

Now imagine for a moment that you were in Suzie Peña's position. Would you want the police SWAT team coming through the door to be the best of the best -- the toughest, most highly trained, most elite tacticians in the Los Angeles Police Department -- or would you want the team to "look like L.A."? Would you want rescuers who had not lost a hostage in three decades, or would you want a team with heartwarming, multicultural diversity?

The answer is pretty obvious, no? You'd want the best. That's what Suzie got, and even so, the results were tragic. According to the L.A. district attorney's office, Jose Peña emerged from the building and a gunfight ensued. When Peña retreated to his office, four SWAT officers crossed the alley in a matter of seconds, entered the building, took fire through the walls -- fire that struck one officer -- and entered Peña's office. There, they exchanged more shots with the gunman, who was standing behind a desk with Suzie. In the chaos, both Jose and Suzie Peña were killed.

Suzie is the only hostage ever lost by LAPD SWAT during its 35 years.

Shortly after her death, Police Chief William J. Bratton appointed a board of inquiry to examine the incident. Its mission, he said, was to investigate the officers' tactics and other factors in the shooting. "For the safety of the public and officers, we need to understand intimately what transpired in that incident," he said at the time.

In fact, the board did nothing of the sort. None of the SWAT officers from the Peña shooting were even interviewed by the panel, according to multiple sources. Indeed, the board's eight members included fewer tactical experts (one) than attorneys (three). In its final report, the board acknowledged that it had been "ultimately precluded from gaining a full and complete understanding of what transpired in Peña until after this report was finalized."

What's more, Assistant Chief Sharon Papa privately promised the team shortly after the incident that the report would be aired openly, according to officers who were present. That didn't happen either. The final report -- completed 15 months ago -- has not been released. Many senior department officials have never seen it, and Times reporters have repeatedly requested it but have been turned down. I received a copy earlier this month from a source.

The report shows that instead of fulfilling Bratton's promises, the board used the Peña case (with Bratton's encouragement) as a way to push for a series of politically correct changes within SWAT -- changes that many cops believe will have absolutely no benefit and that they believe will endanger the lives of citizens and cops alike.

From the start -- before the panel examined any evidence -- Bratton made it clear that increasing SWAT's diversity was particularly important to him. In November 2005, he privately addressed the board about his goals for their inquiry. The final report quotes him: "I'm looking to create change within SWAT. The qualifications to get in are stringent. But are they too stringent? There are no women and few African Americans.... Are there artificial barriers for getting into SWAT that the 'good old boys' network has maintained?"

Bratton's assertion that SWAT has few African Americans is not accurate. Eight of the 63 SWAT members are black, sources say, -- even after the death of Officer Randal Simmons on Feb. 7. That's 12.6% in a department that is 12% African American.

Nevertheless, in keeping with Bratton's wishes, the final report devotes substantial space to how to bring in female and black officers. "The absence of women ... and the low number of African Americans in SWAT should be addressed and dealt with, and the membership of SWAT should be reflective of the community," the report says, although it offers no qualitative or quantitative evidence that this change would save a single life or lead to a single suspect's apprehension. The unit, the report says, has become "insular, self-referential and resistant to change."

The report goes on to say that "there is no task in SWAT that a woman could not perform" and that the selection criteria has "underemphasized negotiating skills, patience, empathy and flexibility while overemphasizing physical prowess and tactical acumen."

But SWAT officers who have actually entered houses to rescue hostages from killers (as they did Feb. 7 in Winnetka, resulting in the death of Simmonsand the wounding of Officer James Veenstra) say there is no such thing as overemphasizing tactical acumen or physical prowess for such assignments.

Yes, they say, there are probably women on the force who could and should be admitted to SWAT, but they should be required to meet the same standards as other applicants and should be chosen for skill, not for diversity. The reality, SWAT members say, is that the standards for tactical success apply to everyone equally. Upper-body strength is vital to holding a 12-pound rifle stone-steady to hit a deranged killer while avoiding his hostage in a whirlwind of chaos.

In general, the final board report offers little or no persuasive evidence as to why SWAT should change. "SWAT performs in a disciplined and exemplary manner consistent with its fine reputation," the report acknowledges. "It has been and remains a source of great pride within the LAPD."

In fact, according to the report itself, out of 3,771 missions SWAT has performed from 1972 to 2005, suspects have been apprehended without any "untoward" incident in 83% of the cases. (The report does not define "untoward.") It notes that SWAT members have killed a suspect only 31 times in 33 years -- that's less than 1% of all engagements, often with the city's most deranged and violent criminals.

What's more, SWAT has lost only one hostage -- Suzie Peña -- and the way to ensure it doesn't happen again is to maintain and raise standards, not to lower them out of political correctness.

None of that matters, though, to the brass. "Bratton wants a woman on SWAT regardless of whether she's 110 pounds soaking wet and completely incapable of pulling 200 pounds of Jimmy Veenstra and his gear out of a house in the middle of a gunfight," said one officer who survived the Winnetka shootout in which Veenstra was extracted by his teammates while under fire.

Based on the findings of the report, the LAPD has just instituted a new selection process for SWAT, according to a SWAT veteran who helped in the redesign. Instead of picking cops on the basis of their ability to handle weapons and stress, the new standards specifically exclude video-based shooting simulator evaluations and "Hogan's Alley," a daunting series of pop-up targets representing armed crooks and hostages. A simulated raid with flash-bang devices that previously disqualified many candidates who accidentally shot the "hostage" is also gone.

The new test's only physical challenges are a modest physical fitness qualification and a modified obstacle course. "My preteen daughter could pass that," one officer said. Applicants' scores will now largely come from an oral interview conducted by non-SWAT and non-LAPD supervisors. In essence, the test is largely subjective.



Another coming change that SWAT officers criticize is one that would allow officers from anywhere in the department to apply to SWAT, rather than limiting it (as it has historically been limited) to officers from the elite Metropolitan Division. SWAT had argued to the board that continued selection from Metro was "a nearly fail-safe way to select the best of the best," and the final board report acknowledged that using only applicants from Metro "has produced remarkable cohesion, consistency, mutual trust and commonality of outlook."

But the board of inquiry ultimately claimed that including people from other divisions "could bring a wider perspective and greater gender and racial diversity." So the plan to broaden the pool of applicants is expected to go into effect next year.

There are a variety of innocuous recommendations in the board report, such as improvements in risk management, trend analysis and data analysis. The report calls for new accountability measures, including "Compstat-like accountability." (Compstat is Bratton's signature system for tracking crime trends.) The report also recommends providing all personnel with take-home cars, something the team has requested for years.

But it is the change in the selection process and the opening up of SWAT to applicants from outside Metro that have motivated SWAT officers' wives to launch an unusual e-mail campaign directed at Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, stating in part: "We are concerned with the safety of our husbands ... if they are expected to go into these highly dangerous situations with someone who got in under a compromised standard."

The report says, "SWAT culture and insularity pose a certain danger to the LAPD and the Los Angeles community as a whole." But the report is based on misconceptions.

SWAT is not a lily-white redoubt of old prejudices. Simmons and Veenstra (who is of Asian ancestry) illustrate this. Suzie Peña's attempted rescuers had names like Perez, Sanchez and Gallegos. Bratton may not know this; at the annual SWAT dinner, I saw him come in and talk to a couple of senior managers and deputy chiefs for 30 minutes and then leave, having barely acknowledged the officers -- black, white, Latino or otherwise. That evening, he forfeited his last chance to talk to Simmons, who died 10 days later.

SWAT is too important to this city to be weakened in the name of political correctness. Unless the Police Commission or other officials act, the LAPD will make social experimentation a higher priority than tactical excellence.

Robert C.J. Parry is a businessman working on a book about his experiences in the Army National Guard in Iraq.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2008, 08:10:06 AM »

Force Science News #94



In this issue:

1 officer's pain is others' gain, as her shooting becomes a catalyst for change



   
When a 52-year-old man-shirtless, coked up and bleeding from self-inflicted wounds-lunged at Shannon Brady and her partner with a "serious" folding knife in the cramped kitchen of a small adobe house in Santa Fe, she was prepared to react. She shot him dead.

What she hadn't anticipated or trained for was what happened after the smoke cleared.

Once she had a bitter taste of that, she had a mission. "I didn't want other officers to go through what I did," she says. "Changes needed to be made."

In the 18 months since her life-or-death encounter, post-shooting practices affecting the 140-plus officers on her department, Santa Fe PD, have seen some "major improvement," Police Ofcr. IV Mark Barnett, president of the Santa Fe Police Officers Assn., told Force Science News. "We didn't put our head in the sand and say everything went fine because it certainly didn't. We've tried to learn and make things better."

"This is a good example of how negatives that too often accompany officer-involved shootings can be turned into positives, with the right perspective and determination," says Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "Instead of lingering as a permanent source only of resentment and anger, this shooting has become a catalyst for the kind of changes that are needed in many departments across the country."

The call that hurled Brady into the first shooting of her career was dispatched as an "ambulance assist." A frantic woman, calling from one of Santa Fe's rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, blurted that a man had stabbed himself in the chest. Little more information seemed to be available.

It was Labor Day weekend, 2006, at the tail-dragging end of Brady's 2-to-midnight swing shift. Still on probationary status, she'd been on patrol with SFPD only about 9 months, having transferred there after 3 years with a sheriff's department near Albuquerque. The address of the call was not far from where she'd come close to shooting a teenager who'd pulled a gun on her during a tense showdown a few months earlier.

When she and Sgt. Troy Baker arrived, they found the crowded residence in an uproar, complete with a hysterical grandma, 3 girls under 14 ("all intoxicated"), the subject's girlfriend (drunk and bleeding profusely from stab wounds), and the subject himself, concealed somewhere in the place with a knife that had a 41/2-in. blade.

The 2 officers were in the kitchen, trying to tend to the girlfriend who was slumped in a chair with a pool of blood widening at her feet, when the suspect-"big guy, no shirt, with visible cuts or stab wounds"-suddenly popped out of hiding, just a few steps from them.

"He raised the knife above his head and started closing toward us," Brady recalls. "There was no place to retreat. All I could see was that blade. It looked huge."

She and Baker both screamed, "Knife!" and commanded the suspect to drop the weapon. "He kept coming," Brady says. Almost simultaneously, Baker discharged a Taser and Brady squeezed the trigger on her Glock-22.

She can't remember firing that round, a fact that still troubles her. The bullet tore through the suspect's belt buckle and exited his body near his rectum. She shot again. This time, "I could see the bullet peel his skin" as it punched in, center mass. I remember his breath against me, I felt his knuckles brush across my hand" as he fell. He was pronounced at the hospital.

Officer-involved shootings in Santa Fe are investigated by the New Mexico State Police, a precaution against accusations of bias. The insensitivities that came to earmark Brady's shooting began during the delay while SP investigators responded, and escalated exponentially.

Brady and Baker were kept at the scene for nearly 5 hours, much of that time outdoors where "I sat on an ice cold curb," she remembers. Her request for a jacket had to be cleared through the chain of command, apparently for fear that complying might "alter the shooting environment" from an evidence standpoint.

Once, she and Baker were driven to a substation about a mile away for a bathroom break. They were put in the caged back seat of a marked unit, "like we were criminals," Baker says). "All they didn't do was handcuff us. It was not an atmosphere where you could get your mind off what just happened and try to wind down."

After about 3 hours, Brady was told to surrender her pistol. "I was left with an empty holster in that dangerous neighborhood" during the time it took to scrounge up a replacement from the department armorer.

The shooting occurred about midnight. It was well after daylight before Brady finally got to her home, an hour away in Albuquerque. She was scheduled to be back in Santa Fe that afternoon for her formal interview in the SP's criminal investigation. "I tried to sleep, I really did, but I was too keyed up," she says.

Because of her probationary status, she was not automatically eligible for legal representation through the Officers Assn., but the union provided her with a seasoned police lawyer, Fred Mowrer, anyway. "He did an excellent job preparing me, and I felt so grateful," she says.

She was able to doze off for about 30 minutes at the SP station just before the interview. Aside from that, she says she had been awake for more than 46 hours before walking in to face 2 hours of interrogation for the most important statement of her career.

Two days later, Brady and Baker had their only contact with the city's contract psychologist. "She took us to a room where she said we'd 'blend in' with people who were testing to become motor transport inspectors," Baker remembers. Brady says, "We had to take an entry-level exam and were given the MMPI [the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a common mental health test]. We were interviewed briefly by the psychologist and declared fit for duty."

She says no inquiry was made regarding how they were feeling about the shooting, no explanation was given about possible critical incident stress symptoms or how to deal with them and no offer of counseling was extended. Through the union, it was arranged for them to talk briefly by phone with a volunteer firefighter who supposedly had training in stress debriefing, but neither felt he could even begin to identify with their situation.

Without further ceremony, they went back on the street. The city's annual Fiestas festival, marked by the bacchanalian burning of a marionette called Old Man Gloom, was at hand and maximum manpower was needed.

Brady's husband, a sergeant and officer-involved shooting investigator with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Dept. in Albuquerque, "put me in touch with a police psychologist who works with his people," Brady says, and as a personal favor he helped her cope with the shooting and its aftermath. "Otherwise, I would have been left in the cold."

Meanwhile, the dead suspect's girlfriend, recovered from her injuries, claimed through the media that the 2 officers had tackled her boyfriend and pinned him to the floor while Brady summarily executed him with her 2 rounds. In the absence of a thorough debriefing for all personnel, rumors flew through the department regarding the circumstances of the shooting and about Brady and Baker personally.

They were heartened when Chief Eric Johnson publicly declared his complete confidence in their actions. Johnson released 911 tapes of the event, which provided an audio documentation of what happened, down to the shots being fired. A captain sat with a reporter from the local newspaper and "went second by second over the recording," Brady says. The resulting article "was very favorable and saved my reputation."

Still, it was some 5 weeks after the shooting before a county grand jury finally exonerated the officers of any criminal wrongdoing. And only after that, Brady says, did IA investigators get around to interviewing her and eventually declaring her clear of any departmental violations, as well-an infuriating lag that seemed to unnecessarily prolong the stress of the ordeal, especially considering that an IA investigator had sat in on the SP interviews just hours after the shooting.

Brady, known to be as outspoken as she proved to be resilient, was not content to let her grievances drop once the dust settled and her emotional battering abated. Her husband, Sgt. Mark Kmatz, says: "Her perspective was 'I can't change what happened to me, but I want to make it better for other officers in the future.' That's where she has directed her efforts."

Mark Barnett, who became president of the Officers Assn. just a month before the shooting, and members of the union's board have become Brady's staunch allies, joining her in lobbying for more humane on-scene procedures and investigative practices, easier access to psychological counseling and debriefings, and better training in survival tactics and post-shooting coping skills. Brady supplied articles from Force Science News on proper post-shooting procedures to buttress the arguments for change.

A significant achievement, in Barnett's view, has been getting the cooperation of SFPD's command staff so that the union can remove involved officers from a shooting scene expeditiously. "As soon as reasonably possible," they're taken to "some neutral place where they can feel comfortable" and where they can be with a "buddy" of their choosing, protected from the media and from curious, uninvolved officers who may have intrusive questions and comments.

"They can call home, calm down and begin to collect their thoughts in a peaceful atmosphere," Barnett says. "Psychologists have told us this is one of the best things we can do."

Four months after Brady's incident, Sgt. Kyle Zuments, a 12-year SFPD veteran, shot a car-theft suspect after a wild pursuit during Santa Fe's evening rush hour. Zuments himself took a round to the vest ("friendly fire," as it turned out, from one of several officers involved in the chaotic confrontation). Even with a trip to the hospital for his blunt-trauma wound and a conference with the union attorney, Zuments says he was comfortably at home-"in my recliner with an ice pack on my stomach and eating a ham sandwich"-well before his shift normally would have ended.

"The difference between the handling of Shannon's shooting and mine was night and day," he says. Among other things, besides the immediate post-shooting expediency, he was allowed time to be fully rested before sitting down for the SP's official interview.... SFPD's command staff sanctioned and joined in a candid debriefing among all officers involved in the confrontation, which Zuments says "resolved lots of issues" and provided "great support."... He was given 10 days' administrative leave before having to return to work.... At his insistence, he says, the department agreed to pay for counseling for all the involved officers from the Albuquerque psychologist who had privately come to Brady's aid and a colleague. "All this was huge," Zuments says.

Establishing a permanent arrangement for mental health services from sources who understand law enforcement and are respected by officers is high on the union's list for additional improvements, Barnett says.

As part of that agenda, the Officers Assn. and the department have combined to send Sgt. Baker and the department chaplain to a nationally recognized training course on critical incident stress management, with an eye toward creating "a shooting response team that would include a support group of peers." The union also now offers a debriefing, with a psychologist facilitating, to all officers who were working on the day of a shooting, Barnett says, in acknowledgement that a life-threatening event impacts more personnel than just the officers immediately involved.

Barnett and Brady say they intend to continue pushing hard for other changes that "haven't quite happened yet." These include more timely IA investigations. Zuments points out that it took 1 year to the day after his shooting before he received an exoneration letter from Internal Affairs. When he complained during the long delay, he claims he was told, "We have cases that are a lot more high-priority than yours." He observes: "I discharged my weapon in traffic at a crowded intersection, a suspect was shot, a sergeant was shot, and this is not a priority?"

Brady acknowledges that improvements "are still a work in progress," but she's encouraged by the results so far. "The administration-the department as a whole, really-is definitely coming around to a better understanding of how a shooting impacts an officer," she says. "I know that a lot of the things that really bugged me will never happen again."

As this report was being researched, Santa Fe police were involved in another shooting. A middle-aged suspect was shot dead after he opened fire on officers and sheriff's deputies with a Tec-9 during a vehicle pursuit.

A few days later, we asked Mark Barnett how things were going with the aftermath of that incident. "Perfect," he said. "We really have learned a lot."

 

 
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The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the registration button.

(c) 2008: Force Science Research Center, www.forcescience.org. Reprints allowed by request. For reprint clearance, please e-mail: info@forcesciencenews.com. FORCE SCIENCE is a registered trademark of The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit organization based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

 
 
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« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2008, 10:37:48 AM »

Is That a Gun in Your Wastebasket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
DEA Agents Lose Their Weapons Faster Than Ever, According to a New DOJ Report

BY JUSTIN ROOD
March 28, 2008

How do Drug Enforcement Administration special agents lose their guns?
Faster than ever, according to a new report from the Department of Justice inspector general. From 2002 to 2007, DEA lost 91 weapons, the audit found. The DEA isn't always reporting the losses of weapons or laptop computers to the proper authorities, and when it does, it often comes weeks -- even years -- after the fact.

But just how do the guns disappear? Let us count the ways.
"Special agent left weapon on roof of car and drove off," reads one incident description. In his report released today, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine included descriptions of how each weapon was said to have been lost.
"May have fallen into trash basket at work," read another. "Left weapon in supermarket." "Left weapon on airplane." One report sounded like it was filed by an agent on Larry Craig patrol, "Left weapon in airport restroom."

The thieves were often brazen. "Stolen from hotel room -- Special Agent out on balcony," one report stated. "Weapon stolen [from] purse while at social function at bar in Jamaica." "It was believed a carpet installer stole it." At least once, the alleged culprit was a family member, "Weapon stolen by Special Agent's son."

But the most common incident, by far, were guns stolen from agents' official or personal vehicles while they were otherwise engaged -- despite DEA regulations which prohibit leaving weapons unattended in autos.

"Stolen from an official government vehicle parked at restaurant while Special Agent had lunch." "Stolen from official government vehicle while agent was exercising." Stolen "while agent was shopping," from a car parked "at a summer rental house," "from official government vehicle parked at convenience store while Special Agent was buying coffee." One was even reportedly stolen from an agent's car while he was at a middle school football game.

Asked about the reported losses, DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney said the investigations would have been handled by DEA itself. "Any of those instances would be referred to our internal investigating arm," Courtney said. "We would take the appropriate actions to make sure the agents are educated on how to handle their weapons appropriately."
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« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2008, 04:55:57 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351502,00.html

FRESNO, Calif.  —  A 17-year-old high school sophomore was shot and killed Wednesday by a police officer on campus.

The officer, identified as Tom Perry, fired after the student at Roosevelt High School allegedly hit the officer with a baseball bat, police said.

Perry walked out of an office and was struck with a baseball bat, falling backwards and then to the ground. While trying to draw his weapon, the gun fell to the ground.

He grabbed his second weapon from his ankle holster and fired at least once at the approaching student who was still holding the bat.

The incident occurred just before 12 p.m. Officers arriving at the scene attempted CPR on the student.

An 18-year-old student said her mother, who is a resource teacher at the school, saw everything.

"She was walking her students back to class when she saw a boy push the officer and the officer shot the boy and the boy died at the scene," Gardy Zuniga told the Fresno Bee, adding the student had been in trouble recently and was allegedly armed with a gun.

Perry is employed by the police department as the school's resource officer. The officer's condition was not immediately released.


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« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2008, 10:29:41 AM »

I work at an intermediate school (7th-8th) in southern California.  We have a lot more than some schools only a few miles away and a lot less than others also not that far away.  We have had some terrible incidents this academic year.  School violence of any kind or at any level makes the school environment unbearable.  I have never felt a climate as negative or as fearful than at the present in the educational system of California, and I have lived here my entire life.  I get to meet educators from all over the state and all over the country for that matter.  There is a real sense of the system collapsing in on itself. 

Educators are not perfect.  However, many armchair critics like to bash teachers and education in general.  From my experience, for every teacher who sits at their desk all day and reads the paper, there are three who are doing everything they can to be effective in the classroom.  It's challenging because no teacher, no matter how hard they work can change students' perceptions about the relative value of the education they are receiving.  If the parents pass on the message that it doesn't matter or that "the old man always got in trouble and look how successful he is now", that is what students will bring with them.

I have such respect for all of the law enforcement folks I have met during my martial arts adventure.  I really feel like I am the line right before these brave people, just in the sense that if my students fail to meet me halfway and develop themselves, the folks in law enforcement are waiting for them.  I know that is something a bit cliched or that only a teacher would say, but I have seen it over and over again.  I am aware of a male high school student from a local district located a few miles east of my district.  The school district he was a part of had an amazing academic record and amazing resources.  In a few weeks of starting high school, this student found himself with friends that were all wrong for him.  Within a few weeks he found his way into juvenile hall.  His first day in the facility, he said something stupid to somebody stupid, had a broomstick broken over his head, and was raped.

Sorry to be dramatic.  I have a million stories from only five years of public school teaching that you wouldn't believe.  The educational system in our country is failing our kids, or maybe they are failing it.  I don't know anymore.  What I do know is that (here it comes, another teacher cliche) it is going to take buy-in from everyone to improve it.

My heart goes out to everyone involved in the incident, and everyone involved in that school.
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« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2008, 12:10:52 AM »

Amen to that -- and kudos to the officer.
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« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2008, 08:40:45 AM »



http://www.policelink.com/news/18269-deputy-tased-hogtied-paraded-through-town?referral=pl_nlet

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Attorney General’s Office is investigating an incident in which a Knox County deputy sheriff was shocked with a Taser, hogtied and paraded around downtown Camden in the back of a pickup truck last summer.

“I can confirm that we are reviewing it for Sheriff [Donna] Dennison,” said Brian MacMaster, chief of the Investigation Division for the Office of Attorney General. “Beyond that, I can’t comment.

“We don’t comment on any of our investigations,” MacMaster added.

The weekly newspaper Village Soup obtained a video that shows approximately 10 men outdoors at what is believed to be a bachelor party when the Taser is used. The groom-to-be drops to the ground and the other men bind him before covering him with oil and feathers.

Dennison said the Taser didn’t come from the Sheriff’s Department. The agency doesn’t have any Tasers.

Interim County Administrator Jeffrey Northgraves said Monday that he, Dennison, Knox County Commissioners Mason Johnson and Anne Beebe-Center, jail administrator Maj. John Hinkley and Chief Deputy Ernest McIntosh were invited to the Village Soup office in Rockland on Thursday, April 10, to watch the video before it was released to the public.

“It was the first time any of us had seen it,” Northgraves said. “We didn’t think to ask how Village Soup acquired the video.”

Commissioner Johnson on Monday called the tape an “eye-opener.”

“The only comment I can make is that it was just a total surprise,” Johnson said. “I hardly even knew about the Taser in itself.

“I saw the film and saw how the fellow went down when they pulled the trigger,” he said. “It’s kind of scary. I don’t think it’s a device that would be used in any kind of formal party to celebrate any event with anybody.”

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Johnson said the Taser should be used only in an emergency “to catch somebody.”

“That’s not a plaything, in my opinion,” Johnson said of the Taser.

He added that the party was something officials would have to “frown at, for safety and other reasons.”

Johnson said he understood that the deputy who was involved in the bachelor party is now working as a Maine state trooper.

According to an earlier Bangor Daily News story, a Taser is a powerful weapon that can fire 50,000 volts of electricity into a criminal. The Taser, an acronym for “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle,” named after the fictional teenage inventor and adventure character Tom Swift, is aimed with a red laser beam that fires two probes a distance of up to 21 feet from a replaceable cartridge.

More than 60 public safety agencies in Maine have Tasers, but their use is somewhat controversial to some who think it is a violent overreaction.

Amnesty International, a worldwide human rights group, has reviewed the cases of 152 people who have died in the United States after being shocked by a Taser. The organization has called for suspension of the use of Tasers and urged further studies of their effectiveness.

(c) 2008 YellowBrix, Inc.
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« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2008, 09:26:43 AM »

Force Science News #97



In this issue:

I. Ohio trainer makes the case for single-officer entry against active killers

II. Force Science News to be translated for 14,000 French-speaking officers



   
I. Ohio trainer makes the case for single-officer entry against active killers

If you're a patrol officer who's first on the scene of an active-shooter call, should you make immediate entry in hunt for the suspect...or wait for other early responders and improvise a rapid deployment team?

Since the Columbine massacre 9 years ago, few if any trainers any longer advocate delaying for a formal SWAT call-out, which can take 30 minutes or more in some areas. But commonly a hasty assembly of 3 or more officers for a search-and-confrontation team is recommended, with coordinated movement tactics taught accordingly.

To trainer Ron Borsch, a 30-year law enforcement veteran who manages the small SEALE (South East Area Law Enforcement) Regional Training Academy in Bedford, Ohio, that's a deadly waste of time when seconds can mean lives.

Based on his on-going research of active-shooter realities, he's convinced that single-officer entries can potentially lessen the toll of casualties while exposing the responders involved to little additional risk. Although popular law enforcement literature has just lately begun to explore the single-officer concept, Borsch has promoted the idea to in-service trainees for more than 2 years and has taught solo- and 2-officer entry-action models in academy courses for the past year. And he finds that administrators whose officers are exposed to this approach generally accept it enthusiastically.

"We offer this report not necessarily as a tactical advisory but as an example of one trainer's effort to give tactical instruction a research base," explains Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "We offer it for your thoughtful consideration and we'd be interested in hearing comments from our readers on Ron Borsch's conclusions." If you have comments, please e-mail the editor.

"Time is our worst adversary in dealing with active killers," Borsch told Force Science News. "We're racing what I call 'the Stopwatch of Death.' Victims are often added to the toll every several seconds."

Where times have been reliably documented, the average post-Columbine "rapid mass murder episode" lasts just 8 minutes, according to Borsch's calculations. "The murderer's timeline begins when he says it begins. Any prevention, deterrence or delay efforts have failed at that point, and the police are handicapped with catching up whenever they are notified."

To have any hope of successfully intervening in a slaughter spree under the usual tight time strictures, law enforcement "needs to get less manpower on site sooner." Training LEOs to wait even moments to form an impromptu entry team shows that "our country's tactical community at large has failed to do its homework and to evolve strategies that accurately reflect the known methods of operation and patterns of active killers," Borsch asserts. "Law enforcement has already proved many times over that we can arrive 'too late with too many' and spend too much time gathering pre-entry intelligence. Now we need to fix what is obviously a broken strategy."

Borsch, who logged 17 years as a part-time SWAT team member before retiring from street work, has analyzed more than 90 active-shooter incidents on the basis of data largely ferreted out from Internet reports. Most involved schools and colleges, but workplaces, shopping malls, churches and other public places are also represented. Among his findings that have helped shape his tactical thinking:

• 98% of active killers act alone.

• 80% have long guns, 75% have multiple weapons (about 3 per incident), and they sometimes bring hundreds of extra rounds of ammunition to the shooting site.

• Despite such heavy armaments and an obsession with murder at close range, they have an average hit rate of less than 50%.

• They strike "stunned, defenseless innocents via surprise ambush. On a level playing field, the typical active killer would be a no-contest against anyone reasonably capable of defending themselves."

• "They absolutely control life and death until they stop at their leisure or are stopped." They do not take hostages, do not negotiate.

• They generally try to avoid police, do not hide or lie in wait for officers and "typically fold quickly upon armed confrontation."

• 90% commit suicide on-site. "Surrender or escape attempts are unlikely."

Because active shooters seem so intent on killing, it's often difficult to convince first responders that "this bad guy is one of the easiest man-with-gun encounters they will ever have," Borsch observes. "Most officers have already faced worse opponents from a personal safety standpoint than these creeps."

He believes the profile he has drawn should "empower officers with probable cause to believe that they can successfully prevail against the predictable patterns of these mass murderers" if they arrive in time to abort an actual attack.

From their experience in dealing with "a myriad of urgent circumstances" in their normal work, street officers are "already quite used to a multi-tiered response that begins with one officer, with backup en route." A solo officer entering an active-killer scene "has a virtual guarantee that an avalanche of manpower is coming fast behind him," so he won't be alone for long.

Once into the scene, to further gain confidence in advancing aggressively toward the suspect, officers need to understand the nature of these killers. Unlike conventional criminal predators, who often have no reluctance about attacking police, active shooters tend to be "cowardly," Borsch says.

"They choose unarmed, defenseless innocents for a reason: They have no wish to encounter someone who can hurt them. They are personally risk- and pain-avoidant. The tracking history of these murderers has proved them to be unlikely to be aggressive with police. If pressed, they are more likely to kill themselves." In his research, he has found no evidence of any LEO in the U.S. yet being wounded or killed in an active-shooting incident where mass murder was intended or accomplished.

"Officers need to understand valid military principles that apply to these calls, such as speed, surprise and violence of action," Borsch insists. "They need to learn how to close in and finish the fight with aggression, having and keeping the 'momentum of battle' on their side. The idea is to keep the adversary off-balance by forcing him always to react to your actions, rather than, after contact, reacting to him."

For example, once an active killer is spotted, Borsch favors the swift application of deadly force over seeking defensive cover in most instances. "An unintentional consequence of going to cover may be to lose sight of the offender, allowing him to gain the momentum of battle and shoot more defenseless innocents until he says it's over."

SEALE's active-killer countermeasures, taught through a course called Tactical First Responder, bypass traditional instruction in team formations and movement. These can be important in a mass murder response, Borsch says--but only later, during a search-and-rescue phase. What's realistically needed by the first one or two patrol officers to arrive at a scene--"the first of the first responders"--are instruction and practice in how to enter, move and confront the threat alone.

Thus after a briefing on the predictable patterns of offender behavior that his research has revealed, the trainees concentrate on perfecting a swift zig-zag movement down hallways, on mastering an accelerated slicing-the-pie technique for taking corners, on maneuvering up and down stairways with a patrol rifle (the response weapon of choice, given the killer's likely armaments), and on using sight, sound, smell and intuition to gather intel that will help them close quickly on the threat. "We practice until there's no speed less than rapid."

If an officer enters a school in response to an active-killer call "he may see or hear nothing out of order initially," Borsch says. "The place may be in lock-down and there may be hundreds of rooms, some of them quite distant and out of earshot, where the killer could be wreaking havoc.

"The officer may have to set out in a direction with little guidance and cover a lot of ground until he comes across something. In these situations, intelligence often belongs only to those who go get it. But what's the alternative--just stop and wait? The killing may be continuing while you hear nothing."

Single-officer entry has been a controversial concept, Borsch says, but he senses that the tide is starting to turn. In a recent issue of Law and Order Magazine, hardly an advocate of radical innovation, the executive director of the National Assn. of School Resource Officers wrote in an article aimed as police chiefs, "Training CANNOT be limited to the active shoot training where three, four or more officers respond and form a team." At SEALE, Borsch has found that chiefs whose officers have completed the First Responder course often want their personnel to repeat the training to reinforce the single-entry precepts. Some departments have also hired him as a consultant to evaluate and revise their active-killer protocols.

"A slow-and-methodical approach--what I call 'tactical loitering'--is still appropriate for most types of police encounters," Borsch says. "Dynamic active killers are a unique problem. With time as a relentless enemy, an officer has a choice to make: does he or she take the risk of going in alone...or are potential victims left to the mercy of a rogue human while the officer stays safe?"

Even with an immediate solo entry, Borsch concedes, police may not find the killer until his bloodletting is over. But saving time by "getting called early enough and taking action early enough," he argues, still offers the best chance for mitigating casualties.

Aided by his research, "we prepare the officers' mind first, then work on the motor skills in hallways, stairwells and rooms," Borsch says. To motivate courage, he hangs the walls of his training classroom with photographs of victims and their active shooters. "The victims' pictures are big," he explains. "Those of the killers are small. They're worthless cowards. The innocent people who may be their victims if we don't stop them are what matter."
 
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« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2008, 12:43:04 PM »

NYC Police Face Disbelief in Court Over Gun Searches

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 12, 2008

Police in Gun Searches Face Disbelief in Court

By BENJAMIN WEISER
After listening carefully to the two policemen, the judge had a problem: He did not believe them.

The officers, who had stopped a man in the Bronx and found a .22-caliber pistol in his fanny pack, testified that they had several reasons to search him: He was loitering, sweating nervously and had a bulge under his jacket.

But the judge, John E. Sprizzo of United States District Court in Manhattan, concluded that the police had simply reached into the pack without cause, found the gun, then “tailored” testimony to justify the illegal search. “You can’t have open season on searches,” said Judge Sprizzo, who refused to allow the gun as evidence, prompting prosecutors to drop the case last May.

Yet for all his disapproval of what the police had done, the judge said he hated to make negative rulings about officers’ credibility. “I don’t like to jeopardize their career and all the rest of it,” he said.

He need not have worried. The Police Department never learned of his criticism, and the officers — like many others whose word has been called into question — faced no disciplinary action or inquiry.

Over the last six years, the police and prosecutors have cooperated in a broad effort that allows convicted felons found with a firearm to be tried in federal court, where sentences are much harsher than in state court. Officials say the initiative has taken hundreds of armed criminals off the street, mostly in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and turned some into informers who have helped solve more serious crimes.

But a closer look at those prosecutions reveals something that has not been trumpeted: more than 20 cases in which judges found police officers’ testimony to be unreliable, inconsistent, twisting the truth, or just plain false. The judges’ language was often withering: “patently incredible,” “riddled with exaggerations,” “unworthy of belief.”

The outrage usually stopped there. With few exceptions, judges did not ask prosecutors to determine whether the officers had broken the law, and prosecutors did not notify police authorities about the judges’ findings. The Police Department said it did not monitor the rulings and was aware of only one of them; after it learned about the cases recently from a reporter, a spokesman said the department would decide whether further review was needed.

Though the number of cases is small, the lack of consequences for officers may seem surprising, given that a city commission on police corruption in the 1990s pinpointed tainted testimony as a problem so pervasive that the police even had a word for it: “testilying.”

And these cases may fuel another longtime concern that flared up again in recent days: suspicions that the police routinely subject people to unjustified searches, frisks or stops. Last week, the Police Department reported a spike in street stops, which it said were “an essential law enforcement tool”: 145,098 from January through March, more than during any quarter in six years.

The judges’ rulings emerge from what are called suppression hearings, in which defendants, before trial, can argue that evidence was seized illegally. The Fourth Amendment sets limits on the conditions that permit a search; if they are not met, judges must exclude the evidence, even if that means allowing a guilty person to go free.

Prosecutors and police officials say many of the suppressions stem from difficult, split-second judgments that officers must make in potentially dangerous situations about whether to search someone for a weapon — decisions that are not always easy to reconstruct in a courtroom.

But one former federal judge, John S. Martin Jr., said the rulings are meant to deter serious abuses by the police. “The reason you suppress,” he said, “is to stop cops from going up to people and searching them when they don’t have reason.”

Federal judges rarely suppress evidence, Judge Martin said, and the unusual number of suppressions in New York City gun cases raises questions about whether such tactics may be common. “We don’t have the statistics for all the people who are hassled, no gun is found, and they never get into the system,” he said.

Whatever one makes of the legal debate, these cases offer a revealing glimpse into some police practices — in the street and on the witness stand — that have gone largely unexamined outside the courtroom.

‘A Dismal Record’

In one case, the officer explained that he had a special technique for detecting who was hiding a gun. He had learned it from a newspaper article that described certain clues to watch for: a hand brushing a pocket, a lopsided gait, a jacket or sweater that seems mismatched or out of season.

That was one reason, he told a judge, that he was certain the man he saw outside a Brooklyn housing project last September was concealing a gun. The man, Anthony McCrae, had moved his hand along the front of his waistband, as if moving a weapon, the officer said. Sure enough, a search turned up a gun.

The judge, John Gleeson of Brooklyn federal court, asked the officer, Kaz Daughtry, how successful his method had been in other cases.

Officer Daughtry replied that over a three-day period, he and his partner had stopped 30 to 50 people. One had a gun.

Calling that a “dismal record,” the judge said the officer’s technique was “little more than guesswork.”

Moreover, Judge Gleeson said he did not believe that Officer Daughtry could even have seen the gesture he found so suspicious: Mr. McCrae’s hand was in front of him and the officer was about 30 feet behind.

The judge would not allow the gun as evidence, and on April 24, federal prosecutors dropped the charges. A law enforcement official said the Brooklyn district attorney’s office learned of the ruling and was reviewing Officer Daughtry’s other cases to see if there were problems.

The Police Department declined to make Officer Daughtry, or any other officers, available for comment.
====
Cont.

The decisions to suppress, which The New York Times found by interviewing lawyers and examining more than 1,000 court dockets since 2002, came from 18 federal judges in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Several rulings involved police raids on homes without warrants — and judges’ doubts that the owners had consented to a search, as the police claimed and the law requires.

In one case, a group of officers investigating a fatal shooting in 2002 entered an apartment in the Bronx and arrested a man named Justice Taylor after finding a shotgun in a bedroom. Sgt. Brian Branigan, who led the search, testified in federal court in Manhattan that Mr. Taylor had given the officers permission to enter.

But Mr. Taylor denied that. Two other officers did not mention his giving consent. And the judge, Jed S. Rakoff, said that Sergeant Branigan “felt the need to embellish his account with details indicating consent that the court finds unbelievable.”

Judge Rakoff even took issue with the demeanor of the sergeant, “whose cockiness was evident even on the stand.” His apparent “disregard for niceties,” the judge wrote, made it “wholly plausible” that he had forced his way into the apartment.

The case was dismissed, and the city, while denying liability, paid $280,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit by Mr. Taylor and others in the apartment.

In another case, a judge did more than cast doubt on an officer’s testimony. She proved it wrong.

The judge, Laura Taylor Swain, heard the officer, Sean Lynch, testify that he had shined his flashlight through the window of a parked sport utility vehicle one night in the Bronx and had seen a gun. The driver’s lawyer said that Officer Lynch could not have seen the gun because the car’s windows were heavily tinted.

So after sunset one evening in January 2006, the judge walked outside the Manhattan federal courthouse and shined a flashlight into the vehicle. She could see nothing.

Her inspection and other evidence, she wrote, “give the lie” to Officer Lynch’s account, which she called “impossible.” Prosecutors dropped the case.

The police, to be sure, have a difficult job trying to root out guns without overstepping the law. Some judges acknowledged this in court, saying they believed not that officers had lied, but rather that they had failed to recall an event accurately, perhaps because of its brevity, a limited vantage point or the subsequent passage of time.

And some expressed sympathy for the police. Judge Gleeson said in one case that while he found two officers’ testimony contradictory, he did not want to imply they had lied.

“I’m always reluctant in these circumstances, having been in the executive branch myself, having a feel for the consequences of an adverse credibility determination — I’m sensitive to it,” he said last November.

Judges typically do not discuss cases, but some have said that, in general, it is not their responsibility to follow up their criticisms of officers. The rulings are on the record, for prosecutors or others to act on if they wish.

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that only one of the critical rulings had been reported to the police, by a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn who said he had no doubts about the officer’s truthfulness. The police took no action.

More broadly, Mr. Browne said an officer’s failure to convince a judge that his suspicions were justified “doesn’t necessarily mean the officer did something wrong.”

“In each case,” he added, “the suspect in fact had a gun.”

Federal prosecutors would not comment on individual cases. But Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said his office reviews any negative rulings about an officer’s credibility to decide whether any action is necessary.

“Any time evidence gets suppressed is a serious thing,” he said.

In court, prosecutors have vigorously defended the officers’ conduct and testimony. In one brief, a prosecutor argued that a police lieutenant had no reason to lie, because that could “jeopardize a fast-moving N.Y.P.D. career.” But writing in response, a federal defender, Deirdre von Dornum, cited cases in which officers faced no repercussions — “not the loss of their jobs, not disciplinary action.”

Still, one judge was so struck by what he said were an officer’s lies that he tried to do something about it.

Two officers had arrested a man and confiscated a gun in a Bronx apartment in 2002. But Judge Martin, then on the Manhattan federal court, was troubled that one officer had given the district attorney’s office an account of how she gained entry to the apartment, then largely contradicted it on the stand.

“This has to be one of the most blatant cases of perjury I’ve seen,” Judge Martin, a former United States attorney, said in his courtroom in September 2003. He said he doubted the officer, Kim Carillo, had “any use for the truth.”

“She will tell it, I think, whatever way it suits her to tell it,” he added.

The judge told the prosecutor to ask his superiors to review Officer Carillo’s testimony. They later replied that they had found no perjury, he said, and that the officer was not at fault.

Side Effects

If the fallout for police officers has been slight, the judges’ rulings have exacted other costs.

For one thing, they may free a weapons offender, and scuttle the chance to win his cooperation in more significant prosecutions, like investigations into violent gangs or gun trafficking. “The lost value of those bigger cases is really incalculable,” said Alan Vinegrad, a former United States attorney in Brooklyn.

Questions about police credibility can also hamper other cases. When a judge finds, for example, that an officer has lied, prosecutors must alert defense lawyers in other cases involving that officer.

Judge David G. Trager of Brooklyn federal court was so indignant over what he called an officer’s “blatantly false” testimony in an October 2005 suppression hearing that he told prosecutors, “I hope you won’t darken my courtroom with this police officer’s testimony again.”

Judge Trager did not suppress the gun, concluding that some of the officer’s testimony had been credible. But the officer, Herbert Martin, was about to testify in a federal trial stemming from another gun arrest.

The defense lawyer in that case, Howard Greenberg, said that learning of Judge Trager’s findings “was like manna from heaven.”

When Officer Martin took the stand in that trial, Mr. Greenberg confronted him, asking, “Didn’t you commit perjury a week ago when you said in this very building, in an altogether different case, that someone had a gun in his waist?”

The officer denied that he had lied. But Mr. Greenberg said he believed that his question made an impression on the jury. His client was acquitted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/nyregion/12guns.html
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« Reply #47 on: July 01, 2008, 01:52:00 PM »



GERALD, Mo. — Like so many rural communities in the country’s middle, this small town had wrestled for years with the woes of methamphetamine. Then, several months ago, a federal agent showed up.


Mayor Otis Schulte of Gerald said Bill A. Jakob went to great lengths to make police officers think he was a federal agent.
Arrests began. Houses were ransacked. People, in handcuffs on their front lawns, named names. To some, like Mayor Otis Schulte, who considers the county around Gerald, population 1,171, “a meth capital of the United States,” the drug scourge seemed to be fading at last.

Those whose homes were searched, though, grumbled about a peculiar change in what they understood — mainly from television — to be the law.

They said the agent, a man some had come to know as “Sergeant Bill,” boasted that he did not need search warrants to enter their homes because he worked for the federal government.

But after a reporter for the local weekly newspaper made a few calls about that claim, Gerald’s antidrug campaign abruptly fell apart after less than five months. Sergeant Bill, it turned out, was no federal agent, but Bill A. Jakob, an unemployed former trucking company owner, a former security guard, a former wedding minister and a former small-town cop from 23 miles down the road.

Mr. Jakob, 36, is now the subject of a criminal investigation by federal authorities, and he is likely to face charges related to impersonating a law enforcement officer, his lawyer said.

The strange adventures of Sergeant Bill have led to the firing of three of the town’s five police officers, left the outcome of a string of drug arrests in doubt, prompted multimillion-dollar federal civil rights lawsuits by at least 17 plaintiffs and stirred up a political battle, including a petition seeking the impeachment of Mr. Schulte, over who is to blame for the mess.

And the questions keep coming. How did Mr. Jakob wander into town and apparently leave the mayor, the aldermen and pretty much everyone else he met thinking that he was a federal agent delivered from Washington to help barrel into peoples’ homes and clean up Gerald’s drug problem? And why would anyone — receiving no pay and with no known connection to little Gerald, 70 miles from St. Louis and not even a county seat — want to carry off such a time-consuming ruse in the first place?

Mr. Jakob’s lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said that what happened in Gerald was never a sinister plot, but a chain of events rooted in “errors in judgment.” Mr. Schwartz said he believed that at least three Gerald police officers, including the chief, knew that Mr. Jakob was not a federal drug agent or even a certified police officer.

“It was an innocent evolution, where he helped with one minor thing, then one more on top of that, and all of the sudden, everyone thought he was a federal agent,” Mr. Schwartz said. “I’m not saying this was legal or lawful. But look, they were very, very effective while he was present. I don’t think Gerald is having the drug problem they were having. I’ve heard from some residents who were thrilled that he was there.”

There were numerous arrests during Mr. Jakob’s time in Gerald (the exact number is uncertain, local law enforcement officials said, as legal action surrounding the case proceeds), but Mayor Schulte said that Mr. Jakob had, in fact, gone to elaborate lengths to deceive local authorities, including Ryan McCrary, then the police chief, into believing that he was a federal agent — with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Marshals Service or some other agency.

In addition to having a badge and a car that seemed to scream law enforcement, Mr. Jakob offered federal drug enforcement help, Mr. Schulte said. (Local officials thought the offer must have somehow grown out of their recent application for a federal grant for radio equipment.) Mr. Jakob even asked Chief McCrary to call what he said was his supervisor’s telephone number to confirm Gerald’s need for his help, the mayor said.

When the call was placed, a woman — whose identity is unknown — answered with the words “multijurisdictional task force,” and said that the city’s request for federal services was under review, the mayor said. Mr. Schulte said he now suspects that Mr. Jakob adapted the nonexistent task force name from the “Beverly Hills Cop” movies starring Eddie Murphy.

“Not only were these officers taken in, but so was everybody else,” said Chet Pleban, a lawyer for Mr. McCrary and the other two members of the police force who lost their jobs after Mr. Jakob’s real identity came to light.

Of the firings, Mayor Schulte said, “Nobody wanted to, but the city’s lawyer recommended it.”

When residents first began noticing Mr. Jakob, he certainly looked the part. His hair was chopped short, residents recalled, and his stocky chest filled a black T-shirt he sometimes wore that read “Police.” They said he wore military-style boots, pants with pockets running down the legs and carried a badge (his lawyer said it was from a former job as a security guard in St. Louis). And his off-white Ford Crown Victoria was decked out with police radios and internal flashing lights, residents said.
===========

Page 2 of 2)

He first came to town in January, his lawyer said, to meet Chief McCrary, whose experiences serving in Afghanistan Mr. Jakob had read about in a local newspaper. Mr. Jakob was considering contract work overseas, Mr. Schwartz said, and the pair hit it off.
Soon, the arrests began. Some of those whose homes were searched said they had been kicked in the head and had had shotguns held against them. Mr. Jakob, many said, seemed to be leading the crew of Gerald police officers.

“He was definitely in charge — it was all him,” said Mike Withington, 49, a concrete finisher, who said Mr. Jakob pounded on his door in May, waking him up and yanking him, in handcuffs, out onto his front yard.

Mr. Withington said he had not yet been charged with a crime; Gary Toelke, the Franklin County sheriff, confirmed that no local charges had been issued against him. But the mortification of that day, Mr. Withington said, has kept him largely indoors and led him to consider moving. Since the search, residents have tossed garbage and crumpled boxes of Sudafed (which has an ingredient that can be used to make methamphetamine) on his lawn, he said, and he no longer shops in town, instead driving miles to neighboring towns.

“Everybody is staring at me,” he said. “People assume you’re guilty when things like this happen.”

When Linda Trest, 51, a reporter at The Gasconade County Republican, started hearing complaints from people whose homes had been searched, she began making inquiries about Mr. Jakob.

“Once I got his name, I hit the computer and within an hour I had all the dirt on this guy,” Ms. Trest said.

As it turned out, Mr. Jakob, who is married and lives near Washington, a small town not far from Gerald, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003 when he owned a trucking company, and had, at 22, pleaded guilty in Illinois to a misdemeanor charge of criminal sex abuse of someone in their teens. Since the 1990s, he had worked, at times, as a police officer in tiny departments in towns like Kinloch, Mo., and Brooklyn, Ill., though he never seemed to stay anywhere long and was never certified as a police officer in either Missouri or Illinois, his lawyer said. (Under some conditions, short-term employees with some departments are not immediately required to have state certification.)

As in Gerald, he impressed some, if only at first. “He seemed to have experience on the street,” said J. D. Roth, the police chief in Caseyville, Ill., where Mr. Jakob was a temporary part-time officer for almost two months in 2000. “He walked the walk and talked the talk.”

In Gerald, just a day before it was revealed that he was not a federal agent, the city aldermen voted to make Mr. Jakob a reserve officer; he wanted the designation, Mr. Schulte said, so he could enforce local ordinances, and he stood before the aldermen, hands behind his back, seeking the title.  Mr. Jakob offered city officials three contact numbers — his personal cellphone, a cellphone he said he used for drug informants and his “multijurisdictional task force” cellphone, Mr. Schulte said.

“It was the movie, ‘Catch Me if You Can’ all over again,” said Mr. Schulte, referring to the 2002 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a master of deception. “I’m telling you, with this guy, everything was right.”
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« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2008, 05:59:34 PM »

Mexican Cartels and the Fallout From Phoenix
July 2, 2008




By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

Late on the night of June 22, a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant. The members of the team were wearing the typical gear for members of their profession: black boots, black BDU pants, Kevlar helmets and Phoenix Police Department (PPD) raid shirts pulled over their body armor. The team members carried AR-15 rifles equipped with Aimpoint sights to help them during the low-light operation and, like most cops on a tactical team, in addition to their long guns, the members of this team carried secondary weapons — pistols strapped to their thighs.

But the raid took a strange turn when one element of the team began directing suppressive fire on the residence windows while the second element entered — a tactic not normally employed by the PPD. This breach of departmental protocol did not stem from a mistake on the part of the team’s commander. It occurred because the eight men on the assault team were not from the PPD at all. These men were not cops serving a legal search or arrest warrant signed by a judge; they were cartel hit men serving a death warrant signed by a Mexican drug lord.

The tactical team struck hard and fast. They quickly killed a man in the house and then fled the scene in two vehicles, a red Chevy Tahoe and a gray Honda sedan. Their aggressive tactics did have consequences, however. The fury the attackers unleashed on the home — firing over 100 rounds during the operation — drew the attention of a nearby Special Assignments Unit (SAU) team, the PPD’s real tactical team, which responded to the scene with other officers. An SAU officer noticed the Tahoe fleeing the scene and followed it until it entered an alley. Sensing a potential ambush, the SAU officer chose to establish a perimeter and wait for reinforcements rather than charge down the alley after the suspects. This was fortunate, because after three of the suspects from the Tahoe were arrested, they confessed that they had indeed planned to ambush the police officers chasing them.

The assailants who fled in the Honda have not yet been found, but police did recover the vehicle in a church parking lot. They reportedly found four sets of body armor in the vehicle and also recovered an assault rifle abandoned in a field adjacent to the church.

This Phoenix home invasion and murder is a vivid reminder of the threat to U.S. law enforcement officers that stems from the cartel wars in Mexico.

Violence Crosses the Border
The fact that the Mexican men involved in the Phoenix case were heavily armed and dressed as police comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed security events in Mexico. Teams of cartel enforcers frequently impersonate police or military personnel, often wearing matching tactical gear and carrying standardized weapons. In fact, it is rare to see a shootout or cartel-related arms seizure in Mexico where tactical gear and clothing bearing police or military insignia is not found.

One reason for the prevalent use of this type of equipment is that many cartel enforcers come from military or police backgrounds. By training and habit, they prefer to operate as a team composed of members equipped with standardized gear so that items such as ammunition and magazines can be interchanged during a firefight. This also gives a team member the ability to pick up the familiar weapon of a fallen comrade and immediately bring it into action. This is of course the same reason military units and police forces use standardized equipment in most places.

Police clothing, such as hats, patches and raid jackets, is surprisingly easy to come by. Authentic articles can be stolen or purchased through uniform vendors or cop shops. Knockoff uniform items can easily be manufactured in silk screen or embroidery shops by duplicating authentic designs. Even badges are easy to obtain if one knows where to look.

While it now appears that the three men arrested in Phoenix were not former or active members of the Mexican military or police, it is not surprising that they employed military- and police-style tactics. Enforcers of various cartel groups such as Los Zetas, La Gente Nueva or the Kaibiles who have received advanced tactical training often pass on that training to younger enforcers (many of whom are former street thugs) at makeshift training camps located on ranches in northern Mexico. There are also reports of Israeli mercenaries visiting these camps to provide tactical training. In this way, the cartel enforcers are transforming ordinary street thugs into highly-trained cartel tactical teams.

Though cartel enforcers have almost always had ready access to guns, including military weapons such as assault rifles and grenade launchers, groups such as Los Zetas, the Kaibiles and their young disciples bring an added level of threat to the equation. They are highly trained men with soldiers’ mindsets who operate as a unit capable of using their weapons with deadly effectiveness. Assault rifles in the hands of untrained thugs are dangerous, but when those same weapons are placed in the hands of men who can shoot accurately and operate tactically as a fire team, they can be overwhelmingly powerful — not only when used against enemies and other intended targets, but also when used against law enforcement officers who attempt to interfere with the team’s operations.

Targets
Although the victim in the Phoenix killing, Andrew Williams, was reportedly a Jamaican drug dealer who crossed a Mexican cartel, there are many other targets in the United States that the cartels would like to eliminate. These targets include Mexican cartel members who have fled to the United States due to several different factors. The first factor is the violent cartel war that has raged in Mexico for the past few years over control of important smuggling routes and strategic locations along those routes. The second factor is the Calderon administration’s crackdown, first on the Gulf cartel and now on the Sinaloa cartel. Pressure from rival cartels and the government has forced many cartel leaders into hiding, and some of them have left Mexico for Central America or the United States.

Traditionally, when violence has spiked in Mexico, cartel figures have used U.S. cities such as Laredo, El Paso and San Diego as rest and recreation spots, reasoning that the general umbrella of safety provided by U.S. law enforcement to those residing in the United States would protect them from assassination by their enemies. As bolder Mexican cartel hit men have begun to carry out assassinations on the U.S. side of the border in places such as Laredo, Rio Bravo, and even Dallas, the cartel figures have begun to seek sanctuary deeper in the United States, thereby bringing the threat with them.

While many cartel leaders are wanted in the United States, many have family members not being sought by U.S. law enforcement. (Many of them even have relatives who are U.S. citizens.) Some family members have also settled comfortably inside the United States, using the country as a haven from violence in Mexico. These families might become targets, however, as the cartels look for creative ways to hurt their rivals.

Other cartel targets in the United States include Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement officers responsible for operations against the cartels, and informants who have cooperated with U.S. or Mexican authorities and been relocated stateside for safety. There are also many police officers who have quit their jobs in Mexico and fled to the United States to escape threats from the cartels, as well as Mexican businessmen who are targeted by cartels and have moved to the United States for safety.

To date, the cartels for the most part have refrained from targeting innocent civilians. In the type of environment they operate under inside Mexico, cartels cannot afford to have the local population, a group they use as camouflage, turn against them. It is not uncommon for cartel leaders to undertake public relations events (they have even held carnivals for children) in order to build goodwill with the general population. As seen with al Qaeda in Iraq, losing the support of the local population is deadly for a militant group attempting to hide within that population.

Cartels have also attempted to minimize civilian casualties in their operations inside the United States, though for a different operational consideration. The cartels believe that if a U.S. drug dealer or a member of a rival Mexican cartel is killed in a place like Dallas or Phoenix, nobody really cares. Many people see such a killing as a public service, and there will not be much public outcry about it, nor much real effort on the part of law enforcement agencies to identify and catch the killers. The death of a civilian, on the other hand, brings far more public condemnation and law enforcement attention.

However, the aggressiveness of cartel enforcers and their brutal lack of regard for human life means that while they do not intentionally target civilians, they are bound to create collateral casualties along the way. This is especially true as they continue to conduct operations like the Phoenix killing, where they fired over 100 rounds of 5.56 mm ball ammunition at a home in a residential neighborhood.

Tactical Implications
Judging from the operations of the cartel enforcers in Mexico, they have absolutely no hesitation about firing at police officers who interfere with their operations or who dare to chase them. Indeed, the Phoenix case nearly ended in an ambush of the police. It must be noted, however, that this ambush was not really intentional, but rather the natural reaction of these Mexican cartel enforcers to police pursuit. They were accustomed to shooting at police and military south of the border and have very little regard for them. In many instances, this aggression convinces the poorly armed and trained police to leave the cartel gunmen alone.

The problem such teams pose for the average U.S. cop on patrol is that the average cop is neither trained nor armed to confront a heavily armed fire team. In fact, a PPD source advised Stratfor that, had the SAU officer not been the first to arrive on the scene, it could have been a disaster for the department. This is not a criticism of the Phoenix cops. The vast majority of police officers and federal agents in the United States simply are not prepared or equipped to deal with a highly trained fire team using insurgent tactics. That is a task suited more for the U.S. military forces currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These cartel gunmen also have the advantage of being camouflaged as cops. This might not only cause considerable confusion during a firefight (who do backup officers shoot at if both parties in the fight are dressed like cops?) but also means that responding officers might hesitate to fire on the criminals dressed as cops. Such hesitation could provide the criminals with an important tactical advantage — an advantage that could prove fatal for the officers.

Mexican cartel enforcers have also demonstrated a history of using sophisticated scanners to listen to police radio traffic, and in some cases they have even employed police radios to confuse and misdirect the police responding to an armed confrontation with cartel enforcers.

We anticipate that as the Mexican cartels begin to go after more targets inside the United States, the spread of cartel violence and these dangerous tactics beyond the border region will catch some law enforcement officers by surprise. A patrol officer conducting a traffic stop on a group of cartel members who are preparing to conduct an assassination in, say, Los Angeles, Chicago or northern Virginia could quickly find himself heavily outgunned and under fire. With that said, cops in the United States are far more capable than their Mexican counterparts of dealing with this threat.

In addition to being far better trained, U.S. law enforcement officers also have access to far better command, control and communication networks than their Mexican counterparts. Like we saw in the Phoenix example, this communication network provides cops with the ability to quickly summon reinforcements, air support and tactical teams to deal with heavily armed criminals — but this communication system only helps if it can be used. That means cops need to recognize the danger before they are attacked and prevented from calling for help. As with many other threats, the key to protecting oneself against this threat is situational awareness, and cops far from the border need to become aware of this trend.

Tell Stratfor What You Think

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com
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« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2008, 09:02:02 PM »



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1. The August 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new
articles:

* Police Civil Liability
Police Interaction with Homeless Persons 
Part One – Sleeping and Possessions

* Discipline and Employment Law
Administrative Investigations of Police Shootings and Other Critical Incidents:
Officer Statements and Use of Force Reports
Part Two: The Basics

* Corrections Law
Prisoner Work Programs

Access the Law Journal's menu page at http://www.aele.org/law/MLJ2008AUG.html

Note: The article on "Administrative Investigations of Police Shootings" focuses on
seven important questions:

** What information needs to be obtained from an officer who has killed or wounded a
suspect, before the officer is placed on paid, administrative leave?
** How long should investigators wait, before formally interviewing an officer who
has used deadly force?
** Should officers be interviewed together or separately?
** Should officers be allowed to be accompanied, at the interview, by an association
representative or attorney?
** Who should complete the Use of Force Report: The involved officers, the field
supervisor, or a member of the incident investigation team?
** Should the involved officer(s) be allowed a walk-through before giving an
interview to investigators?
** If there are videotapes, should the officer(s) review them before or after the
formal interview?

At the end of the article there are 87 references to articles, books, judicial
decisions, model policies, guidelines, reports and studies. Many can be viewed by
hyperlinks.

The article can be directly accessed at http://www.aele.org/law/2008-8MLJ201.html
 
2. The August 2008 issues of AELE's three periodicals have been uploaded. The
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engine are FREE. Everyone is welcome to read, print or download AELE publications
without charge. The main menu is at: http://www.aele.org/law
 
Among 100+ different cases noted, there are several that warrant mention here:
 
*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Excessive Force - Pepper Spray
Officers did not use excessive force in response to a belligerent motorist who
shouted and refused to comply with their directions to step to the curb, lower his
voice, and calm down. When he resisted their attempts to place handcuffs on him,
they tackled him to the ground and applied arm locks for purposes of restraint.
After that too proved unsuccessful, they then used pepper spray. The court ruled
that no reasonable officer would have throught that the defendant officers applied
excessive force under the circumstances, and that the officers were entitled to
qualified immunity. Mierzwa v. U.S., #07-3362, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13523 (Unpub.
3rd Cir.).
http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/073362np.pdf

* Excessive Force - Taser
Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on claims that they used excessive
force in deploying a Taser on a 6-year-old, 53-pound minor, allegedly causing
permanent and severe injuries. The child was placed in a school principal's office
after being disruptive in a class. He broke a picture frame in the office, and
police officers allegedly found him standing with a piece of glass in his hand. One
officer kneeled in front of the child while the other sat in front of him, and then
moved within one foot of him just before using the Taser. At the time of the
incident, which was 2003, it was "obvious" that the Fourth Amendment prohibited the
use of the Taser under these circumstances, according to the appeals court. Moretta
v. Abbott, #07-10795, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 11749 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/unpub/ops/200710795.pdf

* Excessive Force - Firearms
Based on disputes about the facts of the incident in which officers shot and killed
a man as he tried to flee a traffic stop, the officers were properly denied
qualified immunity. While the officers claimed that they feared for their safety
even under the facts alleged by the plaintiffs, those allegations were that the
motorist's truck was moving non-aggressively and slowly, and could not have hit the
officers, and also that it was stationary at the time of the shooting. Under those
circumstances, if true, no reasonable officer could have believed that the motorist
posed a threat to them. Further, under these circumstances, the officers would have
had time to assess the situation before firing several times at the motorist.
Officers may not, the court noted, fire at a fleeing felon who is not posing a
threat to anyone. Estate of Kirby v. Duva, #06-1976, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13573 (6th
Cir.).
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/6th/061976p.pdf


*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***

* Disciplinary Punishment - Sexual Misconduct
Tenth Circuit upholds a private oral reprimand for a police officer, who, while
off-duty, had sex with another officer, while attending a training session out of
town. "We think it reasonable for the police department to privately admonish
[appellant's] personal conduct consistent with its code of conduct when the
department believes it will further internal discipline or the public's respect for
its police officers and the department they represent." Seegmiller v. Laverkin City,
#07-4096 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12417 (10th Cir.).
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/10th/074096p.pdf

* Disciplinary Punishment - Civility
Swearing at another officer does not merit termination. (Other issues also were
discussed in the case). Harder v. Vil. of Forest Park, #05-C-5800, 2008 U.S. Dist.
Lexis 36892 (N.D.Ill.).
http://www.aele.org/law/2008FPAUG/harder-fppd.html

*** Jail and Prisoner Law Bulletin ***

* Positional, Restraint, and Compressional Asphyxia
Although a man suffering from delusions attacked a psychiatric hospital staff
member, the defendants knew that restraining him face-down on the floor and putting
pressure on a his back posed a substantial risk of asphyxiation. "Despite knowledge
of this risk, defendants chose to restrain [the deceased] using these dangerous
restraint techniques. Their actions were objectively unreasonable given the fact
that [an] eyewitness testified that [the] defendants continued to restrain [him] in
this dangerous position ..." During the attempt to restrain him, he stopped
breathing, never regained consciousness, and died. The appeals court rejected claims
by certain defendants for qualified immunity in a federal civil rights lawsuit
brought by the decedent's estate. Lanman v. Hinson, #06-2263, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis
12682, 2008 Fed App. 0212P (6th Cir.).
http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0212p-06.pdf
 
* Prisoner Restraint

Placing a prisoner in a four-point restraint and keeping him shackled to his bed in
this manner for four hours did not violate his substantive due process rights. The
inmate was accused of biting the prison guard at the time the restraints were
applied. Grinter v. Knight, #05-6755, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12919 (6th Cir.).
http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0213p-06.pdf

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