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Old 06-17-2009, 10:42 AM   #141
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Sure she was belligerent, sure she deserved arrest. But you'd think a cop half her age and twice her size might have managed to get a pair of hand cuffs on her.
And possibly injure her, or break some bones, if she continued to struggle and resist. Not to mention the potential for a scuffle to roll into traffic on a busy, high-speed road. (I drive this stretch of road fairly frequently.)
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:45 AM   #142
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That great-grandmother was going to roll that 250+ lb guy into traffic? I think you're reaching.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:51 AM   #143
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That great-grandmother was going to roll that 250+ lb guy into traffic? I think you're reaching.
Oh, good grief. I'm not talking about a scrum here -- we saw in the video how she kept her distance and wouldn't let him slap the cuffs on. It's not a "reach" to think that in the heat of the moment she could have kept running from him and, without realizing it, come dangerously close to the traffic if the incident continued on its pre-taser course.

One thing this incident has taught me is that a lot of people seem to think they know more about "good police work" than those who have gone through all the training at the academy and elsewhere.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:52 AM   #144
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Actually, Ziggy, the whole suggestion that hand cuffing her might have been dangerous, hence he's better off shooting her with a taser, seems a little preposterous.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:53 AM   #145
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Actually, Ziggy, the whole suggestion that hand cuffing her might have been dangerous, hence he's better off shooting her with a taser, seems a little preposterous.
Granted that cops sometimes tend to protect their own, but I've heard this from several people in law enforcement (a few have admittedly disagreed as well). I'll take their perspective on "proper police work" over a random non-LEO on a message board every time.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:56 AM   #146
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And I'll take common sense over what some other random poster has to offer.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:27 PM   #147
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One thing this incident has taught me is that a lot of people seem to think they know more about "good police work" than those who have gone through all the training at the academy and elsewhere.
That concept carries over to many issues - I call it the "American Idol" or empty barrel affect (makes the most noise).

People think they know what is proper without any basic knowledge about the issue. Dumbing down of America at its best.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:19 PM   #148
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Clearly common sense differs from individual to individual, but I suspect the officer involved in the incident had the best assessment of what would be the most effective and safest means of effecting an arrest.

Both she and the large guy in the Utah incident seemed totally recovered in seconds. Whether the cop would have broken her wrists trying to subdue her would most like have been up to her, she seemed eager for a brawl.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:55 PM   #149
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Actually, Ziggy, the whole suggestion that hand cuffing her might have been dangerous, hence he's better off shooting her with a taser, seems a little preposterous.
Armchair quarterbacking.........
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:31 PM   #150
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With tasers, and especially dashboard video, the police and society are going to have to come to grips with the fact that it gets ugly out there sometimes. And there is never such a thing as a fair fight. Once force is required it just becomes a question of what is the most effective without being excessive. Force is just pain compliance - hurt them enough so that they submit to the arrest.

The only real universal rule is don't be excessive. You can't use deadly force to confront non-deadly force, and you can't keep hurting them after they've stopped resisting. End of story.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:49 PM   #151
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Typical standard is 'minimum force necessary'.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:07 PM   #152
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The President says we need to contain our health care cost, at 72 she is entering the most expensive health care phase and she is also collecting social security.

Forget the taser, just use a gun on the nasty old lady and be done with her.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:31 PM   #153
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Yep, back in the day most smart cops had a throw-down gun and hey, if she drew on him with a Saturday night special, he did what he had to do. Case closed.

Bet ole grandpa would thank him.

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The President says we need to contain our health care cost, at 72 she is entering the most expensive health care phase and she is also collecting social security.

Forget the taser, just use a gun on the nasty old lady and be done with her.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #154
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Typical standard is 'minimum force necessary'.
That's a worthwhile standard to aim for, but in the heat of the moment when faced with an escalating situation, with a belligerent citizen resisting arrest and with a busy highway just behind you, I think it's pretty hard to fault an officer for using a little more force than this standard would ideally dictate.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #155
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Homework assignment for those passing judgment on the officers:

Ride in a squad for a week. Then tell us how you feel about it.


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Old 06-17-2009, 10:30 PM   #156
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Every cop I've talk to says that they don't cut good looking chicks any slack. One even told me he is more inclined to give them a ticket on theory that good looking girls already get away with too much stuff.
Yeah, and they also tell me they don't have ticket or arrest quotas.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:05 AM   #157
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Typical standard is 'minimum force necessary'.
I don't know what you mean by typical standard, I was referencing (in a very simplified way) the standards that the Supreme Court has set for us in the use of force.

There are confusing "standards" out there crafted by people who don't understand that the law changed 20 years ago, or by elected officials and/or police administrators who have elected to craft local law and policy that is the result of that confusion or deliberately more restrictive for some other reason.

My admittedly over-simplified description of determining if force is excessive or not is based on the Supreme Court's decision in Graham v. Connor in 1989. The Graham case carved out a particular piece of case law in a deliberate change from older standards to be applied when it came to the very type of interactions we have been discussing here.

Graham identified the use of force in arrests, detentions and searches as a 4th Amendment issue. Other governmental uses of force are governed under different case law and rely on other parts of the Constitution.

Here is what Graham set out:

The 4th amendment clarifies our rights to not be subject to unreasonable seizures of our person and stuff.
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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...
There are volumes of discussion about what is "reasonable" in search and seizure that you can find elsewhere. But in Graham the Court basically said that not only is the seizure itself required to meet the legal standard of reasonable, but the means by which it accomplishes that seizure (i.e. force) must also be reasonable.
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Determining whether the use of force is reasonable in any given instance requires careful balancing of " 'the nature and quality of the intrusion on the individual's Fourth Amendment interests against the importance of the governmental interests alleged to justify the intrusion. - Krueger v Fuehr, 8th Circuit
A seizure of a person always involves force. Even if the "force" is limited to a non-physical form (police officer telling a person to stop) there is always at least the implication that the person has to submit or face an escalation of force by the government's agent.

Besides the "force" created by a police officer's presence and commands, the Graham decision identified two additional types of force: Deadly force and all other physical force less than deadly force. While Graham sets out a lot of rules about how these cases are to be decided, it and all the related cases focus on when it is appropriate to move from one range of force to another. In other words, when is it appropriate to move upward from non-physical "force" to physical force, and from physical force to deadly force.

Graham doesn't make distinctions between tools, tactics or techniques within the three categories. No difference between a politely worded command and a shouted one - they're both types of non-physical force. The same for differences between baton strikes, karate kicks, pepper spray or a set of handcuffs - all are examples of non-deadly physical force. There is no rule on when to use a pistol vs. a shotgun, it's all deadly force to them.

One of our prior District Attorneys here, a man who didn't shy away from prosecuting anybody who needed it, including cops who were in the wrong, was frequently asked to comment about the number of times a suspect was shot by an officer or citizen. His response was always the same; "If you're justified in using deadly force there is no difference between one shot or five. They're all deadly. You only have to stop when you're no longer justified in using deadly force."

Graham does talk about when you have to reverse course and move backward from deadly force to physical force, to non-physical, and to no force. You've got to stop shooting or striking them with a baton when the threat has reduced to the point where that level of force is no longer justified by the suspect's actions.

What Graham does not require an officer to use a lower level of force than what is reasonable. In California an officer shot and killed a suspect when confronted with deadly force. The widow sued, and among her claims were that even if the police were justified in using deadly force, they could have used other means, non-deadly physical force, to subdue her husband. In other words, she claimed they had an obligation to use the "minimum force necessary." The 8th Circuit, relying on Graham, denied her claim,
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There is no precedent in this Circuit (or any other) which says that the Constitution requires law enforcement officers to use all feasible alternatives to avoid a situation where deadly force can justifiably be used. There are, however, cases which support the assertion that, where deadly force is otherwise justified under the Constitution, there is no constitutional duty to use non-deadly alternatives first...The Fourth Amendment does not require officers to use the least intrusive or even less intrusive alternatives in search and seizure cases. The only test is whether what the police officers actually did was reasonable. We do not believe the Fourth Amendment requires the use of the least or even a less deadly alternative so long as the use of deadly force is reasonable under Garner v. Tennessee and Graham v. Connor, supra.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:43 AM   #158
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Strawman alert! You're putting my words in the widow's mouth. If the officers were confronted with deadly force, I think the minimum force necessary would be a response in kind. (at least in most situations)


But I'm happy to judge this based on a 4th amendment standard of 'reasonableness' as opposed to the english common law minimum force principle.

Either way, I'm left with the question of why this 250lb guy couldn't get a pair of handcuffs on a great grandmother.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:05 AM   #159
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Homework assignment for those passing judgment on the officers:

Ride in a squad for a week. Then tell us how you feel about it.


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Point noted, but irrelevant. There are good reasons why police behaviour is governed by legislatures and courts, not by the police themselves.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:13 AM   #160
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Armchair quarterbacking.........

Is there another purpose for this thread? Its a personal finance website, not a police review board.

What post here isn't armchair quarterbacking? Why single mine out?
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