Just for the record, because I feel I am right in the middle of my lane here, I've been a street cop for 25 years now, and a use of force and firearms trainer for about 23 years. I work on the side for these folks; http://www.nletc.com/ teaching instructors and instructor/trainers at least yearly to a national/international audience. I also work for these folks; http://www.strategosintl.com/index-2407.html helping teach a variety of tactical type courses.
I've served on my department's UOF/shooting review board for long enough that I have lost track of how many years.
Issues I see with this incident;
Initial approach; it sucked. I had a serious WTF? moment when the copper had his pistol drawn and did the kick to the car, leaving his foot up on the door.
Seriously, WTF was that?
This is going to start a whole 'nother can of worms, but muzzling people that you have no idea that you are going to shoot is a bad idea. The whole "Rule Two" thing applies, even to cops, and even in scary situations. Muzzling people is a UOF, like it or not.
Positioning was also an issue, and I have little doubt that the officer with the gun drawn at several points muzzled the other coppers while they were taking the driver from the car. This is a training issue, and most street cops don't get decent training in how to safely take a car down.
The take-down/car extraction (assuming the officers thought they had a drunk/stoned driver who was non-compliant with verbal commands, and what appears to be some sort of short chase preceding this event) was GTG IMHO. The pig pile was really not. Pig piles almost always lead to stupid shit, like getting cheap shots in with your foot because you can't get past the pile of coppers to get hands on and you don't want to be left out of the fun.
The kicks were half-assed. Obviously they were "bunts" and not home runs. I am not defending the kicks, just noting for the record. "Why?" you ask? Well, I am glad you did.
The rule of hitting is that if you are justified in striking someone you hit them absolutely as hard as you possibly can, end the fight with as few strikes as possible. Go watch the Rodney King video again for a glaring example of piss-poor ability to strike/deliver force on target.
The kicks in this case speak to me as half assed because old boy knew he was cheap shotting the guy just because he though the guy was a drunk/stoned asshole. If the kicks were needed (lets say for the sake of argument that the driver was trying to access a pistol in his waistband and the officer who were hands on had yelled "GUN!!!!") then they should have been solid full power kicks that actually accomplished something. These were not. So, what we have is unjustified kicks that were stupid even if they could have been justified because the cop sucks at applying force effectively.
This is a lose-lose situation, good for no one involved, and right in the middle of "looks bad-is bad" type of TTPs.
BTW, the driver in this video WAS NOT at passive resistance. He was obviously at active-resistance/non-assaultive. Dealing with active resistant folks who don't want to be cuffed is exceedingly difficult, and anyone who has never fought someone into cuffs who didn't want to be cuffed has NO basis for commentary.
That being said, most of the tactics/techniques once the officers went hands on looked OK, but the kicks were quite frankly bullshit and should have never happened.
My job would have fired this guy, especially since he has stripes and WAY should have known better.
I've been an expert witness in a number of court venues defending officers in UOF cases, some right on the edge and rather controversial at the time. If I were contacted by this guy or his lawyer to defend his actions I would decline the case no matter how much money they were willing to pay. Like my current boss likes to say "You can't make chicken soup out of chicken shit".
Last edited by Chuck Haggard; 02-18-2012 at 11:49 AM.
Update on the matter. http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/making-a...141344483.html
Quoting the new DA Steve Wolfson
I disagree personally and think this sets a horrible precedent with the new DA. I can assure you from a local perspective that his decision hasn't been met with favorably here in Las Vegas."I didn't think it was in the community's best interest to charge an officer or officers with crimes for conduct that occurred a year and a half ago."
I had many use of force reports to write in 23 years working in City Jails .. Level 5 .. Level 4 ..Level 3 and Level 2 compounds.
It's easy for others to be back seat drivers when reading or seeing a video of an incident.
I should have said he was wrong in my posting just saying most cops do a good job and it's easy for those who do not deal with law breakers to be back seat drivers...
Some times my posting skills are not that good....
I'm not a cop basher but those cops sure did bash that guy. The mantra, "Stop resisting" is more of a thing to say for the recorder and other officers these days in order to justify beating a suspect or to add on fluff charges. It's very sad what "some" do with their power.
_________In celebration of Ramadan, I'll be eating Pork all month. You're Welcome._______________________