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Thread: Haggard and Weems on Cops Pointing Guns

  1. #1

    Haggard and Weems on Cops Pointing Guns



    Chuck Haggard and I discuss "cops point guns at people all of the time".
    Last edited by jlw; 05-20-2021 at 07:57 PM.
    I had an ER nurse in a class. I noticed she kept taking all head shots. Her response when asked why, "'I've seen too many people who have been shot in the chest putting up a fight in the ER." Point taken.

  2. #2
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    In the 9th Circuit, the case law since 1995 on this matter is Robinson vs. County of Solano. There are other cases in other circuits; I'll check my records and provide case citations. My agency teaches a low ready where we do not muzzle, flag. nor laser any part of the suspect's body. It's important to see the whole suspect's body and teach to see the whole of the suspect's body to determine who is who in the zoo.

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    We also teach and heavily emphasize Low Ready, and recently began teaching a High Ready/High Port in context as well. Our policy makes "Pointing a Firearm" a Reportable Use of Force, requiring documentation and a supervisory review. The policy was actually working, and was helping us to discourage what were in many instances of cops pointing guns at people in less than optimal circumstances. Helped us to emphasize the tactical advantages of the Low Ready position.

    Fast forward to today, and our new policy, written entirely by our citizen oversight agency with literally no input from the police department, defines Low Ready as Pointing a Firearm, and makes it a Reportable Use of Force. All of this stems from an attempt by one of their investigators to find our SWAT guys in violation of policy for not reporting force (Pointing a firearm) when body cam footage clearly showed them at Low Ready the entire time. We had the oversight agency literally claim that our department "made up" Low Ready to avoid reporting force. When they lost that case, they then convinced the Police Commission that Low Ready SHOULD be considered Pointing a Firearm.

    Implementation of the new policy is currently on hold due to widespread confusion over the incoherent rules it establishes. One part of the order forbids behavior that another General Order makes MANDATORY. When this was pointed out to our Command Staff, the response was "But those are different General Orders". I just wonder in which week of POST LE Management School do they remove the part of the brain that makes you capable of rational thought?

  4. #4
    Fantastic discussion. I got a lot out of it, especially the part in the beginning where you guys discussed the criminal charges associated with pointing guns at people who havenít done something to justify a use of force yet and the lack of exceptions to these laws for LE. Sometimes I feel like Iím engaged in a one-man jihad at my agency against pointing guns at everyone and their mother. Iím trying to convert one person at a time and I think this video will help.
    My posts only represent my personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or official policies of any employer, past or present. Obvious spelling errors are likely the result of an iPhone keyboard.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter SeriousStudent's Avatar
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    I want to buy Lee and Chuck a pile of their favorite smoked dead critter, and then listen.

    Beverages will be served.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter Erick Gelhaus's Avatar
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    In addition to the 9th Circuit case cited by @paherne there is both Baird v Renbarger and another 9th Circuit case of Thompson v Rahr & King County S/O.

  7. #7
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    Interesting discussion. Pointing a gun at someone is not considered a use of force at my Agency. It happens often, very often...we tend to deal with a lot of unknowns, multiple subjects, sketchy terrain, limited comms, and lack of cover/backup during our encounters (I think these are what you may call articulated facts) . Guns generally go away quickly once we get a read on whatís going on but a fair number of approaches on unknown subjects are done with a blaster out. At night when I have a rifle with me (usually always out in the boonies) I search with NVG/Thermal or a handheld but when closing distance to make a physical appreciation I will transition to the rifles WML until Iím sure of what/who Iím dealing with then transition back to a handheld or more commonly my headlamp to put cuffs on and do an immediate area search.

    High lumen WML allow me to not have to directly muzzle someone but it happens...when people are cammoíd up and tucked into thick brush itís difficult to know exactly where everyone is or how many there are. I was once put in on ď4 bodiesĒ in some thick brush that turned out to be 20+ and quickly turned into a knock down fight with a gun grab attempt with one of them, my rifle was used to cross check the dude when he charged me...a buddy got stabbed in a similar situation last year, he was making his final approach with a handheld when attacked. I donít know if he would have been able to avoid getting knifed if his gun was out on the final approach but it might have saved him some hospital time from multiple stab wounds (heís ok and was able to create some distance and drop the dude).

    Not sure what side of this I really come down on but I do think as with any tactic it can be very situationally dependent.

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