Police POV on UCLA Tasering

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The following is an anonymous post, no way to determine if the person really is a police officer, but his points are valid.

police POV (Score:5, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward* on Tuesday November 21, @01:38AM

(*Slashdot software automatically assigns that name to non-signed-in users -MDW)

As a police officer, I have two things to say about this:

  1. This kid sounds like an ass and I’m certain that there will be more than enough “He got what he deserved posts.” I might even agree in the moral sense, but not in the ethical or legal sense, because…
  2. This cop should never work in law enforcement again. This is inappropriate use of force by any professional standard. One post is not nearly enough to recount the things he did incorrectly, but I’ll hit the high points;

General rules for any controlled encounter (one where you aren’t in danger from the get go) include finding out what the issue is, telling the subject what he/she needs to do, and explaining what will happen if they do not. There is almost never a need to place your hands on anyone for any reason until you are ready to take them into custody unless you are suddenly attacked. This “officer” is grossly incompetent. Understand we deal with aggressive people that posture by yelling and swearing at us all the time – this should not disrupt the officer on bit. Keep. Your. Cool. So, screaming/swearing or not, this encounter should have been over with three sentences from the officer.

  1. “Sir, per university rules and regs, I need you to show me your valid student ID or leave the library.”
  2. “I need to to show me your valid student ID or leave the library right now, or I’ll have to take you into custody for trespassing and disturbing the peace.”
  3. “Sir, I am placing you under arrest.” Then Mirandize him and be done with it. If he does anything but exactly what you tell him (“Sir, place your hands behind your back.”) then…

Now and only now, if he/she resists (NOT if he simply fails to cooperate i.e. passive resistence), you may use force sufficient to subdue him to the point of having him cease to be a danger to the officer or bystanders. That’s pretty simple stuff, folks. Basically, never be the first to use force, but when you do – do it quickly and overwhelmingly then STOP when he’s restrained. You are a trained professional who owns the situation and NOT a street brawler.

From what I can tell, he never told the subject he was under arrest until after at least five taserings, some of which occurred while he was in cuffs and all but the first while he was on the ground unable to stand under his own power. This “officer” grabbed the guy’s arm while he was leaving. Bad move, even if it seems like a little thing. Physical contact constitutes use of force, and any trained officer knows this is a big line to cross. I don’t care if he didn’t leave immediately – in that case place him calmly in custody early on and be done with it, no argument needed. You’re the cop; you NEVER need to be in an argument. You aren’t asking him what he wants to do, you’re telling him. Never ever let a subject think they are in control. Arguing tells the subject they have some power.

What he did is inexcusable. If this power-tripping bully didn’t have a badge what would you think of somebody tasering a defenseless person on the ground FIVE TIMES some while he was handcuffed and yelling at him to “get up.” A badge doesn’t free you from responsibility, it adds to to it exponentially.

This sadistic SOB gives all true professional LEOs a bad name and is part of the reason so many distrust cops. I’ve had training on most of the common less-than-lethal systems (lawyers don’t let us call them non-lethal) including tasers, stun guns, pepper spray, rubber bullets and even conducted some training on the same. Unless this guy was issued a system with no training, he knows damn well the individual won’t be getting up immediately after one tasing, let alone five. Frankly, I hope this guy answers for assault charges.

To summarize, to non-cops this might appear to be a case of overreacting during a tense moment with a belligerent person. To most professionals, this is about as vanilla an arrest as there is where the cop did basically everything wrong. So wrong, in fact, I intend to use these videos as a training aid.

This was so absurd that I actually laughed when the guy threatened to to taser the bystander who asked for his name and badge number. It’s almost like he was trying to get fired and sued.

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