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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:23 PM

A drunken, mean man with a hammer was shot and killed by police last night.

Where this story happened is immaterial to my point in posting it.

A 26 year old man was drunk and disorderly. Mean, even. He was wielding a hammer and broke out windows on a line of parked cars.

Anyway, here, I'll let the news professionals tell the story. I will blank out names since, as I said, they are immaterial to my point. If you want to google a part of the text, the story will not be hard to find.

An officer is on administrative leave after shooting and killing a suspect <local> police say advanced towards the officer with a hammer.

Tuesday night, the parents of 26-year-old <name> reported that he had been drinking and was acting disorderly, smashing windows out of a truck with a hammer.

Three officers arrived at a home on Commerce Street in <place> and saw <name> walking down the street toward them, say police. He had the hammer in his hand and officers shouted for him to drop it and surrender. Police say, however, that Becker continued to walk towards the officers, who were now out of their patrol cars. The officers went down the street and behind their cars, continuing to shout for Becker to drop the hammer and surrender, according to police.

Police say <name> continued to ignore the officers and keep walking. About an arm's length away from an officer, <name> reportedly raised a hammer and the officer fired his pistol. <Name> was hit in the upper torso.

<Name> was then taken to <local> Hospital Center where he was later pronounced dead.

The officer who shot Becker is a four and a half year veteran of the <local> Police Department and is on administrative leave while an investigation into the incident continues.


So. We have this swarm of cops with guns. They retreat to a fortified position behind their cars. They order the guy to stop. Faced with what they see as a threat (how did it GET to that????) they blast the guy in the chest and kill him.

Christmas night. Now the guy is dead after his family called the cops.

Do cop guns no longer shoot arms or legs or feet? Are cops taught to shoot to kill? Yeah. I get it. The guy was threatening. But come on. A whole platton of cops in cars with guns and they can't stop of drunk?

What the fuck???





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Reply A drunken, mean man with a hammer was shot and killed by police last night. (Original post)
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 OP
BigDemVoter Dec 2012 #1
roguevalley Dec 2012 #11
MADem Dec 2012 #14
Ed Suspicious Dec 2012 #31
roguevalley Dec 2012 #70
JVS Dec 2012 #20
xtraxritical Dec 2012 #21
Dems to Win Dec 2012 #60
MynameisBlarney Dec 2012 #52
CBGLuthier Dec 2012 #96
Recursion Dec 2012 #2
lunatica Dec 2012 #89
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #3
lexw Dec 2012 #25
exboyfil Dec 2012 #37
Rincewind Dec 2012 #33
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #44
loli phabay Dec 2012 #64
madinmaryland Dec 2012 #56
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #58
madinmaryland Dec 2012 #59
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #61
Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2012 #4
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #17
Ed Suspicious Dec 2012 #32
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #65
Gregorian Dec 2012 #5
lexw Dec 2012 #26
MynameisBlarney Dec 2012 #54
Gregorian Dec 2012 #67
MynameisBlarney Dec 2012 #82
X_Digger Dec 2012 #6
OldDem2012 Dec 2012 #7
loli phabay Dec 2012 #66
OldDem2012 Dec 2012 #75
Jenoch Dec 2012 #76
loli phabay Dec 2012 #79
Pretzel_Warrior Dec 2012 #8
PufPuf23 Dec 2012 #9
eggplant Dec 2012 #10
TorchTheWitch Dec 2012 #15
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #43
arely staircase Dec 2012 #63
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #91
Jenoch Dec 2012 #77
MADem Dec 2012 #12
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #13
JEB Dec 2012 #16
The CCC Dec 2012 #18
mythology Dec 2012 #19
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #23
PufPuf23 Dec 2012 #49
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #22
lexw Dec 2012 #24
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #27
defacto7 Dec 2012 #28
Riftaxe Dec 2012 #34
FrodosPet Dec 2012 #36
defacto7 Dec 2012 #81
defacto7 Dec 2012 #80
FrodosPet Dec 2012 #86
defacto7 Dec 2012 #99
Warpy Dec 2012 #29
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2012 #30
FrodosPet Dec 2012 #35
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #38
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2012 #45
dballance Dec 2012 #39
alphafemale Dec 2012 #50
TorchTheWitch Dec 2012 #72
alphafemale Dec 2012 #92
Historic NY Dec 2012 #40
RandiFan1290 Dec 2012 #41
2pooped2pop Dec 2012 #42
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #46
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #48
randome Dec 2012 #55
Occulus Dec 2012 #62
Demo_Chris Dec 2012 #74
Occulus Dec 2012 #78
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #93
madokie Dec 2012 #47
donco Dec 2012 #51
randome Dec 2012 #53
sir pball Dec 2012 #73
unblock Dec 2012 #57
Nevernose Dec 2012 #68
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #69
druidity33 Dec 2012 #71
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #83
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #85
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #84
datasuspect Dec 2012 #87
Jenoch Dec 2012 #88
AgainsttheCrown Dec 2012 #90
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #94
JH19059 Dec 2012 #97
JH19059 Dec 2012 #95
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #98

Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:25 PM

1. Couldn't they have tasered him?

They sure love tasering everybody else. . . .

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Response to BigDemVoter (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:56 AM

11. he sounds like suicide by cop. It is a professional hazard anymore, probably

always was. Very sad for all concerned.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:02 AM

14. That was my first thought, too. nt

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:40 AM

31. suicide by cop with a hammer? I would think the cops could set a wider perimeter and

stayed out of his way till he got tired of being an idiot. It seems too often that we accept as fact the level of danger imposed by the victims of police murder. I don't often buy it.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:28 PM

70. no. some people are getting themselves into a terrible

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Response to BigDemVoter (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:38 AM

20. This kind of situation was what the taser was originally for.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:49 AM

21. Throw a net over him? It worked for Roman Centurions.

 

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:49 PM

60. Indeed. Why isn't this in the bag of tricks available to police?

A similar situation happened in my area, the man was wielding a broomstick and ended up dead when the police shot him.

This shouldn't be happening anywhere. Police need better tools to deal with these things.

My heart breaks for the parents.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:57 PM

52. The cops seem to have

a bit of a fetish of tasering/pepper spraying unarmed protestors, kids or old people.

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Response to BigDemVoter (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:23 PM

96. tasering is reserved for the totally unarmed

the weak and helpless merely for crowd control and prole compliance.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:29 PM

2. Shoot to kill is the training, yes

And (at least in theory) only in the face of an imminent threat to life or limb.

And I echo the surprise up thread that they didn't try tazing, though it sounds like things went pear shaped very quickly

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Response to Recursion (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:19 PM

89. Interesting phrase there

I sometimes use the phrase 'hefting balls' or 'nut hefting'.

Because I like imaginative wording that creates a mental picture.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:30 PM

3. Cops are trained, and have always been trained

To shoot for center of mass, not trick shots.

What amazes me is that they did not try a taser first.

That is what they are issued less than lethal. That close, it likely will be deemed a good shooting, but IMO they should have used a taser...

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:38 AM

25. Oh. I didn't think of that. True, they are taught to shoot for the chest, not legs—as they move. Thx

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Response to lexw (Reply #25)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:32 AM

37. As a person who could potentially be standing behind the suspect

I vote for shooting for the center of mass.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:59 AM

33. Not all Police Departments

use TASERs.

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Response to Rincewind (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:08 AM

44. Pepper spray

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #44)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:22 PM

64. not against someone wielding a hammer. pepper spray isnt effective enough to stop a lot of people

 

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:02 PM

56. The town he is from, is a small town. Not sure how many police officers

they have and their exact training. I imagine they may have had a taser, but may have felt they needed to use deadly force.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #56)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:17 PM

58. If this is California, for example,

They are all POST trained. They have one less than lethal.

Lapd is the glaring exception, they don't play well with others and are self insured.

I s'pose, and might be dead wrong, that this goes the same way for all fifty states, part of the further militarization of the police.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #58)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:37 PM

59. It is not California,

And I have no idea what the level of training is. They do have their own police department of twelve officers and three civilian positions. That was essentially the entire police department responding to the crazed man. A bit bigger than Mayberry's police department, but not by much.

I believe they also get support from the County Sherriff's department and the State Police.

BTW, it is in Maryland.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #59)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:01 PM

61. Does Maryland have state police training mandates?

That is what post is in California.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:33 PM

4. I am with you.

They no longer 'keep the peace'. They just shoot to kill. They could have tasered him or used rubber bullets or thrown a net around him, ala g;adiator. Shot him in the leg. Anything short of killing what probably was just a drunk, not a real threat to them...........

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:19 AM

17. If you hit the bone, or an artery in a leg, you can still kill the owner of the leg.

The only artery to carry more blood volume and pressure, than the Femoral artery, is the Aorta itself. Put a hole in it, and the person hosting the injury has a reasonable chance of bleeding to death, even with prompt medical attention. The femur itself stores a significant percentage of your blood supply, and breaking that with a bullet can also kill someone by bleeding out. Worse, the bone is super-strong, but brittle. A bullet won't pass through it without shattering it. There are no simple punctures. It breaks. Breaks have jagged ends that can do extensive tissue injury.

Shooting someone in the leg is an exercise of deadly force, and is not even reasonably likely to stop the person. It also increases the chances of a clean miss or over penetration, which increases risk to bystanders. The police have, for as long as I have been alive, been trained to shoot center mass.

Now, as to the question of why no less lethal weapons, I have no idea. There could be a variety of reasons, some reasonable, some not reasonable.

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:41 AM

32. probably out of rubber bullets from the last occupy protest. n/t

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:22 PM

65. Completely wrong.

Police are highly trained in "shoot don't shoot" training. They use a higher level of weapon, wait for a demonstrated threat, and ignoring their commands. When all three things happen, they shoot. They did exactly what they were supposed to do.

That's reality in police land, not unicorn-fairytale land.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:44 PM

5. Here's a similar story with a happier ending, from 50 years ago.

When I was a child, my dentist was one of the best. He was also an engineer, and designed and built the first modern dentist's chair. I remember it. It was very much like what you see today. He was in his 40's, and I think it was his divorce that set him off. One night the story goes that he went out driving while drunk. The cops eventually encircled his car with theirs, at which point he proceeded to forward and reverse his car, bashing all of the cop cars up. He got a drunk driving ticket. But that was before the sickly electronic sirens, and the highly militarized police departments. It was when things were nicer, if you ask me.


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Response to Gregorian (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:39 AM

26. Great point.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:01 PM

54. Was your dentist

a white man?

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #54)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:40 PM

67. Good point.

Sometimes I say, "Damn, those were the good old days". But then I have to also say, "If you were white, if you were male, if you had money".

Yeah.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #67)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:26 AM

82. Indeed.

And Christian.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 11:57 PM

6. Shooting in the arms / legs is a hollywood / western myth.

Arms and legs are smaller than torsos, which means that shots at them are more likely to miss, causing a ricochet, and injury to a bystander.

Cops are taught to shoot to stop a threat as quickly as possible with the least danger to bystanders or themselves. That means torso shots.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:16 AM

7. Aren't LEOs equipped with pepper spray and tasers these days?....

...Why didn't they attempt to use either of those non-lethal methods?

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:25 PM

66. not all have tasers for example va state troopers dont carry them. and pepper spray is not for figh

 

Fighting someone with a weapon as they can fight through it.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #66)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:33 PM

75. So, it's okay to shoot a guy who has a hammer? There are no other ways to subdue him? nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #75)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:59 PM

76. If you get close

enough to subdue him, you are close enough to get your skull bashed in.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #75)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:19 AM

79. think of it this way would you fight some guy swinging a hammer at you

 

In the real world people are not all martial arts experts nor do we expect people to fight someone swinging a hammer. If the cop had deplyed a taser and he died then people would still castigate the cop same if the cop used a baton or even if they had rushdd him and physically fought him qnd he died. In this case the cop felt they were in danger of death or extreme injury and made the call to use their duty weapon and im not going to second guess them as i was not there. All i can add is going by what i read if he was that close to me and started to swing a hammer at me then i would have shot him as well.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:18 AM

8. why not just play some Yoko Ono on the loudspeaker

 

just immobilize him long enough to cuff him.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:21 AM

9. This is cold-blooded murder by cop.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:41 AM

10. Any cop will tell you that the only reason to fire a weapon is to shoot to kill.

Otherwise, there is no justification to fire.

Monday morning quarterbacking says that tasering might make sense, but the guy was armed with what could easily be a deadly weapon and continued to approach them, ignoring their warnings, then raised his weapon to strike. From the story, only one shot was fired.

It's tragic, but I don't see that the officer acted incorrectly, in haste, or with excessive force.

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Response to eggplant (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:10 AM

15. have to agree with that

Tasering him would only be useful if the taser was the kind that shoots out a dart rather than the regular kind that one has to get up close to the person and actually touch them with the taser. I have no idea what sort of tasers these cops are issued. Considering what the guy did I don't see his being shot as unjustified. I've never understood why so many people here expect police to put their lives and health in unnecessary danger in the face of someone wielding a weapon at them. I care far more about the lives and health of the officers than that of a dangerous weapon wielding nut.

The officer is also on administrative leave because of the incident because it's protocol. A lot of people seem to think being put on administrative leave is because they did something wrong.


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Response to eggplant (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:51 AM

43. Of course it was excessive - the man had broken the windows of his own truck

(that's what other reports say). His own parents had called it in, saying he was drunk. He had not threatened anyone, let alone injured anyone. There were 3 police officers. They were able to retreat, surround him, hit his arm from behind; they never should have let him get with an arm's length; it was incompetence to do so. He walked towards them.

It wouldn't have needed a taser to deal with the man. 3 police officers ought to be able to deal with a violent drunk. Don't American police carry nightsticks any more? Are they not taught self-defence?



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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:09 PM

63. hadn't threatened anyone?

coming at someone with a hammer raised over one's head isn't threatening enough for you? is that considered a greeting or something in england?

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #63)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:01 PM

91. He only raised the hammer when he reached the police officer, who didn't move

The police officer seemed to have been, idiotically, 'standing his ground'. That is not just unprofessional, it's incompetent.

Police officers are trained to defuse situations. These guys (the one who didn't retreat especially) have ignored all that, and gone straight in to the deadly confrontation.

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Response to eggplant (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:02 AM

77. You are wrong.

LEOs are taught to shoot to stop the threat. Whether that involves death is not part of the equation.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:00 AM

12. Cops never try to "wing 'em." That's only in movies.

They shoot for the fattest part of the person, and that will often kill them. They also don't play around if someone threatens them, with a hammer or a gun or a pitchfork. They respond with great force as a matter of routine.

The after action police report will reveal more, I'm guessing.

You forgot to edit Becker's name out of the end of the story, in the last paragraph, there.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:01 AM

13. Sounds like the officers behaved correctly.

 

The officer allowed the man with the weapon well within the danger zone. The man refused to follow instructions and reportedly made a move as if to attack the officer. I don't understand the complaint here... was the officer supposed to allow the guy to brain him? I would have shot the guy myself.

It's tragic, but there you go.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:12 AM

16. The cops are lame asses.

A drunk with a hammer, wow. Most of the bartenders in this country have handled worse than that.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:24 AM

18. A drunken, mean man with a hammer was shot and killed by police last night.

A hit to the head with a hammer can be just as deadly as a gun shot to the head. While the police main job is to "cuff and stuff" they are under no obligation to be hurt or killed doing their job. Moreover police aren't trained to shot to kill. They are trained to stop the action by aiming for the center of mass. Which on most humans is three buttons down.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:32 AM

19. One good hit to the head with a hammer and a person can die

If you get close enough to grapple with the guy, you're close enough for you to get killed. Nobody is Batman and can disarm any armed assailant in hand to hand combat. These cops retreated, repeatedly asked the guy to stop and drop the hammer. He didn't. From the information presented, this doesn't seem like the cops were excessive. Maybe if the guy weren't drunk but was instead having a bad reaction to medication or was in a diabetic shock (or whatever that is called), but there's not a cut and dry 100% perfect system to tell every bad guy from every good guy. If you want proof of this, go find a psychology lab at a university and see if they are doing a study where you are shown facial pictures immediately followed by a picture of a gun or a tool and have to instantly pick if the second picture was a weapon or a tool. It's a hell of a lot harder than it looks.

Were there alternatives? Almost certainly, but those alternatives include a greater risk to the officer and others around them. As others have noted it's really hard to hit an arm or a leg and it doesn't always immobilize an opponent. Plus you increase the odds of missing and say hitting a passerby or into a nearby house.

As for the idea of tazering the guy, I don't know if these officers had tazers, but there are issues with giving cops tazers. I saw a study from Australia (I believe) that found after giving officers tazers, they used them in many more circumstances than they would have used guns and it didn't really have an impact on the number of instances of police gun use. So it resulted in seemingly more police violence.

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Response to mythology (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:17 AM

23. Good post. Plus....

 

I know from experience that in the real world shit usually doesn't go down the way they might in an ideal world.

In the ideal world the officers instantly and accurate evaluate the potential threat level from an optimal and safe range. They them carefully approach, and begin a methodical step-by-careful-step escalation of force. It begins with their presence, as the loudly and clearly identify themselves to the citizen and ask for his cooperation. When that fails they carefully draw their non-lethal taser weapons, and after loudly advising the citizen to comply, they utilize their tasers -- striking the uncooperative citizen with perfectly placed barbs that effortlessly penetrate his winter clothing and render him harmless.

But in the real world it's more common for the police to not realize he has a deadly weapon and not realize that the guy is completely batshit crazy until it is dangerously late in the game. In this case the officer apparently allowed this guy to get within danger range before he shot him. And for those that do not know, the danger range in this case (knife, hammer, etc) is considered to be 21 feet with a holstered weapon -- this being the distance an attacker can cover in 1.5 seconds. For more on this: http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Tueller/How.Close.htm

Apparently this offer allowed the guy to get way closer than that. It's a bummer. For all we know this guy wanted to suicide by cop. But then, it is equally likely that the officer pulled the trigger to save his life, and had he done anything different we would be talking about a murdered officer (and some likely criticizing him for not shooting).

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #23)


Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:59 AM

22. K&R

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:35 AM

24. That was the first thing I thought: take out a leg. What the hell???

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:49 AM

27. Police are trained to shoot to kill, not shoot to wound. There is obviously a...

...situation which is set up here: Police, at their discretion, can easily shape a situation they way they want it. If they choose to use deadly force in a situation, especially with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol (i.e. not in their right mind) they can sculpt the situation, by their actions, in order to do so.

I can't stress this enough: If a suspect is drunk or unresponsive in some way (for instance, this occasionally happens with deaf suspects), a policeman can place themselves in a situation where they are able to use deadly force and then claim they feared either for their lives or the life of a fellow officer.

Back to what I consider the main point, though: The question is not so much why the officers didn't shoot to wound, it's why they chose to approach the situation with deadly force instead of nonlethal force.

PB

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:57 AM

28. I'm angry to be forced to admit it, but these cops are cowards.

A hammer... They knew it was a hammer.

A hammer!

Give me a break! Some of us who are not cops know how to bring down a guy with a hammer without shooting the guy to death. They don't need to shoot him in the arm. or in the leg. Just get some balls and bring him down and take it. Better yet, use intelligent psychology to talk him down.

I am getting sick of the cowardly bad cops that shoot innocent people in a car with kids because they tried to disobey and leave the scene by hitting the cop with their door. He pulls out a gun and shoots a passenger dead... with children in the car. In this case as in many, it's just a pissed cop who didn't get his way. An intelligent thinking person would have lost the battle and won the war by reporting the incident ahead.

I know, there are many, even most cops who are solid thinking and reasonable people. They have a lot of anxiety to deal with as the country gets more violent. It's understood. But they have to do their jobs and doing their job means reason, skill and intelligence FIRST and above all. The last thing you do is kill someone who is incapable of grievous bodily harm.

I do not want gun crazy cops running amok, shooting because it's easy. If they can't do the job due to lack of skill or they are getting bad orders from their commanding officers, they should quit.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:03 AM

34. At a nearby Hotel to me

A man murdered his entire family with a hammer a few years ago....I suspect it is a bit more lethal then you suspect.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #34)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:19 AM

36. Spengler killed his grandmother with a hammer

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014347047

"The gunman who ambushed four volunteer firefighters, killing two, in upstate New York had spent 17 years in prison for beating his grandmother to death in 1980, police said. "

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:25 AM

81. His grandmother

was not a trained cop barricaded behind a car door. He killed those other people in a planned ambush with an assault weapon.

Apples and Oranges, no point here.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:22 AM

80. I'm not underestimating a hammers ability to be a

lethal weapon; a baseball or a pencil can be lethal. But several trained police barricaded behind a car door pointing guns at one guy with a hammer is rather cowardly and ill-managed. A drunk guy with a hammer cannot be considered grievous danger.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #80)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:41 AM

86. Are you a police officer?

If you are young enough, I urge you to join. The ones already doing the job are obviously not competent.

Perhaps, with a recruiting push on left-leaning websites, we can get more police officers who WOULD NOT use lethal force. We need caring people would rather accept having their skull split by a hammer to give their fellow officers time to tackle the perp.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #86)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:00 AM

99. Now there's an intelligent comment...

not.

Why don't you try a little reason rather than making a ridiculously overstated, categorically useless and illogical retort.

My statement stands.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:00 AM

29. Unless they have beanbag rounds with them

they are trained to shoot to kill, to end the threat right then and there.

Yeah, it's sad. I'd like to see more beanbag rounds used and fewer dead crazy people.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:12 AM

30. They need better ranged non-lethal weapons.

Things that can work at a distance.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:14 AM

35. Any ideas?

From my understanding, the tasers that shoot out a couple barbs can be blocked by a thick coat. Plus they are still potentially lethal.

A lot of other non lethal weapons on the show I watched seem to suffer from long deployment times, or are more meant for crowd control than individuals.

Have you seen any good ones that are quick and effective?

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:49 AM

38. Nope. But if you invent one you will be a billionaire. (nt)

 

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:47 AM

45. I don't know of anything off the top of my head... But I could make something up.

My invention concept du jour? The shock-n-stone rifle. Basically, it fires a tranquilizer dart, loaded with a small high voltage capacitor. The shock from the dart disables the individual for up to a couple minutes, which is about the amount of time (I read) for an injected tranquilizer to start to kick in.

I read its currently illegal to use tranq rifles on people, but if the choice is between that and a gunshot guaranteed to be lethal, I say try the tranq dart. Not perfect? It doesn't have to be. Anything that creates a possibility for non-lethal force to work when the alternative is lethal force is worthy of trying.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:03 AM

39. The Cop did his job as he was trained I suspect

All you folks bitching about how the cop could have done something less lethal please line up to take the police officer's place. When you can fire a gun and hit a moving leg or arm like in the movies or on TV then great. Stand in front of an idiot with what can be a deadly weapon. But remember It's the movies and TV where the cops always hit their mark - not real life. The "good guy" always wins.

It seems from the article they implored the assailant to stop and put down his weapon. If you haven't used a hammer recently you might want to remember it has a heavy head with some pretty sharp claws on the back of it. It may not be so obvious a weapon as a sword but it's dangerous and sharp. I know I have accidentally cut some nasty gashes in my hands with the claws on a hammer.

Don't blame the cops for doing their job. The person at fault is the drunk. He made the choice to get drunk and threaten cops with a deadly weapon. He made the choice to not follow their directions and put down the deadly weapon but rather to approach a police officer. The police were only doing their job protecting themselves and civilians from a drunken idiot.

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Response to dballance (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:46 PM

50. It is terrible that it happened, but I can't find fault with what the cops did.

What are they supposed to do babysit this crazed lunatic who might injure someone else?

Allow the freak a couple free swings at one of their head's while the rest of them tried grab hold of the perp and wrestle him down?

Please.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #50)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:04 PM

72. that's exactly what a lot of people here think

That the life of a cop is so unimportant compared to a lunatic with a deadly weapon that they're supposed to put themselves into danger of being killed or maimed or the lunatic hurting someone else. They suggest all kinds of stupid "alternatives" as to what the cops supposedly should have done instead that are not only more dangerous but likely too stupid to be useful. Right here in the thread someone actually thinks that police should just throw a net on him like a gladiator in the movies. Really.

Yup, they expect cops to do the impossible, unnecessarily risk their lives and those of innocent others for the sake of a nutter with a deadly weapon and every intension of using it. They expect cops to go to work every day more concerned with the lives of such dangerous lunies than their own and other innocent bystanders. Would they themselves do such a job? FUCK NO. But they'll criticize everything that cops do or don't do from the safety of their armchair and invent magical ways of doing it better that are not only ineffective and dangerous but downright laughable because they think they somehow know better than the umpteen years of knowledge collected on what works and what doesn't.

Why do they do this? Because they just hate cops as a group and never miss an opportunity to vilify them all. Yet they'd be the first ones on the phone to the police when they needed them expecting exemplary treatment from them. And that's something that cops do every single day.... help those very people that want it while being abused by the people that want that help but spend the rest of their time criticizing everything they do and insist they're doing it all wrong. Yet the police every day still take it on the chin anyway. I couldn't do that. And neither could they, nor would they want to. But they'll vilify them all just the same because somehow they're perfect and magically know better.


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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #72)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:11 PM

92. It's dumbfounding. What did they expect them to do?

Wait until this lunatic with a hammer was charging after a three year old and maybe miss the shot? My guess would be this guy was on more than alcohol. Meth or bath salts would be my guess.

These people who hate cops no matter what they do astound me.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:32 AM

40. About an arm's length away from an officer, <name> ....

reportedly raised a hammer and the officer fired. Well thats even closer than they should have been to him, its in the danger zone. The head of a hammer can penetrate your skull quicker than a butter knife through butter.

Cops are not trained to shoot to wound or hit other body parts thats movie/tv fiction.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:56 AM

41. Recent story for the "shoot to kill" morons

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022066909


The chase, which reached speeds up to 100 mph, continued through the east loop to State Highway 90 onto Post Oak Road. That is where the trooper opened fire on the motorcycle. He hit the rider in the leg trying to disable the motorcycle.


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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:34 AM

42. and what about those tasers?

Are they only for 6 year olds and grandmothers? Can't we use them INSTEAD of lethal force? They seem to think the tasers are to be used on people who don't need it and lethal force is the only other measure.

Weren't the tasers suppose to be for this kind of situation?

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:01 AM

46. Or PEPPER SPRAY, but maybe that's only recommended for college students

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:48 AM

48. No.

 

Last edited Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:31 PM - Edit history (1)

The Taser (and Chemical sprays) are for situations in which time is available and failure would not put anyone in danger. These tools are not a replacement for lethal force, they are instead an additional option for situations in which force is justified, but lethal force is not yet necessary. For example, a combative or non-compliant suspect might be successfully subdued with a Taser or spray. These tools do not replace the officer's sidearm, but instead offer another option to the officer's baton -- the baton having a far higher likelihood of causing serious injury or death.

In this case, assuming the report is correct, even if the officer had a Taser in one hand and his firearm in the other, the CORRECT decision would be to shoot to stop the suspect. If the incident occurred as reported (and really, there is no reason to assume it did not) had the officer not fired, or had the bullet delivered less immediate results, this officer would have been killed or seriously injured by this suspect.

I am as critical of over-aggressive police state tactics as the anyone. I am disgusted by what we have allowed our law enforcement to become. But I damn sure do not expect a police officer (or anyone else) to allow some maniac to brain them with a freaking hammer.

EDIT: Typos

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #48)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:02 PM

55. Well said.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #48)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:08 PM

62. So, basically, he deserved to die.

Got it.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:44 PM

74. Reverse this: Did the officer deserve to die?

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #74)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:40 AM

78. Who actually died?

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #48)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:18 PM

93. Time was available; no-one was in danger, until the police officer stood still

The only people involved were 3 police officers, all more mobile than a drunken man. They should not have let him get that close to them.

How do people think British police officers deal with a drunk with a hammer? They wouldn't have to call in armed back-up. I really would have thought American police had the same ability to deal with a single drunk breaking his windows.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:06 AM

47. Murderers are what those two are

and should be arrested and charged then tried in our court and if convicted incarcerated. No excuse for killing a drunk man with a hammer. If he was wielding a gun then maybe they would be justified otherwise they're just criminals now, more so than he was.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:55 PM

51. bring back

the police with batons. At least the drunk woulda been alive now.He would have some horrendous knots on his dome but at least he would be breathing.

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Response to donco (Reply #51)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:00 PM

53. A baton against a hammer-wielding maniac? I'd rather cops didn't get killed, either.

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Response to randome (Reply #53)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:26 PM

73. Never handled a baton, have you?

The standard sidearm baton is an ancient martial arts weapon, a tonfa (can't link, on phone). I'd take on somebody wielding a hammer with one, especially an uncoordinated drunk...easy-peasy to snap it around and smash the wrist while staying out of hammer range.

That requires training though. Cops don't like training.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 05:06 PM

57. give a man a hammer, and the whole world looks like a nail.

snark aside, the problem here is that cops have guns, so the whole world looks like a threat that warrants using the gun.

cops should always have a diverse arsenal of weaponry and be trained to quickly and effectively pick the right weapon for the task at hand.

if it's a matter of bare hands or gun, well, in this situation, gun is unfortunate but appropriate. i can't ask any cop to try to just wrestle a hammer out of a mean drunk's hands.

but it shouldn't be just a matter of bare hands or guns. i don't know what the answer is, but between tasers and pepper spray and batons and netting and i don't know what else, there ought to be plenty of less lethal alternatives.

a cop should never feel like the only way to out-arm a man with a hammer is to bust out the gun.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:00 PM

68. Forget tasers or pepper spray

They could have just bum rushed him, especially with three cops. Chickenshits. Who were they protecting and serving when they executed a drunk for the heinous crimes of breaking windows and failing to drop a hammer when ordered?

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:23 PM

69. There are replies in this thread that really are just fucking disgusting.

I just don't know this place any more.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #69)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:56 PM

71. an excellent time

to reconsider my ignore list...



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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #69)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:29 AM

83. Maybe you should let someone hold a hammer over your head with intent to hit you

with it, and get back to us as to whether you feel threatened or not.

The guy brought it on himself. Don't try to attack people with guns when your only weapon is a hammer.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #83)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:41 AM

85. Maybe you should consider ow the cops let it get to the point where a drunk got that close to them.

For example, why not call for more back up?

Why not let him keep breaking the windows on his own car?

Why where the cops not armed with less than lethal options?

Save you knee jerk authoritarian crap for someone who is stupid enough to accept it?

By the way, google up nightstick for a very effective alternative to a gun when in a close in situation.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:30 AM

84. Darwin award winner. using a weapon to try to attack people armed with guns.

Cops acted appropriately--even retreating. But the nutjob insisted on posing a threat to them--getting to within one arm's reach.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:44 AM

87. don't bring a hammer to a gun fight

 

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:12 PM

88. The problem with this thread

is that nobody posting here was at the scene of this incident, and thus has little idea of what really happened and how quickly it happened.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:34 PM

90. I know there are other cops on this board...where you at!?

I think people here are vastly overestimating the level of training that cops are provided. The better trained officers are in specialized units. The better trained patrol officers were in specialized units or use their own money and time for training.

Why? Because a department sees training only in terms of bare bones liability reduction. So based on that mindset, was the shooting justified? Absolutely.

Officers are trained to shoot center mass which is essentially shoot to kill. And this shooting to kill is euphemistically referred to as "Shoot to Stop." We all know what is likely to happen if you shoot center mass, but it is the largest target on the body. Do officers get enough time at the range to be able to shoot someone's arm or leg? Hell no!

At my current department we shoot twice a year. The state requires that we shoot once. My first department required a quarterly shoot, but this was scaled back to once a year when ammo became scarce.

I say I hate to Monday morning quarterback the incident without seeing the video, but I'll answer some of the main questions I've seen in this thread:


So why didn't they engage him in close combat with batons?

Because all that's required to carry a baton is often a 40 hour course. (I've only worked for departments that carry the ASP expandable baton, but my current one allows others.) The "better" departments may make you do an hour or two of "re-certification" every year, but I have yet to see a regular close quarter training program implemented at any department.

So why didn't they use hand to hand techniques?

To actually be effective you have to spend lots of time practicing techniques. Should officers be doing this on duty? Administrators want bodies on the street answering calls, deterring crime, and making traffic stops. So training time falls to the wayside and officers are left having to invest their own time and money to get intensive training in a martial art.

I have been dragging my feet on enrolling in a class myself..


So why didn't they use a Taser?

Not all departments carry them. Remember that Travis County Constable that used his Taser on a 72 year old over a speeding ticket

A plurality of officers that worked with the Constable at his previous agency agreed with his decision. So a level headed official within that department decided that his officers would not ever be carrying Tasers.

And then as someone else up-thread mentioned there is the fact that use of force incidents go up when Tasers are carried.

A Taser may have saved this man's life, but if he were in an excited delirium (from a drug such as cocaine or PCP) it could have killed him.

The bottom line is this- for those officers to have resolved this incident without killing him, they most likely would have had to put themselves at risk. I know that I would put myself at risk to save a family in burning house or car, but probably not some drunk guy with a hammer...unless I was confident in my skills (which I'll admit are rusty from having a family and you know....living life) to disarm him.

The only ways for officers to have the skills that many think we should have, would be to:

1. Dramatically increase the size of police forces so that officers can train on a more regular basis
2. Take officers off the streets for training and only deal with priority calls with what you have
3. Have departments run like the military with enlistments, and garrisons, so that we can ensure that they are receiving the necessary training and are maintaining fitness standards.

I'm sure there are more, but of those I listed I don't think any of these options are acceptable. So until training time is increased and seen as important as ticket revenue then sadly people need to lower their expectations of what to expect from cops when it comes to use of force incidents.

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Response to AgainsttheCrown (Reply #90)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:17 PM

94. Thanks for that reply. I *really* appreciate it.

I'd also like to hear other cops weigh in one this.

That said, I can completely understand what you're saying. I also think I understand why. I guess it pisses me off that we can accept a few "shoot to stop" deaths in place of proper training.

And why doesn't the public hear more from cops complaining about having to pay for their own training? I know teachers dig into their pockets for some classroom supplies. Cops, too, are providing a vital public service. We the public owe them more.

Unfortunately, I know where that line of thinking leads . . . . and ends: The tax averse.

Thanks again for your insight.

And by the way, even if this thread may not make it seem so, I generally support you guys and what you do.

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Response to AgainsttheCrown (Reply #90)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:32 PM

97. So true!

My department does the exact same thing!

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:21 PM

95. Just my 2 cents

I think it's been mentioned in previous post, we shoot to stop the threat which means a center mass shot. We spend countless hours/days going over these tactics. Every thing revolves around cover, shielding and time. If I begin to lose any of those 3 my chances of going home grow grimmer which in this case according to the report the officer loss all three.

Secondly not all officers or departments for that matter carry tasers. In fact many departments refuse to authorize them. Tasers are what we refer to as secondary impact weapons or less than lethal. Tasers are only to be used when the threat of great bodily harm and or death is extremely low and to prevent a subject from injuring his or herself. In this situation using a taser would have been the wrong decision. Tasers effectiveness can be reduce or rendered useless if center mass is not hit or missed all together, if the subject has on thick clothing prongs can't penetrate, or even in rare situations it just simply has no effect at all.

All in all having to use force on any one is not something that I ever look forward to or want to happen. From reading the report use of deadly force seems justified. A hammer will mess u up just as fast as a 45 slug. This is not a movie and there are no retakes. My job first and foremost like many other men and women who do this job is to get you safe to you family and us to ours.

Tell your elected officials to VOTE FOR GUN CONTROL!!!

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Response to JH19059 (Reply #95)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:19 PM

98. Thanks for the reply.

I appreciate it.

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