In the discussion thread: Police violence against Occupy movement gets less visible but more extreme [View all]
Response to starroute (Original post)
Sat May 5, 2012, 11:07 AM
starroute (12,977 posts)
9. "Pain compliance techniques" are part of police training -- but they are widely abused
A pain compliance hold (also referred to as a pain compliance technique or sometimes a pain hold) is a grappling hold which uses painful joint lock, compression lock or pressure point technique to control a person or opponent. . . . Frequently used by police and corrections personnel in accordance with an "escalation of force" policy, such techniques presume a rational adversary. Some altered states such as those caused by mental illness, extreme flexibility, phencyclidine and amphetamine use, or extreme adrenaline may alter the subject's perception of pain or willingness to submit.
Like other forms of non-lethal force, pain compliance strategies are not perfect and may be abused as a form of torture with plausible deniability.
November 22, 2011
Most readers have probably already watched the videos of protesters at UC Davis being pepper sprayed and/or videos of protesters at UC Berkeley being hit with batons. As someone who studies protest policing, I wish I could say that I was as surprised as I am appalled. I have been writing for a while about violence that occurs “incident to arrest,” at protests, which can be quite substantial. . . . Perhaps incidents like these will lead us to collectively reconsider this view of arrests as somehow violence-free encounters.
Encounters like the one at UC Davis should also prompt a larger conversation about when “pain compliance” techniques are justified. For those not familiar with the phrase, the idea of pain compliance is that police can apply techniques, ranging from physical holds to the use of less than lethal weapons like pepper spray or tazers, to gain compliance with an order. Pain compliance has been routinely used on violent subjects as a way of making arrests without unholstering a firearm. But, the use of these techniques has become much more common, to the point where pain compliance is sometimes used to gain compliance more quickly or easily (from the officer’s perspective) from non-violent subjects—in other words, it has, in some cases, turned into a tool for police efficiency.
There were early warning signs of this shift as long ago as 1997 when police in Humboldt County, California used q-tips to directly apply pepper spray to the eyes of non-violent protesters, as well as direct sprays not unlike what was observed at UC Davis. Although a lawsuit eventually found the technique to be inappropriate, it was taught to California police officers as an approved method for non-violent crowd control through the California POST.
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"Pain compliance techniques" are part of police training -- but they are widely abused
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