Originally posted by CosmicCitizen
reply to post by goldcoin
It seems as if the rules of engagement are now to use a tazer first rather than verbal persuasion and if a tazer is justified then it is now OK to use deadly force. I wasnt there but it sounds like they went from mace to firearms.
At the very bottom of the use of force is -
* - Officer Presence (uniformed / identified as Police).
* - Marked patrol vehicle
Then it moves to
* - verbal communication
Those are the (in general) first 3 uses of force an officer commits when responding to a call / dealing with an individual etc. Where it goes from there depends on the reason for contact, reaction to officer presence, ability to follow commands (from the police / fire / EMS). I point that out because people do not seem to understand how it works. Law Enforcement is not required to start out at the first level and can enter the force continuum at any stage depending on situation.
In this case the guy knew they were police officers.. They were identifying themselves as police.... They were giving verbal commands for him to drop the knife and he refused.
An encounter with a knife is a text book example of a deadly force encounter. A person can pull a knife and travel 21-26 feet (moved to 26 feet recently) before an officer can draw their duty weapon - hence the reason they were already out.
Taser - Most department policies only allow the use of a Taser in a deadly force encounter if other officers are present and are covering the officer with deadly force (duty weapons). A tser is restricted to a certain number of feet (depends on which cartridges the department uses (15feet up to like 25 feet). This means the use of a taser on an armed individual requires the officer to close the gap.
Tasers are not fire and forget and like bullets / guns they can fail as well. A taser only incapacitates when both probes make proper contact. If either probe is only making partial contact the effects do not occur, which means the officer needs to close the gap and place the tip of the taser somewhere on the persons body in order to complete the circuit to get the incap effect.
Aside from that Tasers are generally not used during a deadly force encounter when the situation occurs in an area like times square. While the individual was dealing with the police there is absolutely no way an officer can know if it will remain that way or if the guy will go for an innocent bystander.
Because of that uncertainty, public safety, the individual could have been dropped the moment he refused to comply with officer commands. The fact they stayed with him for that many blocks - all on foot - tells me he had every chance under the sun to resolve the situation on his own instead of forcing the police to end it.
Unlike the military there is no ability to factor in "acceptable casualties". If we discharge our weapon we are responsible for the bullet. Going through the academy they drill it into us that when we miss our target we just killed grandma and her grandkid she was with. I point that out because of the location and number of people around at the time of incident.
If the police did not stop the guy he could have went after civilians - killing some on his way out.
If the police try to stop the guy it means they have to be sure of their shot because if one bullet misses the target there is a wall of people beyond that will stop it.
A ballsy call either way.. Aside from the death of the individual it looks to me like the officers performed their duties very well..