I have some points to make from my point of view as a former LEO. I don't chime in on too much of this stuff on this site, because usually there is
no point. There's plently of other cops on here, both current and former, and i dont know any more or less than them, so they can chime in too. But
these are 1) my observations based on six years of experience in a busy dept; and 2) my opinions, my assumptions. Just like everyone else who's here
making their assumptions, I am making mine. I had tried to form some educated guesses based on what I have experienced and observed and what I've
trained rookies to do and NOT EVER do.
But the more I hear about these out-there incidents, the more it makes me think it is not the police officers shooting someone in the head
intentionally and with malice. I do believe that the police were WRONG 100% of the time if this happened while someone was in their custody. When
you place handcuffs on someone, you are actually saying, "I am taking away your Constitutional rights." You are taking away their freedom from them.
An officer has observed conduct that is reasonably egregious enough that he can take away a person's Constitutional rights on the spot. This is how
serious it is to place hand cuffs on another person. Don't try and get nit picky detailed with me and say "NUH-UH, what about Miranda rights, I still
haven those!!!" Yes, you do. They only apply when I am questioning you. I'm not talking to you, so do use that right and be quiet, mkay? My point
is that not that you don't still have rights cause duh you do. My point is rather that this I the way I was taught in the academy about the
seriousness of making an arrest. It was drilled into my head that it was THAT serious. A lot officers get out on the road, and the grisly old guys
teach them the 'real way' it's done and it becomes enh, whateva.
Cops get lazy.
Which brings me to my next point of clarification. Yes, generally, cops will place handcuffs on a person who has not committed a crime but is not
free to go. In my state, those who were deemed a danger to themselves by a medical doctor OR based on behavior personally observed by an officer, are
not free to go. The idea behind this is that someone who wants to die is of a diseased (not criminal) mindset that can be treated, but requires
hospitalization to fix. This means that someone is usually showing several pretty good indicators that they are serious about taking their life. It
is not ever, "um, Johnny and Suzy broke up and I think he might kill himself." there is an extensive interview with the subject himself. Awkward
sometimes. Caps aren't generally touchy feely and you kinda have to get some trust and conversation going on to get someone to open up and admit to
you they are going to kill themselves. This conversation does not occur when you show up and Bob hands you the empty bottles of pills and says he
just took them all. He gets the ambo ride and I don't need any extra conversation to write a committment order for Him to have a 72 hour stay.
I get that it is rough telling your family you're going to drink a bottle of alcohol and take pills and go to sleep and die. But when the police find
you pulling up at your apartment with three handles of booze and a bottle of Tylenol you just bought at the Wal-Mart, I will take you to the hospital.
You can fight, it sucks, you don't want to go, you just want to be left alone, you don't reallllly want to die, you don't have a cent to pay a
hospital with but YOU. ARE. GOING. And usually, the cops are nice enough to realize that you smell like booze, were just driving a car.... But dont
charge you on that DUI because, clearly you just aren't right in the head at the moment.
One big, BIG contributor to this shtuff happening is poor officer safety skills. I can't watch cop tv shows because (besides being dumb and not close
to reality at all) they are unsafe. I see them cuffing murder suspects in the front and thinking what the hell? Then I watch the news and I see
deputies taking defendants in and out of the courthouse handcuffed in the front! I find myself yelling at the screen, WHY! Who is teaching you
this!!!!? Unless you're SO pregnant that it just ain't happening, you get cuffed behind like everyone else. Even if you have really broad shoulders
cause you're a macho macho man, fine, we can use two pairs to stretch the length. If you're a little itty bitty thing and can whoops accidentally
maybe slip your wrists out when you think I ain't lookin' then you probably can fit both wrists in one single handcuff hole. Surprising how many
chicks can do this.
Number two safety wise is, clearly, this guy was not searched before being placed in a police car. He probably wasn't searched because he wasn't
really under arrest, He was just not free to go for his own good. This is cops being lazy, probably. My department had few cage cars, so our
prisoners ALL went up in the front seat next to us. always felt waaay better to me there, anyways. I could always see what they were doing.
Ok, wrote too mu
edit on 12/5/2012 by TheOtter because: Some spelling, I didn't proof the at all before posting cause I ran out of letters