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  #21  
Old 19 September 2017, 09:49 PM
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Of course, ideally, as with nuclear weapons, the best use is for deterrence: that is, if someone were coming towards me with a knife, and I had a gun, I would hope that pointing it in his direction and threatening to shoot would probably stop him, and neither of us would have to be hurt.

Obviously, that won't always work, and certainly did not in this case -- the suspect/victim was clearly aware that the police had guns pointed at them and not only was not backing off, but seemed to be trying to provoke them into shooting, if not as aggressively as could have been the case.

The other thing to bear in mind when discussing "shooting to disable" is that accuracy in gunfights is not that easy a thing. Even if the officer involved is a pretty good shot when firing at static targets on a range, in a real-life situation, with the stress, everyone moving, avoiding incoming fire or persons, etc., just hitting the other person can be a challenge, let alone trying to hit a specific point of the body.

Part of me wishes we could develop a science-fiction style stun gun, that instantly knocks someone out without causing undue pain or any permanent damage (though of course they might damage themselves falling over). Then again, letting those get in the hands of criminals is a pretty scary thought.
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  #22  
Old 19 September 2017, 11:09 PM
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I'm not a gun person. But I do live in an area in which many if not most people have a gun somewhere around the place; and one of the most basic safety rules is 'never, ever, point a gun at anything you're not willing to kill.' (The other one appears to be 'never behave as if it's not loaded'.)

Nobody's aim is perfect; a live human generally is or may suddenly become a moving target; people's anatomies vary, and some people have vital organs and/or arteries in unexpected places. Shooting someone with the intent to kill them doesn't always kill them. Shooting someone with the intent to not kill them sometimes does kill them. I don't think we should be trying to train police into working with a mental category of 'this person shouldn't be killed, but we're going to shoot at them anyway'.

Why the police in this case didn't have tasers, and whether they should have had tasers, I don't know. AIUI people occasionally die of being hit with a taser, but it's a whole lot less likely.

Why a specific police officer felt it necessary to shoot in this case, when I often read of similar cases in which officers succeeded in arresting the person threatening them without anybody getting either shot or killed, or even tased -- some of those cases being cases in which the person clearly did have not only a knife but a gun, and occasionally was even aiming it in the general direction of the police -- I also don't know. I'm sure there are sometimes cases in which the police really do need to shoot somebody. This one, from what I've read, doesn't sound like one -- but I may be missing information. (In fact, I'm sure I'm missing information. But I may, or may not, be missing information that would change my mind.)

I do think that police ought to get a whole lot of training in how to deal with a threatening situation without anyone getting killed; including training specifically in how to deal with people of different cultures, linguistic abilities, and mental states than their own. I believe that many police do get such training. I strongly suspect that not all of them get enough of it; and/or that the training that's used may in some cases not actually be good training for the purpose.
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  #23  
Old 20 September 2017, 12:40 AM
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Cracked has a really good article outlining why being shot in the leg is not a minor injury, written by the guy who survived it (minus his leg.)
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  #24  
Old 20 September 2017, 01:41 PM
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The main reason for not shooting to disable is that a wounded person can shoot back, a dead one cannot. If you are sure your target is unarmed, then you shouldn't be shooting them anyway. If you know (or think you know) they are armed, then shoot to kill. There's almost never an advantage to shoot to wound.
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  #25  
Old 20 September 2017, 03:38 PM
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Well, yes, and, perhaps more importantly, training to shoot anywhere but the torso has been discouraged because it would presumably make an already low hit rate lower. Even with that training, in actual shootouts only around one in five rounds hits anywhere on the target.
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  #26  
Old 20 September 2017, 04:04 PM
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Shooting to wound is just not practical. Even when shooting at the center of mass the outcome is very unpredictable. This is the target because it is large and still very likely to incapacitate someone. Shooting someone in the arm or leg has a pretty high chance of not incapacitating them and allow them to still pose a very real threat.

They were closer then I would have liked to be when dealing with a person armed with a knife. If you have ever heard of the 21 foot rule it applies to knives. A person can cover 21 feet before a person can draw and fire a weapon. They were already drawn out, but still action beats reaction and even though they were already drawn a person can cover a fair bit of ground before you can detect it, determine your action (decide to shoot) and then carry out that action. Factor on top of that that just because you directly hit your target does not mean they will be instantly incapacitated there isn't a lot of lee way.

When contacting someone like this it is nice to have viable less lethal weapons such as a taser or bean bag gun. (I would not use pepper spray for this) Yes in rare cases they can be lethal but certainly much less than firearms.

Deescalation is regularly taught, practiced and used by officers. It is used thousands of times every day by officers but just isn't very news worthy. It doesn't mean we can't continue to become better at it, but they often do.

I am quite aware of the risks of my job, and I take risks to help people, including helping people who are a threat to themselves, but ulitmately I will do what I have to to protect myself.
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  #27  
Old 20 September 2017, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Blue View Post
...They were closer then I would have liked to be when dealing with a person armed with a knife...
A knife? I thought it was a Leatherman type multi-tool that has a dinky little knife blade. And that the blade was folded when it was recovered.
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  #28  
Old 20 September 2017, 06:23 PM
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Dark Blue, thanks for posting. I was hoping you'd chime in.

-- a 3" blade that strikes in the wrong location -- an eye, an artery -- can definitely do damage. But I would think that if it was folded closed that would make a difference; while "multi-tool pocketknife" covers a lot of ground, I doubt any of those could be opened before an officer who'd already drawn could fire.

I don't know whether dropping that specific tool could have closed it. I also don't know whether the video makes it clear whether the knife was open while it was being held; or whether the officers could have kept retreating; or whether there were others in the area who were in danger. Or, again, why apparently none of them had tasers. Or, for that matter, what if anything any of the officers said besides commands to drop the knife.
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  #29  
Old 20 September 2017, 06:34 PM
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Besides 14 commands to drop the knife, I heard multiple variations of, "No one wants to hurt you. Come on man, no one wants to hurt you," "What's your name? I know you're upset, what's your name?" "What's going on here," "Relax man," "What are we doing here," and several times "Don't move!" More than once when Schultz yelled, "shoot me!" an officer responded, "No! Drop the knife!"

Last edited by Little Pink Pill; 20 September 2017 at 06:45 PM.
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  #30  
Old 20 September 2017, 06:43 PM
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Default Audio released of 911 call by Georgia Tech student killed by police

Schultz had left three suicide notes in a dorm room, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and phoned police on Saturday night to report an armed man stalking the campus.

Police released audio on Tuesday from a caller they identified as Schultz.

“Hey, I’m over at West Village,” the caller told police, according to audio published by BuzzFeed News. “It looks like there is somebody like skulking around outside. It looks like he’s got, he’s got a knife in his hand. I think he might have a gun on his hip.”

The caller described a man with long blond hair who was wearing jeans and a white T-shirt.

“It looks like he might be drunk or something.”

Then the officer asked for the caller’s identity.

“Uh, sure,” the caller said. “Scout Schultz.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.ae0ad4eb7f71
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  #31  
Old 20 September 2017, 07:17 PM
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So the person who reported Scout might have a gun was Scout themself?

-- you know, it is not polite and more importantly very much not kind to make unwilling other persons complicit in one's suicide.
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  #32  
Old 20 September 2017, 08:34 PM
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His father, Bill Schultz, seems to imply in the article that it may have been, at least in part, a political act.

Quote:
Schultz had lately become frustrated with news coverage of police-involved shootings, Bill Schultz said, and expressed interest in the anti-fascist movement. “I tend to think that if there was a cause, it might have been anger at the police over all the shootings,” Bill Schultz said.
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  #33  
Old 20 September 2017, 08:56 PM
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The nature of suicidal depression can unfortunately make a person in Scout's circumstances unable to make a rational polite and kind choice. That doesn't mean you can't be angry or sad that they did this, of course. I would just (gently) suggest that any anger or blame about what happened be directed at the illness that was causing them such pain.

Dark Blue,

As always, I very much appreciate you giving your perspective and sharing your experience and expertise. I have great respect for you and your dedication and integrity.

I did not mean to suggest with my earlier remarks that officers receive no training in deescalation and helping people in crisis, or that officers are unaware of the risks of their jobs, or that they don't help people. Maybe you can comment on the extent to which my understanding is either correct or off base for your department and in your experience.

My understanding is that there is typically training in deescalation techniques, but not necessarily a lot of training specifically in dealing with people who are having mental health crises, which is not just a matter of deescalation, at least as I understand that term. It seems to me that police could benefit from a greater understanding of mental health crises, and more training specifically in helping people who are experiencing them.

For the risks issue, I've seen or heard a piece that recounted how much current police training and culture emphasizes the risk that an officer can be attacked at any given moment, and that their first duty is to go home at the end of their shift. The piece suggested that the training and culture results in a skewed view of how likely it is that an officer will be attacked or intentionally hurt or killed in the course of their work, and that it tends to foster an us vs them mentality.

The comment about helping people was just about how the profession is framed. I think it should be a touchstone that the primary purpose of a police officer should be to help people. Even people who are engaged in bad conduct. It may not always be possible to help people who are engaged in bad conduct, but it should be the aspiration.
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  #34  
Old 20 September 2017, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
The nature of suicidal depression can unfortunately make a person [ . . . ] unable to make a rational polite and kind choice.
Well, that's true.

I don't and can't know what Scout's state of mind was at the time; and didn't mean to imply that they were a terrible person.
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  #35  
Old 20 September 2017, 11:21 PM
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You didn't imply they were a terrible person. It's a terrible thing for everyone involved, though, first for Scout, now for the officer and surviving friends and family.
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  #36  
Old 20 September 2017, 11:31 PM
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As far as knife vs multitool. I have a leatherman multitool with a blade on the handle that can be opened without opening the tool itself. I can open it in about 1/2 second while holding the multitool closed. I know that I can cause very lethal damage with its "dinky" little blade.

I don't know if video other than the one in the original article exists but looking at it, it appears dark which makes it harder to see things clearly. If someone is holding something that looks like it could be a knife and claims it to be a knife, I would take them at their word for it.

As far as training regarding mental health issues I know from my time teaching at our police academy that there is a substantial amount of time dedicated to mental health issues, how to deal with people in crisis, how to deescalate situations etc. That does not include the training officers receive after the academy on an ongoing basis. I have a specialty position that has caused me to have substantially more. Hundreds of hours in the last few years.

This is my experience, I can't speak to all of law enforcement across the country of course. Agencies have the responsibility of providing the training and oversight of their officers. Some certainly aren't as diligent about it as others.

Again can we do better? Sure we always can. But I know from experience that officers respond to countless people in mental health crisis and resolve it peacefully. A vast majority of the time even, but not always. But you never hear about those countless times, you only hear about the times that don't end peacefully and because of that it tends to skew the average news reading person to believe that cops have no idea how to handle these situations. The reality is that cops get called to deal with mental health crisis a lot (which really shouldn't be the case in my opinion) I mean, I get called to go to someone in crisis, by their mental health providers even. It's a crappy situation all around, and not always a winnable one.

It of course is important to note that this is not what the officers were called to respond to in the first place in this situation.
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  #37  
Old 20 September 2017, 11:49 PM
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Second video:

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=db6_1505625867
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  #38  
Old 21 September 2017, 02:34 PM
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I wasn't going to add any more to this thread, in part because I'm really sorry I started talking about shoot-to-wound, and I do realize it's virtually impossible. However, I just want to say to all - and particularly Dark Blue - that no disrespect was meant to the police profession or its members. I do realize that the kind of training and police responses I, along with others here, have said is necessary does happen all the time. I have seen examples of it first hand. In particular, it sounds like Dark Blue's folks really have it together. Situations like this one - even if rare - make us ask "could it have been avoided?" and "how can we make it better?" I know there are no easy answers, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask the questions.
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  #39  
Old 21 September 2017, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
I just want to say to all - and particularly Dark Blue - that no disrespect was meant to the police profession or its members. I do realize that the kind of training and police responses I, along with others here, have said is necessary does happen all the time. [ . . . ] In particular, it sounds like Dark Blue's folks really have it together. Situations like this one - even if rare - make us ask "could it have been avoided?" and "how can we make it better?" I know there are no easy answers, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ask the questions.
Agreeing with all of this.

Asking the questions, provided it's done right, won't produce either easy answers or answers guaranteed to prevent deaths in all cases; but it should, over time, produce better answers that are acted upon more often.

And I agree that many police departments are clearly among those asking the questions.
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  #40  
Old 21 September 2017, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
I wasn't going to add any more to this thread, in part because I'm really sorry I started talking about shoot-to-wound, and I do realize it's virtually impossible.
You shouldn't be sorry for asking. If you don't know somethingthat's how you find out!

I've only tried to add my particular perspective on this from my training and experience.
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