What’s Wrong With This Picture: Sydney SWAT Edition

I’m not a SWAT team member nor do I play one on the Internet. But that did not look like a smooth, well-coordinated operation to me. Especially the part where one of the cops who doesn’t make entry tosses a flash bang  (noisemaker?) into the room where his mates are busy trying to take out the bad guy without harming the hostages. Again, I’m not saying I could do better. I’m saying it looks like they could have done better.

comments

  1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Looks like normal SWAT operations to me. A barely controlled cluster frack.

    1. avatar Ryan says:

      I kind of have to agree with you there. A lot of guys who comment have never done it in real life.

      Real life has furniture in strange places that you trip over – its not like a shoot house where the “furniture” is throwaway crap from Goodwill that the rangemaster pushed against the wall for “Atmosphere.” Real life has atmospheric hazards. Flying glass, kids toys on the floor, garbage and coke bottles.

      Want to make a shoot house more realistic? Throw a pile of garbage in each room and take a crap somewhere on the floor.

      Oh, and use real bullets when the bad guys shoot back.

      It’s easy to point fingers and say how you would do it better. The fact is that those cops (or special forces, or whoever they were) were scared sh!tless going in but went in anyway.

      What did YOU do today?

      1. avatar El Mac says:

        @Ryan, so very very well said Ryan. Thank you for your clarity and judgement. Truly a breath of fresh air.

      2. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        You nailed it. Nothing ever goes as planned. Even in a cluttered shoot house. It’s always organized chaos.

      3. avatar Tom says:

        If they’re scared s***less, they should pick another line of work, some “heroes”.

    2. avatar Frank says:

      Ron White said:
      Give my kid a gun.
      Pow!
      How’s that, Daddy?
      Good shot Poot!
      Everybody relax, Poot took him out!

  2. avatar Stephen Rivera says:

    Terrible entry, literally any 03xx Marine who’s been in the fleet three months would have executed the entry with more violence of action.

    No idea why four guys stayed outside, even more confused why the dumb ass by the door chucked a flashback AFTER the first team made entry.

    For having half a day to prepare for this, I’m surprised they let the JV team lead, because this was amateur hour.

  3. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

    He said stun gun.

    ….Jesus Christ, that was a lot of rounds fired.

    1. avatar Robb says:

      Wonder if the police killed the innocents with all that.

      1. avatar Don says:

        I would bet a case of Henry’s on it, sadly.

      2. avatar B says:

        One cop got shot in the head. I’d guess the rape shiek did it, which likely means he had his aimed rifle pointing at the police and not at the hostages. Remember, only these people are properly trained and certified to use these weapons of war. Had the hostages been armed a religious minority might have been shot by someone not ordained kosher by the government. And that would be morally inferior to a group of victims being mowed down by a blind swat team flashbanged by their own teammate.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      1:06 – “Yeah, I’m hearing that live ammunition was used according to reports from police.” No kidding Sherlock!

      As for the operation: standing in the fatal funnel, throwing in a “stun gun” (flash bang) after they were inside, etc., what a mess! It looks like the four that stood outside froze in the moment. It’s fortunate that only 2 hostages died based on this footage . . . 🙁

      1. avatar Tom says:

        #AussieLivesMatter

      2. avatar Jeff says:

        I am retracting my comment above (not about the reporter’s overtly obvious statement, but the criticism of the rescue). I fell into TTAG trap that I so often criticize of jumping to conclusions before all the facts (or for this matter, the full video view) were available.

        Based on the information that since was released, we now see there was a hero manager that gave his life attempting to disarm the terrorist. The initial reports that have been stated say that the woman died of a heart attack (not sure if she was shot and the heart attack was caused by blood loss or from the fear of the situation) en route to the hospital.

        The teams had but a few seconds to react to a highly fluid situation that was dictated by an unexpected fight with the hero attempting to disarm the terrorist. The situation was messy with a room full of objects and obstacles. For those reasons, I am sorry for jumping to conclusions. It is kind of like pulling a “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” riot based on <1% facts.

        1. avatar El Mac says:

          @Jeff, you are an honorable and responsible man Jeff. Nice to see.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    Maybe he was trained by American SWAT and was trying to throw the flash bang into a crib.

    1. avatar NotoriousAPP says:

      Yes. This guy wins today. Well done sir.

  5. avatar Stephen Rivera says:

    Who allows a live stream of a tactical movement?

    why were four guys hung up in the doorway? Shit or get off the pot

    1. avatar Other Don says:

      So much of for the fatal funnel huh?

      1. avatar Other Don says:

        They clearly did not read method #3 on Wikihow:How to Clear a Building with a Firearm !

        http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-a-Building-with-a-Firearm

  6. avatar Scrubula says:

    In countries where police aren’t nationalized (like the US) and they have eradicated civilian gun ownership, how many of the SWAT recruits are gonna think and train for their jobs off duty?

    I’m not sure if Australian SWAT are trained like their military but it’s also possible this guy just screwed up big time.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Australia does have national police, about 6,500 of them, of whom just over 200 are members of the Tactical Response Groups within the larger Special Response Groups. This kind of thing is their bag.

      I saw different video than that provided above. It included the locals going in at the viewer’s left (and throwing extra flashbangs, and looking admittedly a bit chaotic), but it showed that the first entrants entered from the doors to the right, being what appeared to be a pair of Federal TRG members (different uniform, patch, and helmet). I imagine it was that pair that did the heavy shooting, which left the crew you see above playing a looser supporting role. I don’t expect many would be much calmer when expected to enter after the first shooters, for support and to round up hostages.

      Both doors were used by escaping hostages some time earlier before the shooting began.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      CNN posts this comment in its report, which confirms that police entered from two directions: “A national security source in the United States said that a team of Australian special forces troops and police had entered the Lindt Chocolate Cafe from two directions and killed the gunman.”

      I can’t find the video I saw which actually showed the initial entrants going in on the doors on the right, but they clearly initiated the first police fire moments before any of the police on the left (the ones shown in the post video above) entered. The uniforms of the entrants on the right were the solid green of the Feds, so I’ll await Australian confirmation before believing the U.S. “national security source.” If the AFP TRT’s couldn’t be on site and do the job, I would ask what the point of them is. They do have a team in Sydney, after all.

      1. avatar Pikes Pete says:

        Why are you trying to inject logic and calm analysis into this? Just do like the other commenters do. Make uninformed ignorant stmts while on the crapper.

        I have more time than most and picked up a couple of salient facts or semi facts.

        Aussie SF have a base outside Sydney. They were brought in to do the entry.
        Everyone were in negiotiation mode when out of the blue gunman shot a hostage. After hanging out for 17 hrs the team had to spin up in 30 seconds.
        While team was going in on two sides they were also blowing out large plate glass windows in front and guys entering them. This was small shop and probably was packed with team members real quick.
        Within a just couple of minutes everyone was out and EMTs had all wounded in ambulances.

        1. avatar TmDaddy says:

          Pikes Pete, I think you’re the first logical response in here that I’ve come across. I’ve done lots of room clearing like this, but without hostages. I can think of a lot of things that affected the small part we saw on camera.
          * Possible double doors like in most American business would account for why one guy went in and held open the second interior door while his teammate threw a flashbang in past him. That would account for the rest of the stack staying out of it.
          *Another team entering from another location (where there Sniper/Observer confirms the target is)? Stay outside and observe through the glass doors instead of going into an adjacent room and get hit by rounds passing through walls. Only enter if the fight moves into the room you’re observing. The flashbang would have distracted the suspect in another room without blinding the assaulters in that room
          *I agree with negotiation mode to assault in 30 seconds. Hard to judge them on that
          *I disagree with other commentators saying these guys were scared shitless. I guarantee you they were ready to go in as professionals, and instead of fear they were thinking of their weapons state, going over their place in the stack, which way would they go, contingencies, etc. I’m betting they felt only fear for the hostages. Not supermen, but probably real heroes.
          I congratulate them on a job well done.

        2. avatar Greg Summers says:

          Hi Pikes Pete, good effort. As I understand it the terrorist was tackled by the cafe manager in an effort to gab his weaopn. The terrorist fired killing the manager and a female customer. This caused the SWAT to conduct an EA. Like all cafes the floor space is taken up with lots of chairs and tables to maximise the number of patrons; hence to apparent slower entry. Will have to wait and see if additional detail is released.

    3. avatar B says:

      America’s the land of the “gun nuts” and NY’s finest can’t manage a 1 in 20 hit rate. How do we stack up compared to the rest of the disarmed world in terms of the accuracy of our officers? They don’t have the benefit of growing up gun, wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t touch one before joining.

      1. avatar Allen says:

        Law abiding New Yorkers, ARE disarmed.

      2. avatar SIan says:

        NYC cops don’t generally have the benefit of growing up gun either.

        I’d put money on Officer Jones, Flyover Country, BFE in marksmanship over a NY cop any day of the week.

        1. avatar bryan1980 says:

          This. The cops Down Under might as well go the way of the Bobby and stop carrying service weapons. The average Aussie probably has never touched a toy gun, much less a real one.

          I’ll add something to the comment regarding NYC cops; they also damage their patrol cars quite often, due to the fact that most of them have never held a driver’s license or driven a car before they joined the force.

    4. avatar Frank says:

      Number of Privately Owned Firearms in Australia

      The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Australia is 3,050,000

      Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population
      The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Australia is 15.01 firearms per 100 people

  7. avatar FTA says:

    Media claims 2 hostages dead. Be interesting to find out if they were killed during that cluster fuck of an entry. Even more interesting to see whose bullets took them out…

    1. avatar arnold says:

      Good point. I find it both sad & appalling that no one mentions the fact that the “trained” po-po killed 2 hostages and the terrorist killed ZERO hostages.

      1. avatar Rklk says:

        actually one of the hostages made a attempt to take the gun away from the gunman when he was dozing off, which failed and ended up him and another hostage being shot. The rest of the hostages ran away and the TRG unit went in right after

  8. avatar Dev says:

    The story I found was that the manager of the cafe tried taking the gun from the scum and was shot. It seems like the police weren’t ready to move in but they did as soon as they heard shots. Apparently the other victim died from a heart attack after the shootings.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/hero-cafe-manager-dies-stop-gunman-sydney-article-1.2046360

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Bingo. It sounds very much like this was not a planned entry but one forced upon the swat team when something happened inside, which explains much of the strangeness surrounding.

    2. avatar PeterK says:

      Ah, if that is the case I could cut them some slack for exigent circumstances.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I still have difficulty with the slack, because it was nearly 17 hours after this situation began, all should have been completely ready for at least the last 15 hours, and it should not have lasted more than 4-5 total. The best thing I heard, which we could sure copy, was that the media refused (at the request of the govt) to publish this sick mofo’s assorted publicity demands and manifestos, etc. He wasn’t on the news, even his black flag, what a moron. That apparently infuriated him.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Wow. 95% (over 63,000 votes) “No.” On a PBS poll.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        Internet polls are worthless. They gather nothing meaningful.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          Ooooo. Did you stay up all night waiting to post that? Your “Look How Smart I am” memes are showing.

          Geez. Lighten up.

          It was the better part of 100,000 voters (at the last time I checked), which is bigger than most such polls. PBS is a ‘selected’ audience that one would reasonably guess would trend toward gun control, especially on an emotional subject like Sandy Hook.

          95% against is telling. Is is “scientific?” No one is claiming it is. But with 100,000-ish voters, it’s probably at least, if not more, “accurate” pulse of those polled than anything Gallup or Pew or any of those guys produce.

  9. avatar Novitiate says:

    If I had to guess, they were waiting for SAS to show up and take the lead. Then they heard gunshots and they had to force an entry. This is Australia, they don’t have crime like we’re used to, it’s not Germany or France who have very highly trained police forces to pull into place if necessary.

    So a bunch of partially trained guys did the best they could in the circumstances.

    Their military is very, very good. But it’s very small. You don’t have that many SWAT type teams on the Police force….A regular US Army, or Marine Infantry Squad would have done a better job of breaching…but would have lost the media war.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      A similar comment or two was posted on the first “Sydney” post of the day. I really don’t understand why people keep thinking Australia would use their SASR (in this case the Tactical Assault Group East) for a center city hostage situation. The TAGE people, I would feel almost certain, would be held back for much more serious developments, or those remote from the city or at sea. NSWP have SWAT. The Federal Police have highly trained hostage rescue teams, and their main beats are the capital and Sydney. I’ll keep an open mind, but I don’t believe the local and federal police were Special Air Service Regiment soldiers in drag.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        ….but I’ll keep an open mind.

        1. avatar Paul says:

          I’m aware of more facts now, but the reason I first put down that they were waiting for SAS to go in is that is typically how the Commonwealth Countries roll. For example, the sniper in the Libyan embassy in London.

          With a guy waving a Black Flag, high numbers of hostages, a weapon, unknown at the time if he’s got a bomb vest…you have every indication this is a militarized (terrorist) action and you don’t know how bad its going to be…Or how many other gunmen may be waiting in the building.

  10. avatar Kevin says:

    What I heard is that they had several clean opportunities to down him with snipers and didn’t . I’m glad here in the good ole USA we don’t give criminals more rights than victims (sarcasm).

    I know we don’t want to infringe on the rights of those who want to practice a “religion of peace” but I hope they learned a lesson and next time they do not hesitate to kill the terrorist scum before he kills innocent people.

  11. avatar TroyBilt says:

    ” I’m not saying I could do better. I’m saying it looks like they could have done better.”

    That is a great statement. May I use this for the rest of my life?

    Sorry if the quote is not marked right. I don’t know nutin about no book learning.

    1. avatar cmeat says:

      them what’s filled with all them scribblin’s an’ such.

  12. avatar Silver says:

    Yet another video to save and link people whenever I’m questioned on my unwillingness to leave my personal safety to the police.

  13. avatar El Mac says:

    @RF, clearly you have tapped into the Fountain of All Knowledge. Maybe you should hire out your expertise? (might get ya some more clicks ya know?)

    1. TTAG’s posting policy: no flaming the website, it’s authors or fellow commentators. One more and you’re toast.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        But what would we do without El Mac showing us how wrong we are to have any sort of criticism of our glorious, brave armed agents of the state??

        1. avatar El Mac says:

          @Grindstone, indeed! 🙂

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        How’s he flaming?

        Sounds like he’s suggesting business opportunities.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      I think the criticism of how things appeared at the doors on the left is natural. It is very odd that most networks did not carry the first seconds of the entry, and from a wide-enough view to show the few very differently-uniformed guys who went in first, on the right.

      1. avatar El Mac says:

        @ropingdown, yes sir…exactly right. And that is my point. Your experience is notable.

  14. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    The gang who couldn’t shoot straight. Did I hear right pump shotguns are banned in OZ? Paul Hogan is turning over in his grave(he did die didn’t he?)

    1. avatar Neez says:

      Can only have a double barrel in Oz.

    2. avatar Don says:

      No, he just got divorced…..

    3. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Hogan is still alive, but the guy Crocodile Dundee was modeled after is dead. Died in a shootout with police about 15 years ago.

    4. avatar Ralph says:

      Hogan is still alive, no thanks to the Australian tax authorities who have waged war against the poor b@stard for the last decade.

      The Australian Tax Office is worse than the IRS — if you can imagine such a thing.

    5. avatar johnnosk says:

      Pump action shotguns are a class ‘D’ Firearm and require a valid reason to own one, traditionally the ownership of such a license would be held by a company the does money transfers like Brinks or Armorguard or the private guards that are employed as prison security.

    6. avatar JoshtheViking says:

      The funny thing is that Aussies can own lever action shotguns like the Winchester 1887.

    7. avatar bontai Joe says:

      Nope, Mr. Hogan is 745 years old and still funny as of this moment.

  15. avatar Model 31 says:

    So far, all have missed the mark.
    What is wrong with this picture is 240p resolution youtube in the Year of our Lord 2014.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      They’re paying the bill, so they set the bitrate.

      Just click your heels three times and say…

      “Its really HD, Its really HD, Its really HD”

  16. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    <sarc>
    A sad fact of a state with few guns is little crime involving guns, and therefore little relevant experience on the part of those expected to deal with it.

    Their SWAT peeps should train overseas.
    </sarc>

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Chicago or Baltimore, perhaps?

  17. avatar johnnosk says:

    TRG don’t get much action, most of the time they are on station to go in and the situation gets resolved without any incident. They pack up their gear, head back to the station, pack everything away properly, fill out paperwork and go home.

    The fact of the matter is that training will only get you so far and without practical experience it is just not enough. By and large, Australia is a non-violent culture and armed offenders tend to surrender as soon as the police show up.

    What happened in Sydney is an extraordinary event that may not be repeated for 15 years or more, it showed the gaps in their training and I would not be surprised if there is an inquest held into the matter.

    In all, it could have been handled better, but then again, everybody could have died.

    1. avatar 'Liljoe says:

      A terrorist attack in Sidney? Give it a year, but it will happen again. Let the people bear arms!

    2. avatar murray says:

      another 15 years? Way things are going with AQ it could be next week. The real question is do you sacrifice your freedoms to control terrorism? Another might be would the nutjob have attempted this if the people involved could have defended themselves? After all not much publicity if your shot dead 2 seconds after you start!

  18. avatar JoeVK says:

    Shouldn’t this be titled “What’s Wrong with this Video?”, cuz I see no pictures.

  19. avatar Desert Ranger Tycho says:

    What is wrong is that the laws kept lawful citizens from exercising their God given right to defend themselves with firearms. What is wrong is no one is asking where did a criminal get a gun in Gun Free Australia? What is wrong is the media makes the victims who died out to be heroes rather than the victims of failed government policies.

  20. avatar Dan says:

    Just an observation on incidents of this type.

    Sooner or later something just like this is going to happen in the USA in a FREE STATE.
    Meaning that someone inside the business will be armed. That someone MUST KNOW
    that if they are going to act against johnny jihad they need to act BEFORE SWAT stages
    outside. If they take down the bad guy once SWAT is in “shoot first, shoot a lot and sort
    out the bodies later” mode they will be remembered as being a brave American….but that
    remembrance will be POSTHUMOUS.

    1. avatar The Original Brad says:

      Dan – I think you’re wrong. I doubt this would happen in a “Free” state, meaning a state with strong 2A support. It will happen in a gun free or gun restrictive area where the odds of running into a private citizen with a firearm are low. Terrorists and criminals don’t want that kind of confrontation, so they’ll go where the chances of it are lowest. Coincidently, the places where those laws exist, also happen to be liberal media centers. So they get maximum coverage, quickly with the least chance of resistance.

  21. avatar Greg says:

    Gear with out training. Anyone notice they had NODs, M4s, and AI bolt guns? Full kit + zero training = fail boat. I wonder if the two dead hostages were from friendly fire.

  22. avatar libtard says:

    isis will soon be in America if they are not already here. Their welcome here, hopefully, will be much different than in Australia.

  23. avatar DGM says:

    If those are indeed members of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment, then that would explain why they’re tossing in flashbangs seemingly late to us.

    For the sake of brevity, I’ve set the following link to start at the 2:35 mark.

    http://youtu.be/i3eAiJ4eL9A?t=2m35s

  24. avatar John M. says:

    So, let me get this straight: militarized police are an awful, terrible thing and should be opposed by all right-thinking people. And when we need police to undertake a military-like action, we need to make sure that they operate with military-like discipline and efficiency.

    Got it.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Can you cite one single instance anywhere in this site’s comments or article base where someone has said hostage situations are NOT a legitimate role of “militarized police”?

      It takes some discernment. Cops don’t need operator gear to issue parking tickets (exaggeration for effect), but that’s a far, far cry from saying there is zero application for said gear.

      The complaints are to the MISUSE of military gear and tactics in the day-to-day police role. The complaints are to over-reaching of government in general and the cops as the enforcement ‘arm’ of that over reach.

      If you cannot discern the difference, you might consider not commenting like this, because your comment just highlights its own foolishness.

      1. avatar John M. says:

        I have never seen RF give any reasons why police should have military hardware and/or use military-like tactics. I have seen him criticize military hardware and military-like tactics. (Search “Dom Raso” to find a post critical of Raso “heart[ing]” police militarization.)

        I’ve now also seen him be critical of police for not executing a raid with military-like precision.

        So if RF believes police should be militarized sometimes, I’d love to hear about it. As it is, it looks like the police can’t win for losing in RF’s book.

        RF has taken responsibility for his own safety. This is commendable. He has never–to my knowledge–taken responsibility for public order in a town or city, or even a company for that matter. If he were to do this, he’d have to make decisions about what equipment and tactics his PD should use and what training they should receive to that end. He’d find out that tradeoffs abound, and that decisions have consequences.

        How would RFPD respond to a hostage situation like this? How would they execute a drug raid? How would they restore order in a place like Ferguson? I see precious little of this type of commentary on here, just a lot of finger-pointing and “you’re doing it wrong.” I’m open to links proving me wrong about this.

        Does that help explain my sarcasm?

        1. avatar El Mac says:

          @John M., nice commentary sir. Spot on! As they say….

    2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      I think most can make the distinction between a general militarized police force and the need for a SWAT team in certain scenarios like this hostage situation. We can criticize the overuse of tactical gear, specific breaches in Constitutional law and protocol, and heavy-handed nature of cops when the situation arises (although this incident took place in a foreign country) but to say it’s too much to ask for a well trained force to deal with this volatile situation is just silly.

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