X26 taser (courtesy southbendpolice.wordpress.com)

As has been widely reported, septuagenarian Tulsa reserve sheriff’s deputy Robert Charles Bates shot and killed gun trafficking suspect Eric Courtney Harris with a .357 Magnum revolver instead of a TASER, killing Harris. The part-time law enforcement officer appeared on the Today Show [above] to apologize for manslaughter. “It could happen to anyone,” Bates declared. Could it? Sgt. Jim Clark of the Tulsa Police Department excused Bate’s negligent discharge, claiming Bates was the “victim” of “slip and capture.” Say what? . .

According to Sgt. Clark, slip and capture is “a high stress phenomenon in which a person’s behavior slips off the intended course of action because it’s captured by a stronger response.” The term debuted in the Oscar Grant case, the man shot by a BART police officer who also believed he was firing his TASER.

“Slips and Capture” is a phrase coined by police use-of-force consultant Bill Lewinski in 2009, as part of the defense of an officer charged with the accidental shooting of a suspect in an Oakland, California train station. Lewinski has a doctorate in psychology from Union Institute and University, a distance learning university in Cincinnati. His company, “Force Science Institute,” specializes in damage control for police departments, advertising “We save lives and reputations” on their website.

The “Slips and Capture” theory first appeared as a newsletter article in “Force Science News #154” after Lewinski began work on the Fruitvale Station (BART) shooting defense.

Despite the Wikipedia hive mind’s insinuation that Dr. Lewinski is less than academically sound or scientifically objective, I respect the Force Science Institute and the work it produces. (TTAG republishes FSI’s email blasts from time to time.) The problem here is one of semantics.

“Slip and capture” is a new term for an old phenomena: force-of-habit. More scientifically, during stress a person’s conscious mind tends to switch off. Their subconscious mind “takes over” and implements a survival-oriented stimulus -> response pattern (e.g. flinching, ducking, running, attacking). They don’t think about their actions. They act. Well, react.

Firearms trainers capitalize on the innate human tendency to react instinctively to danger with repetitive drilling and other subconscious programming techniques. Trainers instill firearms-related subconscious stimulus -> response patterns, aiming to create [what they mistakenly call] “muscle memory.”

THREAT! Draw gun, aim at target, and move and shoot. Done. Like that.

The main advantage of subconscious reactions: speed. The main disadvantage: the complete lack of critical consideration. And once a subconscious stimulus -> response pattern is wired into a person’s “lizard brain,” well, there it is. There is no conscious override. Just ask someone suffering from a phobia.

I’ve warned readers about the dangers of these firearms-related subconscious stimulus – response patterns many times before. In The Myth of Muscle Memory, I stated, “The vast majority of “bad shoots’ involve well-trained cops acting on pre-programmed instinct. They react without thinking and the wrong people die.”

All of which means the term “slip and capture” is entirely misleading. It assumes that a person intended to do the right thing but couldn’t because they reverted to training. Bates wanted to shoot his TASER but reached for his gun instead. I don’t see it that way. Bates didn’t think about what he was doing when he drew his firearm. He reacted to the situation. And Eric Courtney Harris died.

The real cause of Harris’ death was Bates’ training. Or lack thereof.

Tulsa World reports that the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office falsified Bates’ training records, including his firearms certifications. “Supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off.” Corruption aside, it’s clear that Bates wasn’t trained to instinctively differentiate between his firearm and his TASER. So he instinctively chose his firearm,

I know that sounds confusing and contradictory: instinctive training is dangerous, failing to train instinctively is dangerous and non-trained instinctive responses are dangerous. The trick here is to understand that firearms training is a tricky business. It needs to be designed, implemented, checked and fine-tuned on a regular basis; with a complete and working understanding of stress-related psychology.

For example, if you train to draw your weapon, aim and fire in one uninterrupted sequence until your gun’s dry, that’s what you’ll do under stress. If you train to draw your weapon, aim, assess the target and decide whether or not to fire and then fire (or not), that’s what you’ll do. Should do.

Robert Charles Bates was not properly trained in the use of his TASER and/or his firearm (a revolver-shaped red flag if ever there was one.) The fact that Bates was a part-time, maybe even wannabe cop will be the prosecution’s focus. Which is a shame. Like most tragedies, Harris’ death was a multiple system failure, but especially and most importantly a failure of firearms training. In short, Bates is absolutely correct: this could happen to anyone.

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81 Responses to Tulsa Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy Mistakes Gun for TASER. Could It Happen to Anyone?

  1. Interesting. I always wondered why so many officers these days rapid fire shoot to slide stop and reload. That may be ten rounds, it may be 17. And when one officer starts shooting, so do any other officers near him. Apparently this is how they are trained. What strikes me most about this practice is that officers seem to believe it is an appropriate practice.

    • It must be training that’s been around for decades. Saw an interesting statement by an investigator with the LAPD back when they were starting to use semi’s. In his investigations before the transition an officer used his revolver would fire until empty. 6 rounds. After the transition to the Beretta 92 the officers involved in shooting fired until their pistol was empty. 16 rounds.

      Just judging from this one mans experience it would seem that simply firing til empty would be an instinctive thing.

    • “What strikes me most about this practice is that officers seem to believe it is an appropriate practice.”

      It may be that they are trained that hesitation kills.

      Amadou Dialloon 41 times (February 4, 1999), and Angilo Freeland (Sept 26, 2006) 68 times.

      When in doubt, launch lead.

    • This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “contagious shooting.” What needs to happen is for each individual officer to judge the necessary force for their particular situation and react accordingly.

      I’m not shooting just because the guy next to me does. For all I know, he could be shooting the wrong target(s) unless I can confirm that with my own eyes. And if he’s shooting the wrong target, I need to stop him. That helps save bystanders, my cop buddy, and the reputation of my employer. Bad shoots are a mess.

      What really happened was a f$&@ up under stress. Training is an issue, but also the quality of the personnel. Was the guy 73? That’s pretty old to be chasing and wrestling with suspects.

      Tasers should be set up on the weak side or for a cross draw to minimize confusion with firearms. Also, someone down on the ground underneath you, unarmed, not offering violent resistance needs to be placed into a control hold and handcuffed. Not shot.

      My $.02. I just successfully terminated a pursuit last week with a 57 year old woman who fled through multiple areas on the freeway. Once we rammed her car in Pasadena south of Colorado Blvd on Arroyo Pkwy (called a Pursuit Intervention Technique), she came to a nice stop. No additional force was needed other than a little yelling and a bent wrist control hold. I was the guy holding the 870 with orange grips (less lethal shotgun)on the right side of the formation who searched the car after the arrest. I put the gun down because I didn’t need it.

      A lot of police would be better served with a few long, deep breaths to slow their heart rates and some good olde fashioned fighting.

      • We also referred to it as sympathetic fire or reflex fire when I was in law enforcement. It was never an issue for us because we trained hard and under realistic conditions. We would hit the range at least a couple of times a month. Even if we were just all together 15 minutes before shift briefing we would go over something. I think there is a lack of training epidemic with some departments in this country (I’m looking at you NYC). Until departments start taking responsibility for the negligent actions of their officers, and start standing up for the ones who acted appropriately but were demonized by the national media, things will never change.

      • Know the neighborhood well.

        That area of 110 is perhaps one of the few were you could pull that sort of tactic without some real problems – such as you’d have in the curves south of there.

        • It was called “the polite pursuit” by the news media.

          Since you clearly know Pasadena, and some of the wicked curves of the SR-110, I’m starting to wonder of there’s anything you don’t know.

          When I retire I’m going to find spend some time with quality right wing gunsmiths and do my best to absorb everything they know.

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  2. I won’t be confusing my Taser with my pistol because I don’t carry a Taser. All or none.

    Tasers protect cops, not citizens.

  3. I’m not sure if I agree with the poster’s description of “slip and capture”. The initial explanation was more to the effect that Bates suffered from a kind of disconnect that induces a person to do the precise opposite of what they intend to do. For example, I might start to pour a cup of coffee with the specific intention to avoid overfilling it, and wind up doing exactly that. Or start to answer someone with the specific intention not to use a certain word, and sure enough, that word pops right out. In similar fashion, under that theory, Bates would be specifically thinking, “draw the taser, not the gun”, and proceed to draw the gun. I don’t see that as quite the same thing as falling into a simple habitual rut “threat-draw pistol-shoot”. Bates did, reportedly, yell “taser” before he shot, indicating that it was his specific intention to deploy the taser, not the handgun. Is that not the case? At any rate, I do agree that under either theory, it could happen to anyone. At least in the sense that a whole universe of things could happen to anyone.

  4. I carry my taser cross draw, which helps. I’ve never ever come close to pulling out one instead of the other, and to be honest I’ve never actually deployed my taser, choosing to try to use words first and then if that fails go hands on. Too many cops are too eager to pull out their damn tasers because they don’t want to go hands on.

        • Excuse me? All I’m saying is that the existence of “non-lethal” gizmos increases the chances of their routinely being deployed when they shouldn’t be. I thanked TileFloor for his professionalism.

          Maybe a little too subtle for you.

          And what is up with your reference to Sharpton?

        • no reply ability under your comment but this is to you:

          “Sure, that’s what you said”.

          And the ref to sharpton is that like him, you ascribe police activity as over reactions to be ing “dissed”.

        • Sharpton’s bodyguards have no more right to assault me with a “non-lethal” weapon any more than the cops or you do if I’m not physically threatening, and no, I’m not referring to this particular case.

          If that numb-nuts didn’t have a Taser the perp might be in jail, not dead from some little acky.

          If you’re a cop, you have a serious problem and don’t stand up well in the field of verbals vs. non-verbals.

          That or you are just a boot-licker.

  5. This is complete horse sh|t. No way can this happen. I carry firearm’s. I always know where my firearm is at ALL times. No way for me (a noon LEO) to make a mistake like this. This is just me however.

    • I agree. This is just a police department caught in a really bad position for litigation and they’re grasping at straws. This man needs to be put away for negligent homocide and everyone who was in a supervisory position needs to be cashiered and likewise sued personally.

  6. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Whether this was a failure of training or not is questionable. What is clear is that Mr. Bates is 73, which is a bit ripe for this type of duty.

    Bates seems like a guy with the best of intentions, and it’s clear that the Tulsa police department and the chief was very fond of his money. While accidents or negligence can occur at any age, activities that stress speed and violence should in most cases be left to somewhat younger men and women.

    It doesn’t matter how well trained Bates is, or whether or not he’s in good shape “for a man of his age.” If he was properly certified, he probably shouldn’t have been unless he is an extraordinary specimen. And by extraordinary, I don’t mean “rich.”

  7. You can psychoanalyze it till the cows come home, but at the end of the day the sheriff shot a guy in the back with his 357. If I did that it’s called murder, intent be damned. When you carry a gun you have a sacred obligation to society to ignore the lizard brain and use your human brain. Training protocols must emphasize situation awareness and threat assessment. Next: trigger control, as in keep your finger off the trigger until threat is deadly. Too many folks curl their finger round that trigger way too soon, then the squeeze reflex takes over. Keep that finger straight. I see most youngsters need this reinforced many times… they have too much trigger squeeze training from games and toys.

    • ” Keep that finger straight. I see most youngsters need this reinforced many times… they have too much trigger squeeze training from games and toys.”

      Yep. Make a point to look at youth as they run around with Super Soaker type toys. More often than not (Yeah, Yeah I know POTG train their kids…) fingers are wrapped around the trigger.

  8. Just because he is articulate and well dressed is no defense for killing another human being thru incompetence.

  9. This homicide will be included in future anti-gun statistics. Guaranteed.

    The US is in the middle of a gun violence epidemic – remember?

  10. Is it SOP to use a taser on a suspect being actively restrained on the ground by other officers? Wouldn’t the electric current shock the other officers in physical contact with the suspect? Should Deputy Bates have been using any weapon at that point without endangering the other officers or the suspect? What if he had hit a fellow cop? You can see the revolver on the ground in the video. Is it normal for cops to drop their guns on the ground while shooting a suspect on an arrest? Come on….

  11. Mistake a tazer for a pistol? Ah, no, not if you have handled both. Guy wasn’t qualified to have either and should not have been in that situation.

  12. The police in my jurisdiction mitigate the risk of something like this happening my carrying their firearms on their strong-side hips and their Tasers on their week-side hips.

  13. Most LEO’s. don’t have any TASER. training after initial certification if they get that. I train them to use opposite side to draw. Lefty with a pistol keeps the TASER on right sid e to draw. I also suggest to department’s that every officer that carries a TASER or any ECD get at least 8 hours annually of training. Personally I don’t even carry one any longer. Pepper spray, ASP and a nice old fashioned wood baton, spinning that as I walk gets attention as people like the look since the saw it in old movies. Over the years I’ve talked more into cuffs than fought or shot at other than combat. If most officers today would listen to older officers and understand that they are not civilians being protected but citizens. Public Safety might get more respect. That & stop the race card every 5 minutes, not everything is race related.

    • I’ve seen training courses that tell you to handle the taser exclusively with your weak hand. It makes a lot of sense really, since a taser is a prelude to going hands-on, and you want your good hand empty for Reasons, and it also makes it very clear which trigger finger has which job.

  14. you mean, could a person rape someone ‘by accident,’ when they really meant to shove a lead pipe, when in reality they reached for a dildo, instead??

    riiiight.

    Got Stockholm Syndrome much??

  15. “For example, if you train to draw your weapon, aim and fire in one uninterrupted sequence until your gun’s dry, that’s what you’ll do under stress. If you train to draw your weapon, aim, assess the target and decide whether or not to fire and then fire (or not), that’s what you’ll do”

    When I went through Front Sight’s excellent 4-day Defensive Handgun course last year, when doing malfunction drills, they don’t use (or train to) “Tap-Rack-Bang” specifically for this very reason. After “Tap-Rack” but before pulling the trigger, you need to assess whether or not the threat is still there. Otherwise, you’re training yourself to just automatically shoot.

    • For at least the last 20 years, any professional and competent law enforcement firearms training program has taught ” Tap-Rack-READY”.

  16. Despite the Wikipedia hive mind’s insinuation that Dr. Lewinski is less than academically sound or scientifically objective, I’ve got nothing but respect for the man, the Force Science Institute and the work it produces.

    You find Lewinski credible? Why? Did he not receive his degree from a from an online diploma mill? Has he not been debunked repeatedly, based on his own words in court and in print, as a pseudo-science purveyer willing to testify in court “as an expert” to exactly the opposite of what his so-called research papers “proved” the week before….so long as it helps the officer/defendant to get off?

    I’m flabbergasted that you have “nothing but respect for the man.”

      • The don’t allow thumping any more because women cops can’t achieve that (and that would be sexist) so now days the ROE for all cops is to pull their weapon whenever they feel unsafe (the poor darlings). All this nonsense brought to you by the Left and their social screechings that women are just as capable as men in all circumstances.

        Being on the Left means never having to say you’re sorry or that you were wrong.…..Dennis Prager

  17. .”Slips and capture” is a nothing more than a convoluted term to spin what actually happened in this tragedy, which is “Flustered and panic”. Just as in sports, manual labor, or any other task requiring physical exertion, it’s easier when you’re younger and performance tapers off as you get older.

    There’s a reason that you don’t see very many police officers in front line positions working the streets into their 50’s, it’s a job younger folks are better suited for physically, and when an individual’s physical ability is stretched or exceeded it affects their mental acuity and responses.

    There are exceptions to that of course, but usually an older officer has advanced to a supervisory or investigative position where their knowledge and experience are put to good use, while the frequent adrenaline charged incidents like foot chases and fights are left to the younger guys, hence the term “I’m getting too old for this $#it”.

    I don’t doubt that 73 year old Robert Bates had the best of intentions while volunteering his time and money as a Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Sheriff, but this tragedy proves that at some point police officers become too old to perform street cop duties, and 73 is 20 to 30 years past too old. If Bates was 30 years younger would he have been as likely to make the same fatal criminal mistake, possibly, but it’s unlikely he would have been as easily flustered or panicked.

    The vicarious liability buck stops with Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz for permitting a 73 year old Reserve Deputy to be assigned street cop duties. It was negligent to allow Bates to serve in that capacity and apparently Sheriff Glanz’s judgment was compromised by Bates status as a wealthy supporter providing generous financial contributions to both the Sheriff’s Office as an agency and Sheriff Glanz as an individual. Police work should never be a hobby for a millionaire law enforcement sugar daddy as apparently was the case with Robert Bates.

    .

  18. I’m usually the last person to excuse police behavior, but I’ve experienced the “Slip & Capture” phenomenon in my own life, both riding motorcycles and playing video games. It’s a real thing.

  19. What I don’t understand is why LEO’s carry Tasers any more.

    I know why they started carrying Tasers – it was advertised as a less-than-lethal option. However, the number of people who have died as a result of:

    – the Taser shock itself
    – attending physical trauma as a result of the reaction of the subject of the Taser shock
    – mistakes made by LEO’s grabbing their gun when they thought they were grabbing a Taser

    We can no longer claim (with a straight face, at least) that a Taser is a “less than lethal” option. It has a lower lethality rate than a firearm, but it isn’t anywhere as non-lethal as originally promised.

    So: Why carry Tasers any more? What purpose do they really serve on the scale of “escalating force?” Removing the Taser from the load that cops are carrying would leave them with OC spray, a baton and a gun, only one of which would be immediately lethal, and none of which are easily confused for the other.

    • Just use ’em the right way and they work fine. I’ve used and threatened to use them without making the news. Sure they can cause death, but so can fighting the police.

      But I must admit that pepper spray and control holds are often better options.

    • You raise some valid points Dyspeptic, but if you’ve ever actually witnessed first hand or participated in real life use of force encounters where Taser deployment successfully, effectively, and quickly ended an incident or fight that could have easily escalated to injury or death for the officer or suspect, you’d realize that eliminating Taser use by law enforcement is ridiculous.

      You’re also making a lot of incorrect assumptions about Taser capabilities, effects, and training. Any reference to t Taser as non-lethal confirms a serious lack of knowledge on the topic. The correct term is less-lethal and means exactly and only that a Taser is less-lethal than a firearm.

      Anytime force is used by one human being to incapacitate another human being, there is always some risk of injury or death depending on the degree of force. The jury is still out on whether the “Oops I thought I grabbed my Taser but grabbed my pistol by mistake” is a real issue with any statistical significance, or simply a convenient defense to mitigate consequences for the unjustified use of deadly force.

      Society wants an innocuous and politically correct method or device to magically and harmlessly incapacitate a perpetrator resisting arrest but there is no such method or device, and only the misinformed believe a Taser to have such capabilities.

      When appropriately deployed by an officer with proper training and experience, the Taser is an invaluable law enforcement tool that prevents serious injury and death an overwhelming majority of the time, but it will never nor should it be assumed as an infallible solution.

  20. In flight training we were taught to memorize emergency procedures verbatim, while simultaneously practicing the moves in a simulator. Whatever term you describe it by (we used ‘muscle memory’), it is intended to be a learned response that requires little or no conscious thought. We underwent similar conditioning in law enforcement and combat arms training. The greatest difference I noticed was that the latter two responses could be generated by an infinite variety of situations (not all of which would justify the learned response), whereas spin recovery was always initiated because of a spin.

  21. “Slip and capture” in this case means that Bates’ mind slipped about the size and weight difference between a .357 and a taser, and Harris’s back captured a bullet. I think Bates lawyer and the prosecutor should get together and work out a plea deal of 2nd degree Manslaughter with a 1 year suspended sentence and fine. That’ll save the state a lot of time and money.

    • Yep. Some of the folks here don’t understand the difference between murder and manslaughter. And of course each state defines their laws differently.

    • Rich bootlicker pays to play cop and go on “missions”, kills a man due to utter incompetence – one year suspended sentence

      Black man defends his young daughter from government gangsters no-knock raiding the wrong apartment – over a decade on death row

      This is American justice, folks.

      • And when I look at the facts of the case it becomes clear that you completely misrepresented it. Maye was given a plea deal for manslaughter, and is not currently on death row. The police were not at the wrong apartment, they were at a duplex and had valid warrants to search both sides. They announced before entering Maye’s residence. I think 10 years for manslaughter is a raw deal in this case but he took the deal.

        • So on top of selective amnesia, you also have selective reading comprehension.

          Cory Maye was convicted of murder and spent over a decade on death row before media and legal efforts secured a retrial which resulted plea agreement for manslaughter and release for time served. The state of Mississippi tried its best to murder Cory Maye for defending himself against a government home invasion.

        • Oh, and lets not forget that a duplex is legally two separate domiciles, and the police had no knowledge of Maye, so their application for a warrant for both domiciles represents gross malfeasance.

          Maye disputed the testimony of the police on whether the police knocked and announced. It is one man’s word against another. Why do you automatically side with the word of trained liars who demanded the murder of an innocent man, all because their fellow home invader was made to suffer the rightful consequences of his criminal actions?

  22. Sounds like something out of 1984. Bottom line is OFWG had no business “playing”cop. THe lamest of the lame excuse. BTW in Chicago the cops shot another young brown man to death this weekend. “he pointed a gun at me”. It seems like at least one/week. “we don’t don’t need no stinkin’tasers!”…

    • Compared to the number of “young brown men” shot by other “young brown men”, those shot by police officers in Chicago are a statistical rarity.

      • That sure as hell doesn’t make cop murder RIGHT Ted. And I’m an OFWG who is generally annoyed by all the loud,disrespectful groups of young black men walking around Chicago and the southern suburbs(where I live). And it ain’t RARE.

        • Obviously the term “statistical rarity” sailed right over your head so I doubt any of the following information will mean much to you, but it might mean something to others so here it is:

          During 2014 there were 2589 shootings documented in Chicago with 432 homicide deaths. Like most crime in the Windy City the majority of those shootings and homicides were black on black crime.

          Of those 2589 shootings, 1.5% (39) were black males shot by the police resulting in 35 wounded, 4 dead, so statistically black males killed by the police accounted for less than one percent (.92) of 2014 Chicago homicides.

          Of Chicago’s estimated 2014 population of 2.7 million, approximately 432,000 are black males, so statistically in 2014 .008% of the black male population in Chicago were shot by police resulting in the death of .0009% in that demographic.

          .92 = statistical rarity .008 = statistical rarity .0009 = statistical rarity

          Apparently the race baiting propagandist that pass for journalist in Chicago are getting the job done when even an OFWG is so easily convinced that myth is reality.

  23. “I know that sounds confusing and contradictory: instinctive training is dangerous, failing to train instinctively is dangerous and non-trained instinctive responses are dangerous.”

    Social psychology has a somewhat different, and I think more clear headed, take on this. The “Definition Of The Situation” theory suggests that when people define something as real, they act toward it as real. A number of years ago, numerous people accused Audi cars of “unintended acceleration” resulting in numerous accidents and even some fatalities. The victims characteristically claimed that the Audi “ran away” despite them standing on their car’s brakes. After much governmental to-ing and fro-ing, endless largely pointless engineering studies investigators were forced to reluctantly admit that the accidents were caused by driver error: people were confusing their accelerator pedal with the break pedal. This happened because, despite clearly being in error, they had nonetheless defined their situation as real and then acted on that definition as though it were real. They absolutely believed they were pressing on the brakes when they were pressing on the accelerator pedal.

    Definition Of The Situation theory is predicated on the idea that human consciousness, rather than instinct, is the dominant factor in purposive behavior. Put another way, every situation, every meaningful behavior is socially constructed to be “real”. We then act on that particular constructed “reality”. This is why, for instance, we’re sometimes embarrassed when we walk up behind a friend and say hello, only to discover that we’re addressing a complete stranger. From this standpoint, it’s entirely possible that Bates honestly defined his service pistol as a taser. It’s an open question whether or not he had enough practical knowledge to make the kind of informed judgment that would have kept him confusing his pistol with a taser.

  24. ““Slips and Capture” is a phrase coined by police use-of-force consultant Bill Lewinski in 2009, as part of the defense of an officer charged with the accidental shooting of a suspect in an Oakland, California train station. ”

    And how’d that defense work out for him? Oh right it didn’t.

  25. “Slip and capture”, huh. Reminds me of “excited delirium” – another meaningless phrase used to sugar-coat manslaughter and shift responsibility.

    Anyway, if confusing gun with taser is so prevalent, then I see two things that can be done here. First, mandate that they be carried in radically different positions (e.g. taser on the belt, gun on the chest in a cross-draw holster). And second, make the taser look less like gun, grip-wise. Maybe a horizontal grip or something along these lines.

  26. This is just bullshit. In Tulsa, the difference between a felony and an “accident” is how much money you give the sheriff. Apparently the small time drug peddler thief was just just entertainment for the players.

  27. I live in Tulsa, here are a few facts.
    1) The Sheriff’s department uses “reserve deputies” or volunteers to help in various capacities. This is more common than you think. They are required to complete the same CLEET training that full-time deputies do.
    2) The Tulsa World is an leftist agenda driven “media” outlet. They are currently repeating everything that the Harris’ family attorney claims as gospel.
    3) The City of Tulsa and the County of Tulsa are currently fighting over the jail, and much political hay is being made off this.
    4) The claim that Bates skipped on his training came from a ex-deputy, terminated seven years ago.
    5) Deputies were working a sting. They were there to arrest Harris when he tried to sell them stolen firearms. They had already purchased meth from him twice in the week leading up to this operation. Many suspect that they wanted to take him in to get information on the suppliers. Meth is big business in Tulsa.
    6) Bates can be heard on the video yelling Taser, Taser, as he runs up to the suspect.
    7) Firing a Taser at a suspect, being restrained by two other officers is stupid, criminally stupid, in my opinion.
    8) Firing a handgun at a suspect, being restrained by two other officers is utter b.s., and the D.A. should go for whatever he can get.

    • >The Tulsa World is an leftist agenda driven “media” outlet

      Bill Lewinski is a pseudo-scientific hack and his “institute” collects taxpayer money to protect criminals in police departments, but that didn’t stop TTAG from singing praises and quoting his BS.

    • Force escalation I have no problem going hands on, but the problems come into play with workers compensation issues, lawyers and unions. As I said personally I’ve got sense enough when to talk, be quiet & let them vent and yes certain times an old fashioned wood baton works better than control holds and FED’s.

      Officer’s in the last 20 years have not been taught common sense, just toys & use an AR when a kind word would accomplish the same effect, I talked a guy into handcuffing himself. the other day for his own safety, a twenty something cop shows up for cover unit and draws his TASER and holds him at point.
      He’s cuffed calm & going to be cut loose since nothing physical took place between them. I wanted to shove the ECD up the kids butt and run the battery down. As I’m a retired reserve he had seniority, but I did file a complaint state & D.O.J. see if anything comes of it but since the officer was black victim white who knows. I know 1 thing spent my own money for a body cam to cover my butt.
      Not saying anyone’s perfect but mistakes happen. If not my first wife would still be with me.

  28. I submit this for everyone to think about. During LEO encounters, we go into a fight or flight mode. We cannot prevent it, no one can. When this occurs, all fine motor skills are lost, tunnel vision takes over and decision making skills start to fail. No one can change any of these facts, the changes are a physiological. The Taser and the handguns LEO’s carry have four things in common. The first is they are drawn from a vertical type holster. The second is they are gripped by the same hand. The third is they both are shaped like a handgun. The fourth is they are discharged by squeezing a trigger. Given the aforementioned common traits, now add the absence of fine motor skills, tunnel vision and diminishing decision making. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Think back in your life. Have you ever intended to do one thing but started doing something else? If you say no, you are only kidding yourself. I have, my wife has and my 12 year child has. Now let us add severe stress to the situation while you are attempting to complete a task. I am willing to bet that that that task is not as easy. But that is not a fair test because you are expecting the stress and preparing for it prior to its introduction.

    LEO’s train to have mussel memory while engaging in their defensive tasks. The Taser and a handgun use the same mussel memory to deploy. Does anyone see an issue here? Perhaps the LEO Taser needs to be redesigned so it does not have any of the characteristics of a handgun. Perhaps the LEO Taser needs to be in the form of the C-2 civilian variant. There is no mistaking the Taser C-2 for anything other than a Taser.

    I know this is long-winded but when a LEO makes a mistake, people can die. How about we design the equipment to help eliminate the mistake.

    • Mussel memory? You mean donut memory?

      Maybe if you didn’t consider every person you run across as a deadly threat you wouldn’t go into “fight or flight mode”. Oh wait, that is simply what your masters taught you to do, because the American people are the enemy of The State.

  29. In the shooting of Oscar Grant, Bart officer Johannes Mehserle gave a “Taser” warning before shooting, providing strong evidence of Taser-gun confusion. He wasn’t just following training that conditioned him to draw and shoot. There also seems to be video proof that Mehserle really did think he was firing his Taser and not his pistol. The video is at my link, along with a description of the action:

    “Slowed down video shows officer Mehserle bringing his left hand towards his pistol just before shooting Oscar Grant in the back, yet he fires the gun before his left hand has reached a support position. If he knew he was firing his pistol instead of his Taser he would never have done this, and the video shows why. The recoiling pistol whacks Mehserle’s left hand, which he then jerks upwards, away from the impact.

    “The movements of Mehserle’s off-hand were unconscious. There is no way he could have faked them, making this, really, video proof of Taser confusion. Nobody would knowingly fire a pistol just before his off hand had reached a support position because he would know that the recoil would bash his off hand. He would either keep his off hand away, or he would wait until the off hand was in a support position before firing.

    “A Taser, in contrast, has no recoil to speak of, so if Mehserle thought he was firing his Taser, he would not anticipate recoil. The fact that the recoil smacked his off-hand proves that he did not anticipate recoil, which proves Taser confusion, or at the very least is nearly conclusive evidence of it.”

    For those who are interested in this case, my video analysis shows much more as well. It also shows that Oscar Grant did NOT have both hands behind his back when he was shot, but that he suddenly stopped struggling and was in the act of swinging his left arm up behind his back at the moment Mehserle shot (presumably in response to Mehserle’s Taser warning).

    This suggests one more possible explanation for Mehserle’s actions. Early in the video, when Grant dove on the ground to avoid being handcuffed, his arm goes under and it looks like he could be reaching for his waistband, which is what Mehserle says he thought Grant was doing. Throughout the struggle Grant fought mightily to keep Mehserle from pulling his arm back out, so throughout the struggle Mehserle thought that Grant might be armed (which was the explanation he gave to Officer Pirone right after the shooting “I thought he had a gun”).

    Suppose that just before he shot (after giving the Taser warning), Mehserle had realized he was actually holding his gun and not his Taser. Right at that moment the video shows Oscar Grant swinging his arm up at Mehserle, who clearly thought that Grant was armed. That action by Grant would have made the shooting reasonable even if Mehserle did realize at the last instant that he was holding his gun. After all of his fighting, it would be reasonable to think that Grant was swinging a gun up. But his realization of holding a gun would have had to come at the very last instant, given the video showing him firing before his left hand had come into a support position.

    So why mention such an instant-splitting possibility at all? Because this scenario would explain why Mehserle said to Pirone “I thought he had a gun” instead of “I thought I was shooting my Taser.” This was probably what led to Mehserle’s conviction. His verbal reaction was to justify the shooting, not to express surprise at it.

    But if this is what happened, that just as he realized he was holding his gun he saw Grant’s arm swinging up at him, it all happened so fast that Mehserle might not have been aware of it. Just as he was realizing he was holding his gun, he saw in the same instant a possible deadly threat coming up at him? Gun or Taser, either way pull the trigger. That is the one thing that that would be clear in a moment of otherwise total confusion.

    The extreme politicization of that whole incident was horrendous. I sent my video proof to all the local TV stations that Grant did NOT have both hands behind his back when he was shot but was in the act of swinging his arm up towards Mehserle. Not one of them showed it, or even contacted me, despite my repeated calls to make sure they had received it, and despite the prosecutors constant assertion that Grant DID have both hands behind his back when he was shot. The most prominent factual assertion in the entire case and the press had zero interest in video PROOF that it was false. Disgusting.

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