Department of Justice Report Whitewashes Pulse Nightclub Police Response

Report on the Pulse Nightclub massacre by the Department of Justice (courtesy incidentreviews.org)

“The Orlando Police Department and other agencies performed strongly during the Pulse nightclub massacre, but additional training is needed to improve communication and prepare for future terror attacks, officials wrote in a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice and released Monday.” That’s the lead at orlandosentinel.com, which somehow forgets to provide a direct link to the report [click here]. Later in the piece, an excerpt quoted isn’t so flattering . . .

“Without clear visuals and with incomplete information regarding the exact location of the suspect and hostages, SWAT officers determined it was too risky to conduct a direct assault and maintained their positions behind and around the bar, approximately 15 feet away from the entrance to the restroom where the suspect was contained,” researchers wrote.

Think about that. A SWAT team was 15 feet from the bathroom where terrorist Omar Mateen was holed-up — and stayed there from approximately 2:35am to exactly 5:05am, when they drove a Bearcat into the building, after a controlled explosion failed to breach an outside wall.

During that time — some three hours and thirty minutes — an unspecified number of hostages in the bathroom bled to death. Some of them while on the line to emergency operators.

“The OPD’s response, which was appropriate and consistent with national guidelines and best practices, saved lives,” concludes Russ Washington, the Department of Justice’s Acting Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Bullsh*t. The Orlando police under Chief Mina suffered from analysis paralysis. Innocent people died as a result. And no one was held accountable. That’s a disgrace. A lawsuit that ought to happen.

comments

  1. avatar Roman of Texas says:

    I never understand these things. In the Army we were trained to go in quick and fast, sometimes quiet sometimes loud, but never wait while an enemy is there. Is it so hard for these guys to just go for it? If you sign up for this job, don’t you know the risk? And why would you not go for it? Blows my mind. Anyways, hope this shows people the need to be armed, but they probably will focus more on how this guy used “guns of mass destruction” and they were automatic or whatever bs. Media….its the death of my generation.

    1. avatar Illinois Shooter in Texas says:

      LEO operations are SO MUCH different.

      .MIL planning assumes that the target in the room/building is going to fortify the position, setup obstacles and potentially booby traps/IEDs. LEO policies do not take that into account because they have not dealt with that.

      In the .MIL we think “ok if I was in this building I would booby strap the stairs, jam the door. put an M18 here, but set it up for manual trigger, etc, etc.

      Cops deal with “Crazy husband killed wife and is now trapped in the office building”

      Dont get me wrong, their tactics here suffered from assholes with stars worrying about stuff, vs dealing with the fact that trained good guys have to go in and shoot bad guys. Some of that may be from them NOT training their people as much as they should. But a lot of it is from Cover my ass syndrome… I wonder if the NRA instructor who ran out to shoot at the Texas church shooter wondered abt his career… My Guess? not a bit.
      Not so true with Cops.

      1. avatar Roman of Texas says:

        You make an excellent point.

      2. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        Unfortunately, If he did that in KaliforniaSTAN, MD., CT., Massachusetts, NY., etc…He would have be “Gun Down ” by the Socialist, Liberal Pro-Agressive, Left-wing Political Police Departments in any of these” Left-Coast, or Eastern Bloc Communist Police-States…” Even if he didn’t do anything wrong , and lived…*(which is subjective.)* His property would have been seized, and he would automatically lose his 2nd amendment *(privileges–NOT a right in these locations. )* freedoms without “Due Process of Law.” Especially, if you can afford it later on….

    2. avatar bobnotaub says:

      Not directing this observation at your comment in particular but i just had a conversation about this exact situation with a very anti gun co worker. It seems that (mostly those on the left) say the police shouldn’t have waited and it would have saved lives etc. That may be true. But then in the same breath they complain about the militarization of the police? If you want the police to operate like the military, you can’t complain when they do. The reverse is true. If you don’t want a militarized police force, don’t complain when they aren’t being trained in the same way the military is. Military tactics are very search and destroy oriented. Police training is not.

      1. avatar Roman of Texas says:

        I see what you mean-and don’t get me wrong, I am not for the militarization of police-and am (I hope obviously) pro gun-but to me, if you know you got a bad guy (which they did, right?), I’d be rushing in. These SWAT guys are “paramilitary” and make up bs excuses to get hands on high end equipment, then they should be held accountable for using it, and in this case, they didn’t. To me, this highlights the need to carry everywhere. Not saying you’re wrong, you’re right, but I wish they’d have acted-gone in quick and deadly. I digress-carry everywhere folks. Let’s hope we get more stories like Texas, were a tragedy was at least cutshort/stopped by a good guy, rather then this, where nothing happens….

      2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Perhaps police training is not S&D oriented, but that’s really more of a confession than an exoneration.

        Up through Columbine, the [outdated even then] practice was to secure the perimeter and wait for SWAT. SWAT’s so-called special weapons and tactics boiled down to negotiate for hours to wear the perps down, thereafter possibly take a sniper shot if available, before finally breaching.

        Post-Columbine, the new agreed-upon standard practice to spree shooters specifically was supposed to be for the first arriving officers to make entry and engage. Most likely, the shooter will commit suicide when engaged, thus ending the rampage despite not having overwhelming police presence onsite. Even just battling a lone officer pins down the shooter.

        Plenty of other agencies have failed to follow this improved protocol since Columbine, too, resulting in more deaths. That reflects a failure to apply best practices readily available to police departments, not some uncrossable span dividing police from military work.

    3. avatar anonymoose says:

      They were obviously more concerned about having one of their armored SWAT boys potentially get shot than getting out the hostages before they bled to death.

  2. avatar phageghost says:

    Chief Mina = General McClellan 2.0

    1. avatar Eric Lawrence says:

      This made me guffaw in its abject cleverosity. It’s too bad most people have such a poor understanding of military history and will not understand it.

  3. avatar Danny says:

    I wonder if they would have sat on their duffs like that if it was fellow officers who were bleeding out on the bathroom floor.

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      Oh you’d think it was the Spartans being led by Leonidas if that were the case.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        I doubt it, cowards gonna cower.

      2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        I was going to say “Operation Thunderbolt” and Yonatan Netanyahu, but the point is the same.

  4. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    “good job” my ass. It should be released how many people bled out that could have been saved had they intervened. OPD dropped the ball into a roaring fire made of shit on this one. There is no other way to describe it.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Those people at the Pulse were lucky. If it wasn’t for intervention by the local cops, they would have ended up much deader.

    Hey, jihadholes, here’s a thought — the next time you want to stage a mass murder, make sure that your killing ground is next to a donut shop so the cops will have a comfortable place to wait out the slaughter.

  6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The police failure at the Orlando Pulse Nightclub was so HUGE, I don’t think there are adequate words to describe it.

    First and foremost: standard police policy across the United States following the Columbine school attack is to “storm the castle” when a spree killer attacks, especially if the victim pool is disarmed by force of law. If you are the only law enforcement officer on scene and all you have is a handgun, you are supposed to IMMEDIATELY rush the spree killer. Period. Full stop. If you have a rifle and other officers to go in with you, fantastic. If not, oh well. The point is, you go in IMMEDIATELY and confront the spree killer.

    Nothing that police say in a report will change that policy or the fact that all responding police and law enforcement officers in Orlando violated that standard policy. This is an EPIC FAIL.

    1. avatar Gman says:

      Oscar
      Foxtrot
      Sierra

      Couldn’t have said it better. Watching the Westgate Mall video should be required training for all LEOs.

      1. avatar BigDaveinVT says:

        Hell I had my family watch it and review with comments.

      2. avatar Cory C. says:

        Forgive you ignorance, but can you explain what that means? I too would like to learn from this incident but I’m not sure what you’re suggesting. Thanks.

        1. avatar Cory C says:

          Derp. Never mind. I was thinking this was a different shooting.

  7. avatar James Ivy says:

    Keep in mind hindsight, I’m not glorifying the long pause but today’s training is hit hard with the new warfare and the tactics derived, in short ieds! they changed things drastically and how today’s warfighters are trained, I know Vietnam but the change from terrain is key, and I feel like they boots were itching to leave scuffs but followed orders (movie cliche stuff)

  8. avatar DaveL says:

    It may very well have saved lives – specifically those of the first two SWAT guys through the door, plus those of any SWAT members who would otherwise have gotten hit from behind by friendly fire. Of course it also cost the lives of dozens of civilians inside that bathroom, but they don’t count, right?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Of course it also cost the lives of dozens of civilians inside that bathroom, but they don’t count, right?”

      The civilians had better wake the fvck up thatif they are being slaughtered, they had better swarm the shooter if any of them expect to survive…

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        The trouble is we “civilians” are openly considered “acceptable collateral damage”. Don’t wait. ACT! Your actions may save someone else’s life and possibly your own.

        “Once again our police were shocked into inaction.”

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      The police are civilians too. In spite of all the twenty and out pensions and special Law Enforcement carveouts .

  9. avatar Ing says:

    This post is an excellent answer to today’s QotD.

    Goes to prove — as if more were needed — that the government will not and cannot make good on its claims to protect us, no matter how much power and trust we place in it. The government will happily sit on its ass and leave you to die if it suits them at the time. And it sure as shit will not be there to save you when some psycho is staring at you down the barrel of a gun.

    Hell, sometimes the government IS the psycho pointing a gun at you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBUUx0jUKxc

    If you’re not afraid of what government might do to you, you’re not paying attention. Either that, or you’re the source of the problem.

  10. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

    All the Boys In Blue (Camo) went home safely at the end of their shift.

    What difference does it make at this point?

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    “The Orlando police under Chief Mina suffered from analysis paralysis.”

    That’s been my view on this from the jump. The cops showed up, didn’t know what was going on, thought “terrorism” and then started looking for secondary and tertiary threats which caused them to wait and wait and wait in a vain attempt to mitigate every threat they could think of. Of course as soon as threats (just tossing out random numbers here) 1-7 were “dealt with” 8- ∞ became the issues.

    There’s nothing wrong with doing a pretty serious threat assessment but at some point you have to just say “Fuck it, we’ll do it live” and go in with the best plan you can and hope it doesn’t all go to shit. Otherwise you’re just letting the guy in the building dictate the tempo and that’s not acceptable. Yes, he could have explosives and yes, you could lose guys going in. You may lose hostages. Hell, the whole building could be rigged (especially if you sit around with your foot in your dick for hours letting them set the charges). OTOH, giving him time, especially if he does have accomplices, means that he could be building defenses in depth that will cost you more guys. At that point, explosives or not, you’re going to take more casualties going in because the BG’s had time to prepare for you to come in.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Hey you HAVE to go thru the entire NIMS checklist. Sectors, Divisions, Chief, etc etc etc .

      I’ll give the popo some slack. If it had been a elementary school they may have made the entry quickly. Risk a lot to save a lot is reality of being human.

  12. avatar Gregolas says:

    American police need to find out what SPETZNAZ uses for wall breaching. It creates a one-man size hole in just about any material, allowing soldiers to file in at top speed.
    That would take an excuse away.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      To be fair, that take A LOT of explosives to do and I wouldn’t want to use it anywhere near anything I didn’t want dead. Busting through drywall and sheetrock is one thing. Reinforced concrete or anything structural… completely different.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The firefighting services used to have a tool that would have been perfect for this situation. It was called a “Jet-Axe” and it was a pre-configured, high explosive (RDX as I recall), shaped charge that would knock a 2′ diameter or square hole in a wall – even a masonry wall. You’d roll up in a truck, open a compartment, haul out the Jet-Axe package, emplace it against a wall, open the Jet-Axe package, pull out the detonation control cord, stand off the required distance and make it go “bang!”

      Poof. Instant, nice, clean hole.

      I don’t know why we don’t still have these things. I asked our chief to get us one. Lots of other firefighters agreed that it sounds like a neat tool that would liven up training nights. The chief said “No!” He’s a regular Debbie Downer, sometimes.

      Going back to the original questions I was asking at the time: Why did law enforcement not call the firefighting units for the area? Fire services specialize in going through solid exterior walls. There are entire units of firefighters who specialize in breaking stuff to make holes: They’re called “truck companies.” Call one of them. They know how to break stuff, real good.

      Then there are so many other questions: Why not some flash-bags around the corner? They’re worried about the non-combatants in the restroom? Pfft. Cops have tossed flash-bangs into baby cribs – with the baby still in it. What’s Orlando PD’s excuse?

      The performance of Orlando’s finest here looks as bad (or worse) than Columbine’s PD. Sitting around in their operator-operating-operationally outfits, looking really kewl and stuff, with one thumb in their mouths, the other thumb up their butts, waiting for the orders to switch thumbs.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Some departments have such a thing. There are other variants too. Some use water to cut the hole.

      2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        I don’t know how much hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking”, they do in downtown Orlando, but that’s basically how that’s executed, too. You have what’s called a gun fitted with multiple RDX shaped charges. You put it in place, initiate the detonator, and…..boom!

        If there happens to be a frack truck crew nearby the next spree shooting site, you’re golden.

  13. avatar CZJay says:

    Seems like those tough law enforcement officers lose their badass “get some” attitude when there is a single untrained man, with a rifle, willing to fight them to the death. No wonder they want to make sure their prey isn’t armed — they want to be the big bad bully that can do whatever whenever.

    If one man can cause the entire police force to freeze up for hours, imagine what a few dozen could do with only a rifle. What are they going to do, bring in attack helicopters to start leveling the city? Anti human rights people make the argument that there is no way a man or woman with an AR-15 could go up against the US government, therefore you should turn in your AR-15. Seeing how quick US law enforcement turtle up, I think a small group of trained people could do a lot more than what the anti human rights crowd like to say, which is why they work so hard to disarm the citizenry and keep them untrained/weak.

    I guess one of the best things an American (man or woman) could do for their country is get in shape, train, buy a rifle and body armor.

  14. avatar TheRealTruth says:

    Want to know the real reason the cops hung around outside and let everyone die?

    Look no further than the fact that a gay nightclub was targeted.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Nah. The cops would have stayed outside nibbling pogey bait and contemplating their navels no matter who was jacked up. That’s just cops being cops.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I’d say it’s just police incompetence. The big cities in Florida are pretty gay friendly.

      “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

      It’s known as Hanlon’s razor today, but the essential idea is not new and dates back to at least the early 19th century with Goethe.

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The same attitude was on display, with the same results (people bleeding out) at Columbine High School: A huddle of SWAT operators, dressed for operational operation, legendary bad-asses in their own minds, stacked up outside the school… where they waited.

      And waited…

      And waited…

      And waited…

      While people bled out inside the building.

      This has nothing to do with the occupants of the nightclub being gay, straight, whatever. It has to do with the ongoing, systemic incompetence of American law enforcement.

    4. avatar Hunter427 says:

      You are spot on but I have been involved some crazy shit as a cop and over seas activities, most cop just want to go home at the end of the day. I love and wanted action (it’s not for everyone).

  15. avatar Defens says:

    So, while we’re speculating…
    The police tried to breach an outside wall, which failed – use of explosives.
    Breached the building with an armored vehicle – brute force.
    So, instead of waiting for several hours around the corner, experts of TTAG, please tell me why not just wing a flashbang or two around the corner, and make entry?
    Sure, you would ring the chimes of every person in the room, but they were already shot, bleeding, and dying – what more harm could you do? And by not delaying, you’d be able to treat the grenade-shocked, but alive, victims a lot sooner. Right?

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    The po-leece are pu##ies…ONE Moose-lim maniac. ONE. But I guess they had to get home safe. And no the PULSE clientele had nothing to do with it IMHO…

  17. avatar William Asbless says:

    Patton: “Gimme a good plan right now, not the perfect plan tomorrow.”

    Can’t remember his exact words but, pretty much encapsulates my thoughts on the incident.

    1. avatar Eric Lawrence says:

      “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

  18. avatar FedUp says:

    ” A lawsuit that ought to happen.”

    Name one court in this country which has concluded that police have a legally enforceable responsibility to protect anybody.

    Either they were worried about avoiding a potential multi-stage attack (attack the serfs, then attack the gov’t agents when they come to save the serfs), or they just plain fiddled while Rome burned.

    And there’s the problem. If they don’t do anything, we say ‘what a bunch of useless, overpaid idiots’. If they come rushing in to deal with the primary attack and get blown to bits in the secondary attack, we say ‘look at those idiots committing stupidicide’. I say we deal with the single stage attacks as if they were single stage attacks, at least until we start getting multi stage attacks here.

  19. avatar Seizure doc says:

    So one man without military training kills 47 and wounds 58. Most of the dead bleed to death. Given the proximity to two major medical centers, most of those who bled out could have been saved. If that is a success then I am the Pope.
    How are we supposed to trust any government agency when this report is the bullsh&t they feed us. Beam me up Scotty. This country sucks.

  20. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    You CAN NOT rely on the police. It took the murder of 49 innocent homosexuals to get, at least most (maybe?) gays to wake the f#ck up. The homosexual elected leadership and gay media are still totally asleep.

    Most homosexuals are socialist progressive in their political orientation. They may want guns now. But I don’t see them voting for gun rights in the future.
    Because that would mean they’d have to vote for white Christians. NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      Maybe some woke up. Many went the other way with Gays Against Guns or George Takai’s One Pulse for America. Those with a brain in their skull realize the police can’t/won’t protect them. Only 5500 joined Pink Pistols after the Pulse shooting, and they know armed gays don’t get bashed.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        lol i am lesbian and was actively telling people what our own govt had planned as far as the gun laws as far back as 1990 here in australia. of course i got laughed at even though i was and still am also a shooter. if i was in the US i would join NRA, Pink Pistols and any other org that was pro gun and willing to fight back against the grabbers. sadly here in australia all our major orgs have rolled over on us several times

    2. avatar Sprocket says:

      This is why I can’t get too worked up over the Pulse shooting. The lefties love them some muslims. Better they suffer the consequences of importing them than normal people.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        i dont hate easily but i hate with a vehment passion everything those moslems (spelt that way for a reason) stand for. i would have no problem with nuking all the moslem countries to glass

  21. avatar Wally1 says:

    Hey, most of you Monday morning quarterbacks need to realize the Police are not the military. You are watching too many cop shows. And the guy who thinks they can sue the Police for not making a breech of the building is delusional.

    Please read: The Police have NO DUTY to endanger their lives to protect you! Scotus has ruled on this very topic numerous times, please, don’t take my word, look it up. Police are there to investigate crimes, Not to protect you.

    Time was the enemy, And when making a plan, remember perfect is the enemy of “good enough”.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      This is why I love cops. They sure as hell won’t protect you (even if they have the opportunity, which they usually don’t), but they sure as hell will prevent you from protecting yourself and/or see that you are severely punished after protecting yourself

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      You sure you want to go down the road of no accountability for cops? Because sooner or later family members will just take justice into their own hands.

  22. avatar Wally1 says:

    Police accountability is subjective, It depends where you live in the U.S. Where I live is much different than a large city in California or on the east coast. Do some research and you will find that Police in smaller or medium population cities with smaller ethnic populations are actually much better trained, more professional, better paid and have much better community policing relations. Why?, Less stress, not running call to call all shift and actually the time and ability to devote to investigation and follow up on crime and complaints. These departments usually have older, more mature and educated officers. Most of these officers that have worked in large metro areas were smart enough to figure out you can’t deal with inner city crime issues and maintaining sanity, family and quality of life and put up with the crazy for 25 to 30 years. So they moved. Guess what you have left in large cities for police! Idiots with badges. Large metro police departments have turned into training farms, with officers leaving within 3 to 5 years.

    Where I live the police are actually professional. They do a good job and are supported by the community.

  23. avatar Maxi says:

    How many people were shot after the first officer arrived? How many people bled out after the first officer arrived? And how many after SWAT arrived?
    If that number is not 0, the police made a mistake. Simple as that.

  24. avatar Wally1 says:

    So, in using your example or analogy, do firefighters run into fully engulfed structures when the danger can cause obvious serious injury or death to themselves?
    Your argument doesn’t hold water. Law enforcement isn’t any different, it’s a job. Not worth losing your life over, older cops know this. .

    Again, wake up, It’s not a TV show, in real life the police have no duty to save or protect you.

  25. avatar Joe says:

    Man I’m glad some of the commenters here have no place in commanding hostage situations. Keyboard commandos came out in force for this comment section.

    That’s really nothing new but I’m surprised how many of the commenters seem to be giving opinions based off information that isn’t even accurate. Read the summary before you start spouting off with your “expert opinions” at least. Holding concrete opinions about something based on demonstrably false information is something we complain about from the left, and understandably so, but I think that should at least drive us on the right to base our statements off accurate information.

  26. avatar John says:

    Check your math on the time. 2-1/2 hours.

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