Police Use of Force (UOF) Policies Under Fire

Police use of force continuum (courtesy slidehsrae.net)

Republished with permission from the Force Science Institute:

In a possible preview of coming attractions for other agencies, the police department in a major US city recently proposed radical changes to its use-of-force policies. That move torched a firestorm of protest from the rank-and-file. At this writing, a vigorous tug-of-war is underway to get the proposed alterations modified before they are finalized. But the changes as originally described offer a clear insight into issues that are likely to be raised elsewhere as the movement to change police practices gathers steam . . .

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NYPD: They Shoot Dogs Don’t They?

I’m amazed (but not amused) at the number of police officers who shoot family pets. While some of these shootings are justifiable, many aren’t, robbing law abiding owners of their canine companions and endangering nearby bipeds. The cops misread dog behavior and terminate them with extreme prejudice. Texas has tackled this issue. Since January 1, police officers licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement must attend a four-hour training course on how to handle canine encounters using “nonlethal resources.” Given that America is home to some 70 million pet dogs, the program should be rolled out nationwide. That is all.

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MD Police Officer Killed By Friendly Fire in Suicide-By-Cop Attack

On Sunday, Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Officer Jacai Colson was killed during an apparent suicide attack on a Landover police station by Michael Ford. Ford enlisted his two brothers, Elijah and Malik to film the shooting as he expected to die during the attack. While it was initially thought that Officer Colson was killed by Ford, Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski announced today that Colson had in fact been shot by a fellow officer during the exchange of gunfire. Complicating the situation was the fact that Colson was undercover at the time and not in uniform . . .

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Cop’s AR-15 Dust Cover Inscription Used Against Him in Court

Officer Philip Brailsford (courtesy azfamily.com)

“The Mesa [Arizona] police officer charged with second-degree murder for an on-duty shooting in January pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance Tuesday,” tucsonnewsnow.com reports. Officer Philip Brailsford [above] was released without bond. ‘He is not a danger to the community,’ Craig Mehrens, Brailsford’s attorney said. ‘He has honorably served the community as a Mesa police officer and he was honorably serving the day he received the call [to the shooting scene].'” Yes, well . . .

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Massachusetts Court: Cop Liable for ‘Accidental Shooting’

Paul Duncan (courtesy framingham-police.org)

Republished with permission from Force Science Institute:

The risk of keeping a finger on the trigger when not intending to shoot has long been emphasized in Force Science research reports. The potential human toll–and the liability burden–are vividly illustrated in a recent Appellate Court decision in which justices ruled that officers are not guaranteed qualified immunity from legal action when a shooting is purely unintentional and accidental . . .

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Buffalo NY Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda: Don’t Give Cops AR-15s

Buffalo police (courtesy buffalonews.com)

“[Police Benevolent Association’s Vice President John Evans] recently told the Common Council’s Police Oversight Committee that police need more in the way of firepower,” an editorial at New York’s Buffalo News reports. “He would like each of the department’s 450 to 500 patrol officers equipped with the likes of an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, in addition to the .40-caliber Glock service handgun they currently carry.” Evans reckons officers are limited because the handgun has a range of only 50 to 100 yards. The AR-15 is effective at a range of hundreds of yards.” The Police Commissioner and the News disagree . . .

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VA Police Officer Shot and Killed on First Duty Shift

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 11.22.38 AM

The Prince William County, Virginia PD tweeted out the above welcome to two new officers early this week. Sadly, Officer Guindon’s first shift went as badly as it could go. The former Marine and two other officers responded to a domestic disturbance call and came under fire. All three were hit and Officer Guindon died of her wounds. The other officers are expected to recover. There are good reasons that cops say domestic disputes are about the most dangerous calls they answer. “The suspect, identified as Ronald Hamilton was being held without bond on charges of capital murder of a police officer, assault with a fire arm and murder in the first degree, according to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center.” RIP, Officer Guindon.

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NJ Police Charge PA Corrections Officer with Felony Gun Possession

“Sgt. Ray Hughes had taken his wife to dinner in Atlantic City. He was driving home when he and his wife were hit by a drunk driver,” buzzpo.com reports. “When police responded, they noticed his ‘Fraternal Order of Police’ decal and law enforcement credentials. Hughes explained that he had his weapon with him, and police officers assured him that they’d secure it and he could pick it up later at the station.” Yeah. No . . .

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Self-Defense Tip: Hide Your Gun When You Answer the Door

Ocoee Police Home Shoot

Under longstanding precedents in American — and before that, English — law, a person’s home is their castle. It may be protected against intruders by force. If a person may not use force to protect their home, in a very real sense, they no longer own it. Question: does that still apply when the government comes a-knocking? In a recent case in Florida, police went to the wrong house on a domestic call at 1:00 am. From wftv.com . . .

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