Video

A Ft. Collins, Colorado, police video shows excellent use of good tactics and attempted de-escalation before officers shot and killed a suicidal, knife-wielding man back in August of 2016. We all could learn a thing or two from the video. Officers communicated well, attempted de-escalation, but faced with an aggressive attacker, ultimately fired to end the threat.

Cops responded to a call of a man, Jerry Jackson, 63, violating “multiple” restraining orders filed by his wife. Jackson bought himself a big filet knife shortly before his big moment of stardom. He found his wife who saw him coming and took cover in a car, leaving him pounding on the windows in a drunken rage.

Ft. Collins’ finest arrived and Jerry turned his anger towards them. He’d previously been heard claiming that he would either slit his throat or commit “suicide by cop” if confronted by “the man”.  Well, the man in this case did all they could before applying some ballistic therapy for his anti-social behavior.

And here’s the video:

 

Officers in Ft. Collins seem well-trained and handled the situation calmly and professionally.  They used great tactics, not allowing the man armed with a knife, to get close. If you, gentle reader, ever find yourself facing an aggressor armed with a knife or blunt-force weapon and you let them get close-in, you’re putting yourself at great danger and disadvantage.

More from a report from The Coloradan

Fort Collins police officers repeatedly shouted “do not make us do this” in the seconds before they shot and killed an intoxicated and suicidal man on the city’s outskirts four months ago, newly released video shows.

They deployed their Tasers twice. Neither was effective on the 63-year-old man who stood dazed in a driveway, arms at his side, hands clutching a six-inch fillet knife he bought minutes prior at nearby Jax Ranch and Home.

Jerry Jackson squared off with officers who responded to a 911 caller reporting that he was pounding on the windows of a vehicle where his wife had taken refuge from Jackson. The man had recently violated multiple restraining orders, and one of his wife’s female roommates found Jackson armed with a knife in her home.

In the rush to the call, Fort Collins officers responded to the north Fort Collins property just outside their jurisdiction. Walking down the driveway, they encountered Jackson.

They tried reasoning with him, calling him by name and pleading with him to drop the knife.

Then came the flurry of shots, three blasts from each of the three Fort Collins officers. A split-second cacophony followed immediately by silence.

Then blood.

Distance (and obstacles) gives you time, time gives you options and options mean safety. If a bad guy can cover 21 feet easily in 1.5 seconds, how long would it take the same bad guy to cover six feet?  The answer:  faster than you can effectively observe his attack, orient yourself to what’s happening and react.

The suspect in this video dropped DRT – dead right there. Keep in mind he took seven hits from full-sized handguns almost instantaneously. Sometimes bad guys don’t fold up when shot. Sometimes they get angry(er), especially if shot with diminutive pocket pistols.

Use your situational awareness to avoid bad guys.  If one forces your hand, keep your distance.  Use good communications skills as these officers did in an effort to de-escalate or dissuade your attacker.  Retreat as possible and if the worst happens, make good hits until the threat has ceased.

 

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69 Responses to Ft. Collins Police-Involved Shooting Video: Suicide by Cop?

  1. I was not able to watch the vid due to internet issues, but this is a KEY statement: “The suspect in this video dropped DRT – dead right there. Keep in mind he took seven hits from full-sized handguns almost instantaneously. Sometimes bad guys don’t fold up when shot. Sometimes they get angry(er), especially if shot with diminutive pocket pistols.”

    This is why calibers less than 9mm are not recommended. .380, 32. 25, 22 don’t have the strength to penetrate far enough and to do enough damage. Combine that with the fact that most of those calibers are used in guns with very short barrels only exacerbates the problem.

    If 9mm, .40. and .45 are proven not be manstoppers, why would you trust your life to lesser calibers?

    • Even though the interest to jump into a caliber debate, again, is not needed for this post,
      pocket pistols/smaller calibers have there uses. And this video is NOT one of them to bring it up.

      The OP started it when it wasn’t relevant to LEO(s) confronting an armed confrontational drunk.

      He did however win the Darwin Award.

        • Maybe if you would watch the video you’d realize you were picking the wrong fight for the wrong reasons at the wrong time with the wrong people.

        • Your right. A .380 Speer Gold Dot to the face at smell the bad guy distance is totally ineffective.

      • “Your right. A .380 Speer Gold Dot to the face at smell the bad guy distance is totally ineffective.”

        And what if you are not at “smell the bad guy distance?” What if the subpar round hits a heavy jacket, cell phone, a button or bone? If what the subpar round penetrates and does only minimal damage?

        Real stopping power is the ability of the bullet to create a wound severe enough to stop the body’s ability to move. 45, 9mm and 40 don’t have real stopping power. That means 380, 32, 25, 22 are less effective to a much greater degree.

        • That’s why you aim for the pelvic girdle. Even if it doesn’t kill your attacker, a .380 is more than enough to shatter your attacker’s pelvis. In that case, they are going nowhere fast.

        • That tactic has been proven to be ineffective on numerous occasions, not to mention that sub par rounds don’t have enough energy left after penetration.

          You don’t want to stop the body from just walking, you want to stop the body from moving, as in pointing a gun and pulling a trigger. Both are still possible with a pelvis wound.

        • Why exactly did you start a caliber debate here Rabbi? TTAG has regular threads devoted to calmer arguments. Yeah, I know, you are a trainer/celebrity around here. I can do you one better and ask why not a 10mm? I can always do one better. What’s bigger than infinity? Infinity plus one. Whatever.

    • Rabbi,

      I think of 9 mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP handguns as “slow” shotguns. Everyone agrees that 9 pellets of #00 buckshot from a 12 gauge shotgun at 20 feet to an attacker’s chest instantly incapacitates said attacker. Well, something like 5 or more rounds of 9 mm or larger calibers imparts about the same amount of trauma. It just takes longer to get those five or more shots into the attacker … typically at least 1.5 seconds and quite possibly more like 2.0 seconds. Of course many attackers will not simply sit still for 1.5 to 2.0 seconds to help you put five+ rounds on target.

      Lesson summary: you have to put multiple large caliber handgun bullets into an attacker before you can expect 12 gauge shotgun stopping results.

      • Different paths to the same conclusion

        Yes, it takes multiple hits from handgun loads. The weaker the ammo the more hits it takes. Also, shot placement is of major importance as well as the number if hits. When the bad guy is shooting at you, time is not on your side

    • Because after a couple of attempts, I have yet to find a 9, .40, or .45 that is as concealable (for me) as my SIG P238. I’ve bought a couple of good candidates that didn’t work out, and I cannot afford to spend several thousand more dollars looking for “the one.”

      Concealability is a chief concern for me, as I’m carrying daily into an environment where my job is on the line. I’ve tried to strike a balance between the infinitesimally small chance I’ll need the gun and the significantly larger chance of discovery by the wrong person and the resulting negative outcome. As it is, several people are aware of the presence of my gun, and I rely on their good graces and good sense for my continued employment. That’s an interesting dynamic, by the way. A few of them have made comments along the lines of, “I’m glad you have it; if something goes down I’m coming to stand next to you.” My response, universally, is “Then look for me moving away from the gunfire, because unless that ‘something’ directly involves me, that’s where I’ll be headed.”

      • Matt in FL,

        Would it be practical to carry a “mouse gun” on your person and have a full size handgun discretely stored near your workspace? The mouse gun is certainly better than nothing if something happens when you are away from your normal workspace. And if you are at your workspace, then you have your full size handgun available within 10 seconds or something like that.

        This approach splits the difference so to speak. You at least have something at all times (mouse gun) that is ultra-concealable and presents effectively zero risk of someone discovering that you are armed and firing you. And yet you have a full-size handgun almost immediately available almost all the time … also with effectively zero risk of someone discovering that you have it.

        Of course all of this totally depends on the specific nature of your work and your work environment … and there would certainly be many situations where my proposal to have a full-size handgun available would be a no-go.

        • There’s an XDm in my backpack, just to the right of my chair. But we were talking about concealed guns, so it wasn’t relevant to the conversation.

    • According to the officers in the video he took shots to the chest and one to the neck. Clip the spine or do enough damage quickly enough and people can and do just drop. There’s no guarantee on that but it does happen.

      Still breathing and with pulse for a few minutes afterwards too. They stuffed him full of Combat Gauze and slapped on what looked like a Bolin chest seal. I don’t think it was a Bolin because I don’t see the obvious valve those have but I don’t know every brand and type of seal out there.

  2. Interesting that they went straight from shooting him to trying to save his life. They really didn’t want to kill that guy. A bit further South here they don’t bother trying to render aid if you’re not an officer. They just wait for EMS.

    Good job FoCo PD. It sucks that this guy forced you to off him but he made that decision.

    • A couple hundred bucks worth of QuikClot gauze and some chest seals. Those cops were prepared to do what they could with the limited resources and probably limited life saving training. Props to them for doing a great job.

      Part of me says it’s unfortunate they weren’t able to save his life, but the other part says that this guy got what he deserved.

      • You raise an interesting point.

        The cops around here all have CAT’s and Combat Gauze plus a holster for the CAT. Usually those items are about $20-$30 each. I wonder if the governments here in Colorado are smart enough to get a bulk discount and what it is.

        Then again, maybe they aren’t that smart and that’s why taxes here are so damn high.

    • I work on the ambulance in Fort Collins and I can say that FCPD have very professional and caring officers. One of many examples I have is a few months back, we had an officer ride in to the hospital with us for a trauma due to the patient’s aggression. He was on the spot and willing to put hands on the entire transport with quick clot, tourniquets, and helped w/ IVs and verbal de-escalation. They truly want to help and keep the community safe and this video backs that statement up.

  3. I’ll be very interested in the comments from the people who are consistently hypercritical of the police. What else could these officers have reasonably done to avoid having to shoot and kill this man? Shoot the knife out of his hand? Shoot him in an extremity rather than shoot center mass? Go hand-to-hand with him and wrest the knife from his grip? Let’s see how you guys think it should have been handled.

    • I’m critical of the police when I feel they need criticism. Which is way more often than it should be.

      The officers in this instance did a whole lot of things right, and it’s shitty that because of this guy’s unchecked selfishness and rage issues, they now have to go around with this on their conscience.

    • There’s nothing to be critical of in this instance. If there were, I’d be on it. Body cam footage actually surfaced, how many times has it been conveniently “off” or not on the officer? Less lethal option was attempted (yeah I know there’s not always time for that). They also immediately rendered aid to the guy once they figured out the threat was gone.

      If all police shootings were handled in this manner 80% of the critism would disappear save for individuals that are going to complain about anything for the sake of complaining.

    • This was a “good” shooting. Which, if I can extrapolate from the drift of your question, means that every police shooting is a good shooting.

      • Ralph – While I usually enjoy the humor and/or sagacity of your comments, you missed by a mile this time. Yes, I am a retired cop. No, I do NOT think that every shooting by a cop is necessary or justifiable. The McDonald shooting in Chicago and the Walter Scott shooting in NC come immediately to mind. Neither, IMHO, was justifiable from the videos I saw. There are a variety of reasons why cops resort to deadly force. They can occur because of poor training, poor tactics, anger, stupidity, or just plain fear. More times than not it’s the last one. Any experienced street cop in a jurisdiction like the one where I worked who says he was never scared is either a fool, a liar – or a lousy street cop. When there is fear, then adrenaline flows freely and it’s “fight or flight” – except cops don’t have the latter option if they expect to keep their jobs and the respect of their fellow officers.

        I’ve no doubt that you know as well as I that there are those who inhabit this forum from under the bridge with other trolls and literally NOTHING cops do is something they could not have done better. Yes, cops screw up sometimes. Why? It’s because to err is human – and cops are human. In my career I’ve seen otherwise good cops succumb to human fallibility only to lose their jobs or even go to prison.

        Is there such a thing as “the blue wall of silence”? I don’t deny that it exists. A cop has to make a decision as to whether he owes his allegiance to his fellow officers or to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If it’s the former, in far too many agencies it means you’re a “stand-up guy” who will back his fellow officers even when they “cross the line”. If you’re one of the latter, far too often these officers are seen as traitors and are “hung out to dry” with no back-up when it’s desperately needed.

        How’s that for “Hobson’s Choice”?

        • If this was a good shoot, of a 70 year old man shuffling slowly toward the officers, how is the Laquan shooting, of a 16 year who comitted armed robbery, ran down two city blocks slashing police cars, tried to kick in the window of Van Dyke’s cruiser, marched TOWARD him (NOT away that’s a myth) swinging a knife, a bad one? Or a 250 lb crackhead who just ground and pounded you mma style and tried to tase you, who is then running toward an area from which backup will emerge while the wires and cartridge are still dangling from your arms and legs?

          There is a reason these cops are all being mistrialed; the cases against them are ridiculous.

  4. Looks like a large hole in the back of his head. There was obviously a head shot involved, the way he dropped. Just goes to show drinking and knives do not mix.
    In all seriousness, think how many lives this guy impacted negatively, not in the least the cops. All because of his utter, wretched selfishness.

    • I think that’s a blood spot on his head from the pool that was collecting under him when he fell. They say he was shot in the chest and the neck in the video.

      They say he still has a pulse and is breathing after they get to working on him and the cops are obviously concerned about pneumothorax since they put a chest seal on him. If he was still “alive” (heart beating) with a head shot I would expect quite a bit more blood coming from his head, especially if it was a through and through wound. Likely that would be gushing.

      Plus, I doubt they’d worry about putting Combat Gauze on his chest and neck and applying a chest seal while totally neglecting his head if he had an obvious exit wound on the back of his head.

  5. I can see one entrance wound on the right chest, one at center chest, and an exit wound on the back of the head. From the report it sounds like the guy was a chronic alcoholic or druggie and he wasn’t about to pay attention to VPOs or commands from the officers. It seems like the officers knew him and had dealt with him in the past. This video shows the very sad and ugly side of law enforcement – you may have to deal with people who for whatever reason have decided that they are going to die that day. Sometimes you can stop them – and the problem comes back another day in the future because there’s no money for mental health treatment or nobody can force people to take their meds. After multiple interventions it comes down to what we see in the video and nobody wins.

  6. “They deployed their Tasers twice. Neither was effective…”

    And THIS is why a lone officer faced with a deadly threat (knife, baseball bat, etc) can not ‘use a taser.’ If it doesn’t work (and they often don’t in non-ideal situations) and the guy gets pissed off and comes at you, you’re boned.

  7. If you’re 63 yo and still slinging terms like “the man” out there you’re a waste of skin. It was a good shoot brought on by the dummy that got shot. My sympathy is for the lives that were negatively effected by this “man”.

    • That’s a harsh assessment, but likely a correct one. The charitable side of me would like to believe that Jackson had a really bad day even before he got shot, but my gut says he had many thousands of really bad days and that they all affected people who didn’t deserve it.

      In any case, the cops did what they could.

      • I’ve had bad days. I’ve had epic bad days. As I’m sure you have too. How many of those days ended with you or me chasing our family around with a knife and confronting cops?

        I have no knowledge of this man other than this post. But my gut tells me he generated bad days as often as he could.

        So I don’t believe my assessment was off by much.

        • “How many of those days ended with you or me chasing our family around with a knife and confronting cops?”

          That’s not a bad day. That’s a Juggalo day.

  8. I guess I’ll be “that guy”…

    63YO staggering, shuffling drunk.
    Wide open space.
    I’d guess that I would be able to out run him if I had a 100# ball and chain tied to both legs.
    What good is their tasers if two cant bring down a 63YO drunk?
    What system procured that piece of wonderful?
    There was plenty of LEOs and time to load up some shotgun beanbags.

    Yeah in this instance the guy was probably a big POS that will be little missed but I guess I’m more interested in the cases where the perp isnt such a piece of trash.

    • I’m gonna agree with you. The cop relayed he was out of range for the taser, so firing it was CYA. Failure to comply…check, beg not to make them do this…check. Three police who are mobile capable yet stood ground then all unleashed 3 rounds apiece. 8 pills center mass and one to the melon. Then motions of first aid when they know he’s done…additional CYA.

      While I get keeping distance in presence of a knife. Wack dude was shuffling towards them. The quarterback in question is with three officers why not distract and out maneuver a drunk.

      • And what? Rush a guy with a knife? Set up a crossfire and shoot each other or have rounds going in three directions? You haven’t solved the problem.

        Oh, wait, the cops should run away? I thought they were supposed to run towards danger, not flee from criminals? Jesus, you guys need to make up your minds.

        • No one suggested fleeing from a drunk. If a person was charging or walking forward I’m all in for slinging lead. The observation was cops hold positions, issue commands, go non lethal, then shoot a shuffling knife carrying drunk looking to check out by pissing off cops.

          Not saying their actions were wrong within the construct of police procedure, the question is would waiting him out, could chucking rocks, pepper stray or perhaps lassoing be an alternative? The deeper question is once the check list is complete, police are cleared hot regardless of a persons metal state. Does the presence of a knife green light a DGU? Do police train to hold position and fire at non compliance to close the encounter quickly?

          I’m saying they could have maintain distance by slowly retreating to their vehicles while talking and holding gun firing position.

        • They did retreat. 1:20-1:47 they’re backing up and giving him space. He keeps coming forward.

      • I just don’t get the nine shots and then try to render first aid, lol… how about one cop just plugs him twice and see how that goes?

        I believe in the double tap or better, but when you read the NRA self defense stories at the beginning of their magazines, the large majority of confrontations are ended with one shot.

        • Most confrontations in the magazines are petty criminals trying to get your wallet, phone, etc. They don’t care enough to die for it, so they run, often before a round is even fired.

          The best thing to do when you know handguns aren’t the best at stopping determined, angry and possibly drugged attackers, is to shoot until the threat stops. If you connect with one round and the threat stops, great. If it doesn’t, and you stopped shooting, you can find yourself at knife range in a hurry.

    • “I’d guess that I would be able to out run him if I had a 100# ball and chain tied to both legs.”

      I bet those cops could too but someone called them specifically because they’re supposed to show up and not run away.

      Do you want to live in the world of Demolition Man? Because that’s how you…

    • Having seen videos of cops in other countries taking people down in similar situations without anyone getting hurt, I will agree. The reason they went from trying to avoid shooting to shooting was that is how they are trained and managed. Anybody can just shoot a drunk. We don’t need cops for that. If you’re getting paid to protect the public you should protect all of the public, not just the part that makes it easier for you.

      I am not calling out just those cops. They are trained and expected to kill. If that had happened in a different country or even here if they were wildlife officers trained and tasked with capturing a protected animal, that scene would have gone down very differently. Question is why does the majority support it here?

  9. All cops are murderers, all the time. All cops destroy their bodycam evidence to cover up their murders. There’s no such thing as a good cop.

    Oops, I’m not More Dead Soldiers!

    Looks like a good shoot to me.

    Handguns can be quite effective at stopping bad guys quickly with multiple hits to the head / vitals.

    I would hope that the shoot would be justified just as quickly if the ex-wife / girlfriend had shot the psycho.

    Side note: the Taser was an X26 which employs a single laser and is single shot. There’s a spare cartridge in the grip handle. I’m not sure the distance but I’m going to estimate 20-25 feet. A 21′ cartridge could fall short and if 25′ cartridges were used, they clearly didn’t make good contact. I like our X2s better. We use 25′ cartridges.

    The spread for the Taser probes is about 1′ for every 7 feet, so a 21′ shot would be about 3′ of separation from the top probe to the bottom. The single laser Tasers like the X26 and C2 are “sighted in” to only the top probe. The X2 and X3 have dual lasers, one tracking the top probe and another tracking the bottom. Well, if they aren’t glitching. Sometimes only the top laser works.

    An ideal hit is a probe strike in the chest / back with another to the thigh. This should cause the total neuromuscular incapacitation that Tasers are known for. A good hit is a quiet hit. The sparking noise is heard when there is a partial connection or disconnection, and that 50,000 volts of static electricity can arc about 2″ through clothing.

    At any rate, full-sized duty handguns are much more accurate than Tasers.

    • That seems like pretty lame performance.
      What good is a less-lethal tool that barely can shoot Tueller distance?
      That would mean that it could never be deployed in a single LEO encounter because the LEO would have no time to fallback to his sidearm.

      • Well, there are 35′ cartridges, but we don’t use them. I’m honestly not sure why. The effective range of our less lethal bean bag shotgun rounds (I forget the brand) are said to be 60′. That’s pretty optimistic because a determined / drugged bad guy can take multiple bag hits and keeep going. Our pepper spray, First Defense out of the Mk-3 dispenser, is rated at about 15′.

        Less lethals just aren’t as effective or as accurate as lethal weapons, and don’t have the range of firearms. I’ve discussed this before regarding bear spray vs. large caliber handguns / rifles for bear defense. I can take a face full of 10% OC and keep fighting, and I’m not Jason Bourne. I took a Taser hit from an X26 at close range, and popped out one of the probes by involuntary muscle movement. Part of that is on video during a training day.

        So I certainly understand people wanting to use less lethal or see their use increased, but I’ve seen less lethals fail. I’ve seen lethal force fail as well. Fights are dynamic and less lethals only have so much stopping power.

        • The way it was explained to me is that the longer range cartridges don’t get enough probe separation at the usual engagement range, so there’s not enough muscle affected between them to get the full effect. Would be similar to using the darts from a standard cartridge at 5 feet and then not backing it up with a contact tase on a different part of the body.

      • A taser is a perfectly useful tool if it’s used properly. My buddy sure dropped my ass with one.

        The guy who got the taser also forgot to stop talking after he was told there should only be one voice (kudos to the cops on that btw, I’ve seen a number of incidents where multiple cops start yelling different commands). I’m guessing he was a bit jumpy and maybe new to the device so he shot it before the guy was really within range.

        • A taser is not perfect, though, even when used perfectly (which is optimistic given real-life scenarios). Neither is a pistol, to be fair. But with a pistol, you can follow-up quickly with 1, 2 or 14 more shots until one works right.

  10. I can’t fault this shooting. The one cop mentioned having a non-lethal weapon in the car, but didn’t retrieve it before the perp advanced on them. I’m thinking that’s the only thing they otherwise could have done. But they immediately rendered medical aid after they cuffed him, so there’s that in their favor.

  11. This guy had probably been a loser most of his life, and surely it negatively affected people all the time. Right up until the moment of his death. This one couldn’t have gone any better as far as what the cops did to prevent having to shoot him. When they did have to shoot they did it right. Only problem is now they have to live with it, but they did all they could and I’m sure they know that. Good thing they had a body cam so everyone isn’t screaming about them gunning down a helpless old man.

  12. FYI, this wasn’t in Ft. Collins proper, but north/west of Ft. Collins, on the west side of I-25, on US-287, which is a road that leads up to Laramie, WY. I know the road, have been on it many times.

    My one beef with the FtC PD’s actions here is that they used those mobile homes behind him as their backstop. They could have moved over to their right and gotten those dwellings out of their line of fire. You can see from the dust kicked up behind the subject that their rounds either over-penetrated, or a couple of rounds missed wide.

    Many times when LEO’s, FD’s or EMS are called into a mobile home development, it’s going to be like playing “pin the tail on the donkey” – and you don’t know whether you’re the donkey or the person with the blindfold. You don’t know what you’re going to find when you get there, and often, booze and/or drugs are involved, in I mean, like everything. The subject, the RP, the bystanders, you name it. It’s damn tedious is what it is.

    • That’s a perfectly reasonable critique. It’s harder to move a group of three excited LEOs, particularly if none of them have military experience. Fire and movement is great tactically, but is frankly beyond the training level of most LEOs.

    • On the flip, that round did impact the dirt, and did so a short distance behind the target. The cops were on higher ground than the target and knew it, viz: when they started to move to the left, and one of them said, “I don’t like this lower ground,” and they reversed direction back up onto the road. I don’t know if that statement was made with backstop in mind, but it occurred to me as he said it, so I assume it was.

  13. I will never understand how a supposed “Pro-2nd Amendment” (and probably “Pro-life”) individual can support any death at the hand of state agents.

    • Let me spell it out for you

      Because the right of self-defense is crucial to the modern implementation of the 2nd Amendment. Heck, it’s well-enshrined in common law and pretty much all civil and legal codes. And in this case, as most cases, the police are acting within the same basic legal framework of using deadly force as would a citizen (objectively reasonable force used to defend against great bodily injury). The only real difference is that the police have no duty to retreat. This isn’t a huge difference because if someone is coming at you with a knife you can’t really retreat in safety anyway in MOST cases.

      I’m not sure who it is- RF maybe- but at least one of the authors on the site has come out against the death penalty for the very reasons you imply. But that’s not even close to a scenario where a government official legally going about the performance of his duties is attacked.

      So the reason a pro-2nd Amendment site might not have a problem with this is because you can believe in the 2nd Amendment without being off the deep end.

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