How Does a Cop Mistake Her Duty Gun for a TASER?

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By Sean Murphy, AP

At former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter’s manslaughter trial for fatally shooting Daunte Wright, a black motorist, the core of her defense is clear: She says she meant to use her Taser but grabbed her handgun instead.

Potter’s body-camera video recorded the shooting, with Potter heard saying, “Taser, Taser, Taser” before she fired, followed by, “I grabbed the wrong (expletive) gun.”

Many activists have refused to accept the former Brooklyn Center officer’s explanation. And the prosecution argued in its opening statement that Potter — a 26-year police veteran — had the experience and training to know better.

Taser-gun mix-ups are rare but they have happened in several states in recent years.

Here are some questions and answers about such incidents:

How Often Does This Happen?

Experts agree that such incidents are rare and probably happen fewer than once per year throughout the U.S. A 2012 article published in the monthly law journal Americans for Effective Law Enforcement documented nine cases dating back to 2001 in which officers shot suspects with handguns when they said they meant to fire stun guns.

The phenomena of “weapons confusion” is very well known in policing, according to the prosecution’s use-of-force expert, Seth Stoughton, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He testified that he knew of “fewer than 20” cases since Tasers were introduced in 1993 in which officers used their firearms instead. He said the first he knew of was in 2001. He said the manufacturer has taken several steps to try to prevent such errors, and that it’s become an important part of the training that officers get.

Stoughton said Tasers have become “pretty ubiquitous if not universal in policing.” But defense attorney Earl Gray used objections to prevent Stoughton from opining on whether it was significant that, given their widespread use, he knew of fewer than 20 cases.

Why Does It Happen?

Reasons that have been cited include officer training, the way they carry their weapons and the pressure they feel during dangerous and chaotic situations. To avoid confusion, officers typically carry their stun guns on their weak sides — the side of their nondominant hand — and away from handguns that are carried on their dominant hand’s side. That’s how Potter carried hers, and the chief of her suburban Minneapolis police department at the time of the shooting said that’s how the department’s officers were trained.

Prosecutor Erin Eldridge told jurors in her opening statement that the Brooklyn Center Police Department’s policy requires that officers carry their Taser on their nondominant side and their firearm on their dominant side. In keeping with that, Potter carried her gun on her right and her Taser on her left.

Police duty taser
This image provided by the prosecution shows the difference between a Taser and a Glock as the state delivers their opening statement Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, in the trial of former Brooklyn Center police Officer Kim Potter in the April 11 death of Daunte Wright, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Prosecutors walked jurors through the differences between Potter’s handgun and her Taser on Monday, Dec. 13. (Court TV via AP, Pool File)

Officers can choose how they want to position their Tasers in their duty belts, so that they have the option of drawing it from across their body with their dominant hand, or they can choose to draw it with their nondominant hand. Potter had her Taser positioned in a “straight draw” position on her left, so she would draw it with her left hand.

“The only weapon she draws with her right hand is her gun, not her Taser,” Eldridge said.

Eldridge also detailed how Brooklyn Center officers go through Taser training every year, and get training materials that include warnings on how confusing a Taser with a handgun can cause death or serious injury.

And she told jurors they’ll hear about how Potter’s Taser and her handgun both had a very different look and feel, starting with the color. A Taser is bright yellow. Potter’s gun was black.

The jury heard Sam McGinnis, a senior special agent with the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, testify in more detail about the differences between the two weapons and how officers use them, bolstering the prosecution’s contention that Potter’s experience and training should have led her to realize her mistake in the several seconds between when she drew her gun and when she fired.

Backed up by photographs, McGinnis said the holsters on Potter’s duty belt require an officer to take deliberate actions to release the weapons. The gun holster has a snap, while the Taser holster has a lever. The handgun, which is black, weighs just over 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms), while the Taser, which is yellow, weighs just under a pound (0.45 kilograms), he said.

The Taser and gun also have different triggers, grips and safety mechanisms that must be engaged before firing, McGinnis testified. The Taser also has a laser and LED lights that display before it is fired, which he demonstrated for the jury, while the handgun does not.

McGinnis also testified that Potter didn’t perform a function test on her Taser before her shift on the day that she shot Wright, or on the previous day. He said she did run the check six times in her last 10 shifts. The Brooklyn Center Police Department’s policy is that officers are required to run the check before each shift. McGinnis acknowledged under cross-examination that he didn’t check to see how widely the department’s officers complied with the policy.

The Defense’s Case

Defense attorney Paul Engh told jurors in his opening statement that an expert will testify about how in chaotic situations like this shooting, a person’s ingrained training takes over. He said Potter had 26 years of gun training, but fewer years of training on her Taser, which is a newer weapon.

Engh said they’ll hear that Potter made an “action error,” the sort in which someone does something while meaning to do something else, such as writing the previous year on a check out of habit, or typing an old password into a computer. He also compared them with errors made under stress by experienced pilots or surgeons.

“We are in a human business,” Engh said. “Police officers are human beings. And that’s what occurred.”

Bill Lewinski, an expert on police psychology and the founder of the Force Science Institute in Mankato, Minnesota, has used the phrase “slip and capture” errors to describe the phenomenon.

Lewinski, who has testified on behalf of police, has said officers sometimes perform the direct opposite of their intended actions under stress — that their actions “slip” and are “captured” by a stronger response. He notes that officers train far more often on drawing and firing their handguns than they do on using their stun guns.

Other experts are skeptical of the theory.

“There’s no science behind it,” said Geoffrey Alpert, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina and an expert on police use of force. “It’s a good theory, but we have no idea if it’s accurate.”

Alpert said a major factor in why officers mistakenly draw their firearm is that stun guns typically look and feel like a firearm.

However, several prosecution witnesses in Potter’s trial have testified in detail about how the weapons have a different look and feel, and operate differently.

Other Cases

In one of the best-known cases, a transit officer responding to a fight at a train station in Oakland, California, killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant in 2009. The officer, Johannes Mehserle, testified at trial that, fearing Grant had a weapon, he reached for his stun gun but mistakenly pulled his .40-caliber handgun instead. Grant was shot as he lay face down.

Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison. His department paid $2.8 million to Grant’s daughter and her mother.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a white volunteer sheriff’s deputy, Robert Bates, said he accidentally fired his handgun when he meant to deploy his stun gun on an unarmed black man, Eric Harris, who was being held down by other officers in 2015.

Bates apologized for killing Harris but described his deadly mistake as a common problem in law enforcement, saying “This has happened a number of times around the country… You must believe me, it can happen to anyone.”

Bates was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison. Tulsa County ultimately agreed to pay $6 million to Harris’ estate to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.

In 2019, a suburban St. Louis police officer, Julia Crews, said she meant to use her stun gun but mistakenly grabbed her service revolver and shot a suspected shoplifter, Ashley Hall, who suffered serious injuries. Crews resigned and was charged with second-degree assault. That was eventually dropped at Hall’s request after the victim and the former officer agreed to participate in restorative justice mediation. Separately, the city of Ladue agreed to a $2 million settlement with Hall.

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  1. This officer seems not to able to focus in on an enforcement duty job. She needs to be removed from the police force. Let the jury figure the rest of it out.

    • Richie…I disagree. I believe it was a mistake attributed to an adrenalin rush combined with all attention funneled towards someone who by all accounts warranted being tased.
      Sometimes formalities fly out the window when push comes to shove; includes Steven Seagal heroics, etc.

      The armchair quarterbacks who factor in race, gender or bias towards police may not be capable to see it for what it is and was. IMO.

      • I noticed she had her taser on the same side of her body as her duty weapon. Not a good idea. In fact all the Law Enforcement Agencies around here specifically require they be on opposite sides of the body to prevent this type of situation.

        • The article said that department policy is weak-side Taser carry, and that Potter had gun on her right, and Taser on her left.

      • The fact of the matter is she failed, and that failing cost a life. She is not cut out for the job. It has nothing to do with her sex but her composure. We see it all the time in the fire department. People who can do most of the job well but put lives at stake when it counts. To be a police officer or firefighter requires people who can remain calm under pressure, this adrenaline rush mistake is exactly the kind of people we try to weed out. A person with one of these jobs learns to harness the adrenaline and use it. They aren’t a slave to it.

        • Texianpatriot Have you ever worked a day on the street as a police officer?
          This is a problem of inadequate training and an mistake made by the officer which is due to that inadequate training.
          Multiple weapon systems carried by officers today can cause mental and muscle confusion without proper adequate training.

      • Regular people aren’t protected from being fired from their job for making a huge mistake even if they are not criminally liable.
        Regardless of the outcome of the trial, she made a huge mistake in performing her job and there is no reason she should still be a cop afterwards. If I accidentally killed someone on the job I’d have no expectation of ever working there again.

    • Before judging any cop involved in such a mistake, you should spend a year, two years, three years, performing jobs that involve duty belts, gun belts, tool belts, or anything similar. Tool boxes kinda work as well. Anyone who has ever worked out of a toolbox has walked to his toolbox to get something, and opened the wrong drawer, and pulled out the wrong tool. Depending on that person’s nature, they may just slam that wrong tool back into it’s drawer, curse, and correct his mistake by opening the correct drawer, and pulling out the correct tool.

      Office worker types do it too. Reach for a pencil, and come up with a pen instead.

      I’m not excusing the mistake, I’m only asking that you walk a mile in her shoes. They’ll probably pinch, but take the walk all the same.

      • “I’m only asking that you walk a mile in her shoes.”

        Learned, long, long ago: “Before you criticize someone, first walk a mile in their shoes….then, when you criticize, you are a mile away. And you have their shoes.”

      • Yeah, no. You don’t have to be a mechanic to tell that your car doesn’t run after someone worked on it, and you don’t need to be a cop to see that this chick was profoundly unqualified to be a cop. TBH she probably shouldn’t have even been armed in public as a non-sworn civilian.

        • An issue with female officers is that the average female is smaller than the average male in both size and muscle mass. Of course, there are exceptions, but in this case, she’s about a foot shorter than her fellow officers. A smaller person can beat a bigger person by using better training, tactics, and mindset. However, if the bigger person has similar skills, they’ll win. That’s why competitions have weight classes, and men and women usually don’t compete against each other, even if they weigh the same. This means that a female officer needs to resort to tools more often.

    • Larry, have you ever worked a day in the street? When you grab your taser or your gun, you are not looking at the color of the taser or the gun. This officer was trained to react to a situation. Her grabbing for her gun was a gross error in judgement to be sure. But under stressful situations, we do not think, we react. N.B. She did say when you pulled her gun, “Taser, Taser, Taster.” Should she be held criminally liable? No. Should she and her department be held civilly liable. YES! Her training was not sufficient to elicit the proper “muscle memory” required.

      • Look at her grip on the firearm. The barrel in not anywhere NEAR aligned with forearm (gun is rotated about 20deg clockwise if viewed from above). Her grip is so wrong a portion of the grip back strap is visible. Poor muscle memory due to lack of training?
        Seems das capital officers were behind on their certifications/qualifications too. The officer who shot Ashley B had all the time in the world to get a proper grip on his full size 9mm, yet the gun recoils OVER 45deg when he fires. 🙄
        Regular training and re-qualification matters, and rubber stamping “sign-offs” needs to end.

  2. and the combative criminal who refused to obey lawful orders, created the situation leading to his death bears NO RESPONSIBILITY?

    • NO responsibility? Are you kidding right now? The man is dead, Jim. He paid for his crime with his life, which is rather a severe penalty.

      • It may be a severe penalty, but was common before police began to carry less lethal weapons. If people would be taught not to resist against LE, maybe these things would not happen. I don’t like being manhandled by anyone. LEOs can be particularly shitty, but we take their crap, hope it is on camera and sue them. Not complying is not a choice. Just because you are right does not mean you can’t lose your life or get maimed and/or crippled.

        • At the time of arrest, “not complying” is a bad choice. Complying reduces chances of great body harm, not to mention additional charges. Complain and sue later is a much safer choice.

        • I agree. You want to fight the cops? Choose your arena: Fight the cops in the street, probably get shot, you definitely lose; Fight the cops in court, maybe lose, but you don’t get shot.
          Your call.

      • With all due respect Ralph, he got what he deserved. He was stopped, out of the car, searched, and the second the cops went to cuff him he attacked, threw two cops off, jumped into the car, put it into drive, and started to drive off when he was shot. He actually drove a distance before he crashed.

        • Ummm…he just tried to get away. They could’ve just let him go and pick him up at home later… The lady cop fucked up…plain and simple…

        • WTF! Yeah, they could have done that. And what makes you think he would have gone home? FACT: He resisted a LAWFUL arrest. FACT: He assaulted at least two officers in doing so.
          How do you know he was not on his way to commit another crime?
          Yes, the officer screwed up. But what she did is not criminal. It shows that the Department’s training was not sufficient to react under severe stress. Training develops what is called “muscle memory.”

        • To Walter…I did not say it was criminal, but definitely negligent. I doubt this yut was on his way to commit a crime right after this…Fact…lawmen have been crooked since before wyatt earp days…and he was a horse thief…just look at the fbi, cia , etc. So saying “lawful” means jackshit…

        • WTF! YOU implied that what she did was criminal. What she did was due to faulty training. I guess you think of this unfortunate incident as “corrupt”? “Corruption” implies that she made money out of this. What you know about law enforcement is “jackshit”.

        • WTF?! Unlike your sorry behind, I don’t lick any boots. I stand on my own two feet and face it. You turn tail and run like the cowardly “lion” you are.

        • Lmao…walter…you’re having a time on this thread. You wouldn’t even acknowledge that there is corruption in any law enforcement…(corruption in general is not always about money). That is being a boot-licker right there. Second, you keep saying she wasn’t properly trained yet don’t acknowledge there was a high probability she just wasn’t cut out for this part of the job. Please show me the video where I’ve ever tucked tail and ran. From what I’ve read you sound like you are in law enforcement and can’t FACE any truthful criticism of anyone in law enforcement that’s made a mistake.

        • WTF! You have to be the most brain dead individual that evrr walked the face of the earth. Yes, there is some “corruption” in law enforcement, but it is miniscule compared to what you are trying to paint. The average law enforcement officer does his/her job to the best of their ability. Some of slugs to be sure. I had my share of them as a supervisor. You are just a punk in the rear rank pushing others forward. I don’t need a video of your sorry behind running away. Your attitude paints the picture for the world to see. If she was not cut out for the job, arse wipe, she would not have been a field training officer (FTO). What you know about police could be stuck in a thimble and wouldn’t cover the bottom. For your edification numb nuts, corruption is always about money. You have no clue what corruption is. You are absolutely pathetic.

        • Seems I struck a nerve…hit the nail on the head as it were…thanks for making my point…and you were a supervisor…Wow…you need to look in the mirror before you start berating others…I know enough about life that you have a horrible attitude to be any kind of a public servant…”Protect and Serve”…my ass…

        • WTF! You more than “struck a nerve”. You are prving just how much of s dunce you can be. Yes, arse wipe I was a supervisor. I’ve looked in the mirror and find an retired officer who did his job to the very best of my ability and my accomplishments bear that out. They only think you have ever accomplished is probably get a traffic ticket you could not talk your way out of. We in law enforcement don’t serve you, we provide a measure of protection. But you are too ignorant to understand that.

        • WTF! Not hardly arse wipe. Seems I struck a note. You think you are privileged. Well, you do have the right to remain silent. And we have the right to have you remain silent, Lefty. They say children should be seen and not heard. That applies to “children” like you.

        • W III…Typical commie jack-booted thug who thinks this gives him the right to hurt and kill people because he had a uniform given to him by the state to be their trained monkey enforcer unable to come up with an original idea of his own…lmao…now…with your permission, of course, don’t want to upset johnny law, for they are the privileged few, I have more pressing matters to attend to…oh yeah…Merry Christmas…you old scrooge, you…

        • WTF! Nice try arse wipe. We both know your real politics is way left of center. Law enforcement except in rare instances, only kills to preserve the life of a fellow officer or a citizen. You would love to have us be monkeys for your fascist Leftist state. Both of us know you are Leftist supporter of ANTIFA and BLM. You don’t need my permission to be an arse wipe; you come by it naturally. I guess I was wrong about your trying to get out of a ticket. Was it DWI (drugs or alcohol) you could not talk your way out of? I won’t bother to wish you a Merry Christmas. You most likely don’t believe in Christ anyway.

        • Wrong answer Hans (walter)…for the record…FJB and the police who let the cities burn at the behest of their corrupt demorat politician overlords. I have no drug/drinking addictions either…sip honey jack whiskey while smoking cigars and custom tobacco pipes…very relaxing…you should absolutely try it sometime…

        • Wrong answer Hans (walter)…for the record…Letsgobrandon…and by law enforcement…do you mean the le who were just not doing their jobs and let antifa/blm burn and loot the cities at the behest of their corrupt demorat politician overlords? Yeah…that’s what I thought. I don’t have a drug/alcohol addiction…sip honey jack while smoking cigars and custom tobacco pipes…very relaxing…you should try it sometime…

        • WTF?! Right answer, dumbarse. The Portland and Seatel police did not do their jobs by ORDER of your friends, the Leftist Socialist politicians. You, see dumbarse, police are a “paramilitary” organization subject to the orders of politicians. The corruption if you want to call it that (I don’t; it’s dereliction of duty on the part of the politicians), does not belong to the police. So you admit to being an alcoholic. Well, that’s a start. Now you have to get off the “sauce.” Smoking causes cancer, but then you already know that. Well, maybe not. Some people are not too bright. (That means you) Oh, by the way? There is no FJB. Do you mean FBI? And for your further edification, the FBI does not enforce state laws. You might want to blame Sleepy Joe for not turning them lose on his allies, ANTIFA and the BLM.

        • Man walter I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt…but you are a moron…you don’t know that FJB means lets go brandon? A shot of whiskey with a cigar does not an alcoholic make. The police in those demorat cities did not uphold their oaths so it was their fault as well as the corrupt politicians that let antifa/blm burn and loot them. I voted for Trump both times…you dumb ass…gtfoh with your horseshit already…stop hiding behind a badge…that doesn’t make you any better than anyone else…

        • WTF?! Isn’t that your picture along side the word moron in Meriam’s? You bring jackarse a whole brand new meaning. No, a “shot of whiskey and a cigar does not make an alcoholic make.” But you denial sure as hell does. AGAIN, dumbarse, the police are subject to OBEYING orders. It is called “civilian control”. While I don ‘t like it any more than you do, I understand it. The chief of police did not have the intestinal fortitude to tell the mayor and others to go to hell. Clearly, you being in a mental ward with a whole lot of tranquillizers. I doubt that it would help but check yourself in and get your mental health dealt with.

        • WTF?! So you admit to being a moron? You sure didn’t deny it. Stalinist? ROFLAMOBT! That would be in your line, Lefty. When God passed out brains, you thought He said trains and took the express right out of town. The conductor is still looking for you as you did not even pay for the ticket.
          Don’t you think it would be a good idea to a) pay for the ticket and b) check into the detox center and then start attending your AA meetings?

        • Oh, that’s right… you outed yourself earlier for being a tyrant and a bully on one of your earlier posts…and I quote, “And we have the right to have you remain silent…” Remember that walter”nazi” the III…or do you prefer “Seig, Heil walter”? See… jack-booted thugs like you are the reason people want to defund the police…good thing your hiding behind the badge gestapo ass is retired…

        • WTF?! The only one outed here is you. You consider any police officer or Corrections Officer as a “tyrant”, a “bully” and use that age old Leftist name calling us “fascists”, “Nazis” etc.
          The jackbooted are your ANTIFA and BLM thugs you seem to worship. People are realizing that the police are as necessary as soap and water. You defund the police movement is not only loosing steam but it is being reversed.
          One thing I’ve never done is hide behind my shield. You see here in NYS we don’t call them “badges”. We call them shields as we use those shields to protect the populace from dumbarse folks like you. If you were not so pathetic I’d pity you.

        • WTF?! You know when I was a cop, I stopped this drunk and arrested him for DWI (here in NYS it’s called DWI; DUI is for under the influence of drugs). He, like you, complained that I should be out catching criminals. Golly, but DWI is a crime and he was a criminal.

        • Do you mean like the corruption in the Seven Five documentary of the 75th precinct in new york city? I I’ve never had a dui/dwi…idiot… I fear no evil tyrant/bully such as yourself…badge or no badge…now go on with your tyrannical rants…

        • WTF?! ROFLMAOBT! The 75 Precinct (you should have capitalized precinct as it that case it’s a proper noun), was all about drugs and money. Of course that was corruption, but NOTE that money was the prime motivator? I’ll bet you salivated watching the Leftist version of what they call a “documentary” on NetFlix. I’m an idiot? ROFL even louder. You are a drunk who smokes large cancer sticks. So you just haven’t been caught DWI, yet? Give me your home town, the description of your vehicle and tag number. I’ll be glad to alert the State Police, your County Sheriff and the local police in your area. What other crimes have you committed?

        • “To the retired Nazi nys supervisor: N U T S ! the American Commander” – Gen. Anthony McAuliffe Dec. 22, 1944/2021

        • WTF?! Speaking of Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, the word you typed coming from you would make the man turn in his grave. You have no nuts. I point out facts and you resort to your Leftist tactic of ad hominem response.
          I think I have said it before. You are pathetic.

        • My Marine buddy and I are smoking some fine Rocky Patel Sun Grown cigars and drinking some of that honey Jack Daniels I mentioned earlier poolside, amused at your imaginative and nonsensical rants and wondering what made you such a bitter and pitiful soul…maybe cause your lonely…I guess…We saw your post on the other ttag thread…by the way new york state has worse mag restrictions than commiefornia…10 and even with a ccw you can only have 7 in the mag…did you let the others on ttag know you enforced such tyrannical laws back in the day? The Founding Fathers and Gen. McAuliffe would be spinning in their graves at such a low down jack-booted thug hypocrite…

        • My Marine buddy and I are smoking some fine Rocky Patel Sun Grown cigars and some of that honey Jack whiskey I mentioned earlier…poolside…amused at your imaginative and nonsensical rants…wondering what made you such a pitiful soul…lonely, my guess…we saw your post on another TTAG thread…by the way new york state has worse mag restriction laws than commiefornia…10…and only 7 in the mag even with ccw…did you let the others on TTAG know you used to enforce such tyrannical laws? The Founding Fathers and Gen. McAuliffe would be spinning in their graves at such hypocrisy…

        • WTF?! ROFLMAO. NO self respecting US Marine would come within 10 yards of your pathetic posterior.
          You don’t even know what entrapment is. ROFLMAOBT!
          Have a good day.

        • Lol…just thought you’d get a chuckle from that…from one old man to another…you old curmudgeon…you…

        • WTF?! You are so STUPID that you don’t know the difference between corruption and misconduct.
          Corruption has to do with a public official being on the take (i.e. accepting bribes or gratuities they are not entitled to.
          Misconduct is the when a public official uses his/her office for their own benefit contrary to law and or ethics.
          When I said your education was sorely neglected, that was an understatement.
          Get a grip!

    • Paul……..Just think of how many people, that same day, were not arrested-shot-tased, all because they were not breaking the law. They did not resist arrest or run from police. His death should be ruled suicide by thuggery.

  3. Probably involuntary manslaughter. In today’s world police need to follow every rule to the letter to the degree that is possible. If you are suppose to check your weapons before each shift then do so. They don’t want to become like Alec Baldwin.

  4. “However, several prosecution witnesses in Potter’s trial have testified in detail about how the weapons have a different look and feel,…”

    Under stress, they won’t be looking at it to verify.

    I wonder if making the Taser grip serrations ‘feel’ vastly different than the handgun’s grip might be something to explore. Like making the serrations ‘sharp’ feeling might imprint on the officer’s brain differently enough that they can’t help but notice it’s drastically different, and not their duty pistol…

    • Nobody asked for nor needs your input, 🤡. Go be fat somewhere else so the adults can discuss this important issue.

      • See what someone had to say about my mentally-ill demented troll, it made me *laugh* :

        “The continuous time and effort this person puts into attempted mockery of Geoff pretty much means Geoff owns him.”

        You’re mine, little boy. Don’t ever forget that… 😉

        • Your little troll is just a massive groupie Geoff.
          I bet he would hold your balls while you banged his mom if you asked him.
          If you wiped your junk clean on the living room curtains while leaving his mom’s place, he would use the pecker tracks for “scratch n sniffs” while attempting self gratification.
          But alas, he’s well aware of his beta status, and thus unable to maintain an erection. 🤪
          You OWN him. 🤣

        • James Campbell, if you had a set of balls you might have some room to talk. Seems you like to scratch and sniff arse? Tell me, do you squat when you pee?

        • Are my comments here on TTAG posted under a single username and primarily on the subject being discussed WEB III?
          I even use my ACTUAL name here.

        • James Campbell, You want a medal or a chest to pin it on. Your opinion is just that an opinion and an ill informed at that. That you use your actual name, WHOOPIE WHALE DUNG.
          So do I. You are just another Leftist punk who can’t argue his positions so you use the age old Leftist tactic demean the opposition.
          Now, arse wipe, want to try again?

        • “You are just another Leftist punk who can’t argue his positions so you use the age old Leftist tactic demean the opposition.”

          Citation please.

    • I wonder if making the Taser grip serrations ‘feel’ vastly different than the handgun’s grip might be something to explore.

      Having seen someone destroy their hand and continue to fight entirely on adrenaline, seemingly without feeling the fact that their hand was mutilated, I doubt it.

      You need to change something macro and make it entirely different before it’s going to register. As long as you keep the shape vaguely gun-like in its grip this kind of thing is possible whenever someone trains carries these things in a manner that keeps the two items close together. This is why the cross-draw training is a thing, that’s a really big movement to make and very different from drawing a pistol.

      • “This is why the cross-draw training is a thing, that’s a really big movement to make and very different from drawing a pistol.”

        Shouldn’t the draw for the actual handgun be “a really big movement”, rather than the drawing of a Taser?

        • They should be very different in a macro movement sense that requires different pathways in the brain which lead to getting ahold of what you actually want.

          How exactly you accomplish that is immaterial but the movements both need to be macro and different enough to engrain a different path in motor function and that path needs to lead to different outcomes.

        • strych9 What you describe is hardly “immaterial”. The Department’s training régime was not sufficient to develop ‘muscle memory” to react to a given situation. Yes, she screwed up.
          “Muscle memory” is ingrained by repetition to react to each DIFFERENT situation.
          Her “muscle memory” reacted to what her brain perceived as a deadly situation to her brother officers. He mind (which is in a different part of the brain) had her react with the phrase, “Taser, Taser, Taser” which is the proper announcement that a taser is about to be deployed. As I have said, TRAINING in this situation was insufficient.

      • Under a stressful situation like where you, your partner or another fellow office is being attacked, the difference in the feel between a gun and a taser or other “non-lethal” weapon won’t make a difference. When you are under severe stress, you either fight or take flight. Police do not have that option.

  5. I see Officers with so much crap on their duty belts that they can barely move (hard on the lower back too). When there are too many less-lethal choices for an Officer to choose from…under stress brain farts are bound to happen. Under stress: your vision narrows, your fine motor movements decay, your mental decision-tree slows down and many of your thinking / action options may be temporarily “lost”.

    We used to host a Citizen’s Academy where local persons of all walks of life were exposed to a condensed version of our training over the course of several weeks. The judgement pistol shooting part was the most eye-opening for most participants. You would not believe how many people shot the old lady with the bag of groceries in her arms when she turned around at the Officer’s command (these were shoot/don’t shoot decision movies where the participant has a firearm loaded with blanks firing at the screen…the scenario stopped at the sound of the shot(s).

    My Agency authorized OC spray, CSB (collapsible steel baton) and the Taser…as intermediate response devices. I chose not to carry the Taser (still went through the training…that 5 second “ride” sucks). I preferred not to utilize OC in that every time either I or a partner deployed it we ALL shared in the exposure fun. My go-to was the CSB…everyone has been hit with a stick (or something like it) sometime in their lives and know that it is going to F’ing hurt and that compliance may be a better idea. Additionally, it’s hard to confuse a baton with a handgun when drawing it….and the repercussions tend not to be as final.

    Not justifying what Officer Potter did…just trying to shed some light on what may have happened for TTAG readers who have not had the opportunity to serve as sworn Officers.

    • The officer made a mistake, and someone is dead because of it. She’s no murderer so I don’t want her head on a pike, but she’s going to pay for that mistake and she should.

    • “…The judgement pistol shooting part was the most eye-opening for most participants…”

      Interesting you mention this. Very recently I’ve have been exposed to a De-escalation training tool/system that consisted of, IIRC, 320deg video view of different police scenarios (screens are huge!). It is high speed and low drag system with lasers, body position scanners, sound, think it has a vest that will shock you if you take a hit. Local photographs can be used for background and live decision video overlaid.
      Anyway, they handed me a plastic pistol and dropped me into a hostage situation as a SRO. Needless to say I killed the bad guy with a headshot in a half second…..and I hit and killed the teenage female hostage on my follow up as well. I was glad to see local news outlet go through a couple of runs recently. Lets people see through the eyes of the police.

    • Yes, they carry a golf bag full of choices. But instead of having a couple minutes to study the lie and pick the right club ( after discussing it with their caddy), they have milliseconds to pick the right tool for the job. I’ve done at least 50 THOUSAND draw strokes with dozens of different weapons, with different feeling grips. I’ve drawn a Taser maybe 5 times. Which is why I don’t carry one. It was much harder to mix up OC spray with a gun, until some jerk designed a OC canister that felt and shot like a gun….. and I don’t carry one of those, either.

      • I don’ know if you are a police officer or not, but you are mandated by the department you work for to carry the prescribed equipment on your duty belt.
        I work serving legal papers for the courts, landlords and attorneys now. I was a police officer before we had Tasers and CS (Chemical Mace) had just come into vogue. Now that I do the civil side, I carry a GLOCK Mod 22 Gen3 on my right side, a Taser in a holster on my left and Chemical Agent (now they call it “Pepper Spray”) just in front of my pistol.
        Not every situation calls for the use of deadly physical force. It’s better to have these options and to train with them as often as possible. I “qualify” with my GLOCK 4 times a year using the FBI course, practice drawing my Taser each and every day, when I “suit up”, and make sure that my Chemical Agent is in it’s pouch on my belt. Each time I “qualify” I review the Standards of Use of Force that are set forth in my Policy and Procedure Book quarterly when I qualify with my pistol. I practice “dry fire” with a SIRT pistol each week. But then I know that it is paramount to be training, training, training.
        Anyone who says he does not need to train is a fool and I don’t want to be anywhere near him/her.

  6. No special (lenient) rules for cops.
    If a citizen would serve time for comparable negligence than so should a cop.

    With the cops acting more like the enforcement arm of the DNC than I say no more freebies for them.

  7. If you don’t resist arrest, you will not get shot. Or at least it will greatly reduce your chances of being shot by the police. Are there any other camera angles available? Do the other officers have badge cams? So far this video shows that this female officer made a serious mistake.
    Disarm the police.

    • That is just crazy. We need police and they need to be armed. Into the 60s, many perps were shot “escaping”, we can thank CC cameras for this not happening as often these days. We can not take away the tools of policing, but I would like to see them carry .38 revolvers and a nightstick and flashlight. Keep the other stuff in the trunk. Nets/tasers/helmets/shields/riot gear should be secondary. The spray and pray the a semi auto allows does nothing for quality police work.

  8. Less-lethal stuff should just be done away with.
    Let people playing stupid games with their stupid prize.
    Maybe then folks won’t make wrestling cops a sport and the druggies won’t have to pretend to try and get clean.

    • She should’ve just stayed back and let the officer already dealing with the driver take back control of the situation…she basically stuck her nose in it when it was not necessary. Should not have been out in the field if she can’t discern that her yellow taser is on her left side under duress.

      • The cop who lost control of the cuffing showed no compliance skills.
        I have had these (painfully) demonstrated. I’d say about 6 hours training and anyone, including smaller weaker persons, can enforce compliance adequately to prevent a person from stepping into a car.
        In my case I just found myself on my knees seeing flashing lights. I think it’s all Ju-Jitsu based pain on fingers, wrists, elbows and next step up is strike at the ganglia on the side of the leg and, at least in my case, my leg switched off. So I see this all as training budget driven.
        I am told PCP and meth can block these moves so the force has to be increased to injury level.

        • There’s nearly no Jiu Jitsu in police training. It’s mostly based on Filipino compliance tactics and Judo trips/throws.

          It’s also incredibly basic. A 16 year old girl with a BJJ blue belt will beat the shit out of your average cop, with a quickness, if she really wants to resist. A Muay Thai girl will probably kill the officer.

          If you really want to immobilize someone who’s high on meth (or similar) you throw them face-first on the ground, jump on them and pin their elbow to the ground with your knee placed just above the joint towards the torso. If they’re high enough they might get up but they won’t have a useful arm if they do, it doesn’t matter how high they are at that point when the joint’s not mechanically functional and even surgery is unlikely to repair it fully.

  9. Sounds like a lot of armchair quarterbacking to me. Next time you are in a fight with a criminal I expect you to remain calm and centered. Oh, that’s right, lawyers and the like do not usually have to fight criminals. Working in a prison I have had fights with people trying to do me harm and it is not pleasant.

    • I agree totally.
      I work in aerospace and overstress errors are studied under psycho ergonomics.
      A horrible example was a flight test crew who were endlessly drilled on ejection of a stall recovery parachute but less so on deployment that once they entered non recoverable deep nose up stall the Pilot ejected his only recovery tail parachute and all were killed. No person brought up race or sex in that event.
      It was explained to me by an expert in the field that people revert to very fast but stupid creatures when stressed. The “lizard brain” he called it is designed to make only a few decisions. I think the list was, “eat, kill, run from, mate with”.

  10. No malaise in what she did. Immediately acknowledged it was her mistake and emotional distraught (unlike Alex Baldwin) She could never work as a LEO again, but she doesn’t belong in prison. Best way to avoid being shot by police is don’t struggle with them. You can sort it all out at the station, the perp is dead because he was stupid.

  11. If all of your movements over months are toward your firearm it will be the “go to” in a stress situation. The blame is on the criminal. Let’s start with accountability on the fleabag instead of the cop that had to react.

  12. Old Guy in Montana & doesky2 said it best to my thinking. We civilians train in self defense, IF we make a mistake in our actions we are held accountable.
    Over a lifetime of working inherently dangerous jobs I have had to look out for my self AND others nearby. We train, plan and act, and are responsible for the outcome.
    I still sometimes dream/nightmare about the ship fire my welders hot slag set off and took two lives, that was over 30 years ago!

    • I agree with you, if a citizen conducts a traffic stop that ends in a fatality they deserve to go to jail.

  13. Never deployed a taser. Except in training. Refused to carry one. Pepper spray, impact weapon, duty weapon was pretty much my escalation of force.

  14. Everyone is totally missing the the lesson here: whenever a person is resisting police commands, or attempts to control a resisting person, a simple, harshly worded note (in 131 languages recognized the the UN) should be presented, demanding the resisting person comply with police commands. If that doesn’t work, an immediate follow-up harsh note stating, “We really mean it”. If that doesn’t work, report the matter to the field supervisor, and move along.

  15. If you have any clue or training whatsoever there’s no excuse I would convict her on that. However the scumbag needed shooting so points back on that!

  16. This was NOT a problem with the original shape and design. When the redesign occurred, making the electronic shock delevered more effective, some genius decided it should have a grip style like a handgun. Design flaw, and they were notified. And BTW, a Taser is not a “stun gun!”

  17. Who cares how rare it is? It’s obvious that’s what she did. Otherwise we are expected to believe that her cries of “Taser, taser, taser!” were a deliberate attempt to murder someone she hardly knew and get a manslaughter charge instead of a murder with intent charge. The risk/reward doesn’t seem to make that worth it.

  18. Based on that image comparison of a Taser and the Glock, it is clear that she was entirely unfocused on her physical response because there is no way you could be conscious of your physical response and not notice those differences in grip feel, trigger feel, weight, etc. Not to mention drawing from right versus left.

    I can believe that there is such a thing as being completely unconscious of the fact that you are reacting from muscle memory in grabbing the pistol when under threat. But it does require that your training in your ability to react *consciously* during physical conflict is inadequate.

    So in this case, I view it as a failure of training and experience in handling physical altercations which resulted in the officer losing focus – the muttering of “taser, taser, taser” would seem to confirm that – and reacting completely unconsciously in drawing her firearm.

    That would seem to make this more of an “accidental homicide” than either manslaughter or murder because there would seem to be no *conscious* intent to kill the victim.

    • I completely understand how you got there but some food for thought. If you agree it was an accident therefore removed of any hostile intent you can’t convict on that, the law is clear. If the jury finds an absence of negligence (that the accused made a decision/took an action whose foreseeable result is increased risk of serious injury or death. The presence of negligence is the entire point of the trial so it’s still unsettled. On top of that if the decision/act followed her training and department policies then the department and or the writers and approval authority of said policy are culpable and the trial is a dismissal. I started this trial way closer to where you are than where I am after watching trial. If an accident happened which I do believe then an accident happened and a guy died. If the jury finds negligence on the officers behalf then no accident occurred and homicide and manslaughter are back on the menu boys.

      • I haven’t been following the details of this case, but she obviously didn’t mean to kill or even severely injure the guy. But she did. There has to be some accountability. She needs to do some time. Sure the kid was really stupid for resisting. That’s beside the point. If we all got gunned down for doing something dumb when we were young, there wouldn’t be many of us around today.

        Bonus point for Lord of the Rings reference.

        • I understand the reflex but because a man died even by gunshot doesn’t mean he’s a victim of homicide, homicide being the taking by intent or negligence of a human life by another human. So for example you pop a naturally occurring previously unknown aneurysm, oh you dead but your not an episode of the first 48 dead. If we’ve got ourselves a dead dude but we lack malice, protocol deviation for any decision that increases the likelihood or directly causes the negative outcome, that a mythical reasonable person with similar training, experience and access to all data that the accused had at the precise moment that deadly force was applied would not have done or found reasonable. The we got the homo but not the cide. Since you like good fiction, she didn’t kill that man, she just carried the bullet.

        • I get it I really do, but none of us want to live in a world that criminalizes mistakes. I know the first instinct is to say “but we already do idiot!” first of ouch man, second give me a little rope and I build the bridge. Mistakes true mistakes in the legal sense are incredibly rare. Terrible decision making and failing to file a risk assessment are not accidents just dumb. The presence of intent, meaning purposefully causing harm or death or causing immediate fear of the same obviously can’t be accidental. I’m pretty sure we both agree the defendant didn’t meet that criteria or at least the state didn’t prove it. Negligence also cancels out accidental action that’s the primary fact before the jury if they find the defendant deviated from policy or best practices (reasonable actor standard applies) by making any decision or taking any action that increases the likelihood of or directly causes bodily harm, death or fear of same to another human. I don’t think that was proven by the state but only the jury’s opinion counts. If the jury finds that she either followed protocol and/or believed she was then no negligence. You can’t negligently disregard a risk that you don’t know existed. It’s a bit like winning a game of chutes and ladders made by the criminally insane to find yourself in the presence of a true legally mitigating mistake. We have a victim that’s true but that doesn’t mean we have a perpetrator. To quote a great man “No son, you murdered yourself, I just carried the bullet awhile.” Well he’s ok.

    • “But it does require that your training in your ability to react *consciously* during physical conflict is inadequate.”

      Based on the rest of your comment I’ll put it like this: You don’t want to know and certainly won’t be willing to pay for the level of training that you’re claiming you want here.

      Why? Because to get to the point that your first paragraph isn’t actually incorrect you need constant real world, near death training to roll the fear out of people. You’re talking constant, multiple times per week, dangerous as fuck type training once you start talking about weapons being involved.

      The ability to grab something like this and know exactly what you’re grabbing because you’re actively thinking about it while someone’s trying to kill you takes a long time and a lot of work. People with purple belts in BJJ are starting to get to this point, five or six years into getting choked to the bring of being unconscious for 5+ years.

      The solution here is to simplify what cops carry, not make them all Tier 1 Operators who are standing by to assist you. Besides, you don’t want LE being that well trained anyway given how they’ve acted in the last 20 months.

      • “The ability to grab something like this and know exactly what you’re grabbing because you’re actively thinking about it while someone’s trying to kill you”

        No one was trying to kill her, she was observing the conflict rather than participating.

        • Red herring noted and dismissed.

          You don’t get smarter over time, if anything you become more retarded.

        • Miner49er Horse pucky! The officer was trying to protect her brother officers. When you are a police officer, you do not observe when your brother/sister officers are being assaulted or resisted. Get a frickin’ grip.

        • His statement is still a false equivalence, her life was not in danger, no one was trying to kill her.

          You can’t claim that she was under mental stress because someone was trying to kill her when in point of fact, no one was trying to kill her.

          The new claim that she was under stress because someone was assaulting her fellow officers also fails, this is exactly the sort of situation her training and 26 years of experience should have prepared her for.