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Baton Training Bulletin LAPD 1996

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WILUI L. 1m11• - . c + I I . CW JIOUf

Volume lXVIII, Iaaue 11


. . . . .1811




AliY public aaa.-bly of iDcU.Yicluala, be it for lawful prot"t or
unlawful activitiea, •r require actioa by law enforc~t.
oepeadtnv upon the aituatioa at bud, tbe r•ponae of l.av

.,nforc-nt can rup fraa aialple ot.ervatioa and crowd . .
unav. .nt atrateviea, to crowd COfttrol tactica. 'l'bJ.a '1'rainin9
Bulletin vaa developed to provide· guidelinaa to aaaiat officer•
in deter.ining vben an •••.ably ia unlawful and the appropriate
reapon1e1 for crowd control. the ~at'a Uae of Pore•
Policy relating to baton technique• ia al•o reviMMCI in thJ.a
In a aociety wbere the right of fr.. apeecb and aaae.bly ia
quaranteed by the Pederal and ltate conatitution•, it i• the
reaponaibility of police officera,to en.ure the protection of
conatitutional Ri9ht1 of a~l araberr of the public. 'lheae
conatit.utional CJU&r&nteea apply to La.dividuala vbo ..Y be
participating in lawful activit.iea aucb a• public 1peecbea,
marchel, demonatrationa, picketing,
and ralliea.
.• .,. .

In determining whether apeecb activity ia lawful, police officer•
muat not. baae their deci1ion1 on their lubjective, per•onal view.
of either the political affiliation or the ....age of thoae
peraon1 exerciaing their right to apeak. The reaponaibility of
police officer• ia to objectively deter.ine at vhat juncture &
demonatration leave• the reala of legal proteat and becomea an
abridq...nt of the right• of othera.
Penal Code Section 407 ·provide• quidelinea for officer• by
defining an •unlawful aaaembly•:
•Whenever tvo or .are ~rona · together to do
an unlawfW. act, or to 'do a lawful act in a violent,
boiateroua or tu.ultuoua aanner, •uch aa1embly ia an
unlawful •••~ly.•
·. •

•aoiateroua• and •tuaultuoua• have been interpreted by the court•
to mean conduct which poses 1 clear and present danger of
~inent violence.




oetober 1111


Pual Code Seetioa 407 11 applicable 1A two different



(1) !he firlt circ.-.tuu:e 11 vllen people a11.-ble to do u
aalawftal 8ft . fte Wllavful act .uat be u act .ada

cri•haal by lav or by the C~liOD of u onn act
vbich leadl to a violation of lew. ID tbe ableace of
any Wllavful conduct in an ua-.Dly, u u•-.bly ..Y be
declared unlawful oal~ if there 11 rea1on&ble cau1e
to believe, baled OD articulable facti, tba~ the
•••.-blr' • purpo~e i• unlawful. If people are
•••-.bled to c~t an unlawful act, then they are an

unlawful a••e.bli. (ror exnpte, \lftlavtully blockint
entrance• to pub ic buildinp, bigbvap, aldeval.Jca or

•chool•, or aDfatiDI in riotou actiYity).

fte •ec:Oftd cirCUIIIIftuce il vbu people uae.blecl do a
1-'tll an ill a •violut, boiltu'oul or t...altuoua
Mnner. • lfba unner ia vbicb taut people' are· actiat -.aat
itlelf be violut, ·Or pole a clear ud prHut claapr ~f
iwjaent violence. Por exa~~ple, a draa•tration that
di1turbs the peaceful ujoJMAt of property throuvh
noisy •intiD9 and chantillg i8 . - an Ulllavful a••.-bly
unle11 it alao po•e• a clear and pre1aat danger of
~nent violence.

Durinq the cour•• of a march, demon•tration, protelt or rally,
officer• may ob1erve behavior by individ~l• which con1titute1
unlawful behavior. Unlawful behavior by iDdividuall, or unlawful
conduct obaerved in an i1olated iaciden~, 1hould not venerally
tom the balil for declarin9 an qthervl•• lawful ••.•..t»ly to be
unlawful. When it appear• practical, officer• 1hould attempt to
qive warnin9 to the leader• or 1poke1per1on of the activitf, the
other participant•, and/or the individual• vbo are acting or have
acted unlawfully, about any oba~~d unlawful or potentially · ·
unlawful conduct. When appropriate, officer• 1hould in•truct
thea on what they auat do to ca.ply with the laws, 10 a• to allow
an opportunity to correct the conduct in que1tioa •


Thi• doe• not t.ply that where vcoap behavior rea1onably appear•
to be unlawful, atgr•••ive, or othervi•e uncontrollable, that the
•••embly 1hould not be declared unlawful.



·- -- -- - - - -vv'Pio1:'1.DBt-1D~f'ri~II~,;---1J:~I.-IUUW.-1~1t-----..


In crowd unat-nt, the follovint gueral pr1Dcipl• 1hould be

* ..UIIliala


witla ~ ~Oud

When appropriate, IUpei'YiiOI'I or auJ.or officer• at the
acene abould att.-pt to ..U 0011tact vitb iclelltified
fomal or info:rul leader• of a czowd. lDteractloa vith a
c~Qtfd will allow ~fficu1 to uaclent_. tba JUI'PO'e and
IIOtiYU Of a 9r0up ud allow Ul opportwUtJ to IUftelt
war• for the vroup to awicl illegal ~lou wbiah would
nece11itate a mre attr..lin police reapoue. fti1 11
referred to aa •readiD9 tbe crowd.•

• coeuol of pe&"H-1
otbuvile peaceful 9Z'OUP cua be uou1ed b7
inappropriate pollee CODduct, auch u iacU.vidual officer• in verbal diaputu with iDcU.vidual crawcl' limMrl
or by dilplayint cont-.,t for tbe crowd or itl beliefa.
If po11ible, ·J.t 11 preferable for a crowd to
focu•ec:l on the event itaelf rat.ber than on police tact.ica
uaed at the event. A lhav of force My be appropriate aa
a deterrent to 101111 unrulr crowd lltuat~ou. careful
con1ideration of the ctrcu..t.ancea ·.uat be tiven prior to
. aplaying a ahov of force. lfbu pot~li,ble, kHp a
-diaciplined control force out of public light ready to





• lepuat:a oppo1lag factiou
Often a apecific i11ue will polari1e 9roup1 into ho1tile
oppoaing factiona • . When poelible, officer• abould
delineate aeparate areaa for each group to exerciae their
legal rightl to picket or ~natrata. •hylical barrier•
or police linea can be u1ed to effect thia 1eparation.
ror preplanned eventa, apecific ·areaa ahould be identified
and phy•ically e1tabli1hecl for u•• by vroupl expected to
d..an1trate. Phylical barrier1, natural or atratetically
placed, can aaaiat officer• in aanating oppoaing groupa
.. •

* Gather


Infor.ation which hal beaD evaluated and believed to be
•alid ia of u~at t.portaace to the ..nat...nt of 9roup1.
. the .o1t obviou1 place to obtain iAforaation on vbat 11 to
occur ia froa the trOUP itulf. lltabliah contact vith
group ..abera before an ...nt if po11ible. Durint the
evant, attempt to maintain contact with vroup lead•~• to
atay aware of any chant•• in their plana or actiona. Such
information may be incomptete or inaccur•t•, but
experience haa ahown that it ia better to liaten to group•
than ignore them.


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Volume XXVlii, I••ue 11


octot.r 1996

• &Dawl. . . . of pZ"e"Yi.CMI8 . . .u

Crowd MAav-.nt procedure• do DOt atart with a epecific:
event, but with in tbe pe•t uc1 tho•• oc:currin9
elaewbere. Superviaora . ., exaaiae open aource• of
info~tion and/or a!ter-actioe report• froa prior evanta
or frca aiailar ennu in order to identify 91'0UP behavior
and auc:c:eaaful and un.uccea•ful t~c• aDd atratevi...
It i• hithly rec~••nded that lupenieora ud co.anding
officer• properly docu.ent the r.-ultl of actiou at a
Grevd· -..aat~~ ·Or· GC'-ovd ·CODU'Ol illcidelat·. ·


• &ltenau locati.oa fu ua=blr

When it ia detera:Lud that an •••..-1~ MY a..r:c- unlawful
due to the inappropriate natura of tbe location (e.v., an
otharviae lawful crowd exceeda the •i•• of a location and
apilla onto, and inadvertently blockl tJaa public ·
aidewalka), · police aay idefttifr AD al~ •ite to
leadera or apokeaparaona vbere the aaa.-blf could relocate
to avoid the poa•ibility of beint declared an unlawful · ·
• Doc-atatioa
It ia bithly reca..ended tbat-enata aurroundint crowd
control •ituati·o n• be dOCUMntecl for trainint, per1onnel
accountint, after-action reportin9, and litit&tion. The
u•e of video e-ra• aho~ald be couidered at all auch
event•· Utilization of a •videolog• (a videotape record
of the event), obtainint ~ overall perapectin of the
event, includint aelected arreat. . bebavior· and actions of
per•onnel, _are amon9 the •~jecta vbicb 1hould be
documented. The utilization of a video teaa 11 hithly
-.rec01111ended for future t~ainiD9 purpoaea.


Volu.e XXVIII, Iaaue .11

-'·i ·



October 19t6


Durint crowd control ait~atiou, police officen • r be r~
to pbya.i callr uvave n...-ou ilwU.Yicluall vbo ulllbit Wllavful or
hoatile behavior. ID tlaae aituatiou, it •Y M Decuauy for:
officer• to utili•• pb,.ical force to cootrol or ~ crowd
-bera vbo do not reapoDd to ftZ'bal clirect.iona.
When officer• are cOilfronted br tbia type of behavior • . the baton
·wt~o ·c1o not reaponcl ·u
verbal ·
c-: enda to cliaperee. It ur &lao be uaecl u u illpact weapon
dapeDdiDt u.pon the U9r• of actin r.iatance or ca.bative
bebavior d..,nat.rat.S by crowd z s '.n.
uy be ued to puah indiridula

'l'bere are no -.=eptiou to the ~t'l VIe of rorce JtOliCJ.
llban the uae of force ia 'uatified clurlDf a crowd coatrol
aituation, only reaaonable force aball be -.lor•· Officer•
.uat only uae nuonable for:ce to ~ reaiatuce ud effect
control. verbaliaation abould be Ulecl tbrougbout the durat~on of
the operation to tain carpliance and reduce tbe neceeaity for
further phyaical force.
The Trainint Bulletin -uae of Porce - lide I&Ddle aaton• VolUM ·
XVIII, Iaaue 4, cleacribea the Depart.Mnt apprond baton
technique• in detail. · Officer• are at.rontlY eDCouraged to
practice baton tec:hniquea aincre the!Je technique• are baaed .are
on technical proficiency than phyaical atremvth. Bqually
important, officera muat know De~nt policy retarding the uae
of the baton. A review of .t.hia Policy ia deacribec:l on · the
followinv pac;ea.
In a typical crowd control aituation, officer• are aa.ett.ea
with the following acenarioaa



Police officer• on a tkirriah line are confronted by
individual• vbo are beinf puahed froa the rear and
encroach upon eatablitbed police control pointl, yet
are not intentionally threatenint officer11


Police officer• are pretented vitb paatively reaiftint
iDdividuala wbo ~efute ~ ditpecae.

In the firat acanario, for exaaple, police officer• on a akirmiab
line with batona clravn · in the ~nt lxtendecl toaition•, are
confronted by individual• being pulhed fro. the rear of the crowd
into the akirmiah line. !he crowd ia ordar.S to diaper•• but
refuaee to 110ve and continue• to puth iftto the offic·e ra. Theae
individual•' actiona, •• detcribed on the Department••
Situational uae of Force Option• Chart, aay be categori&ed ••
uwcooP~~ or AGGaiiiiVI/COMaatiVI baaed on an individual
officer's subjective viewpoint.


Volu.e lXVIII, Iaaue 11

OCtober ltt&

....... ......

The baton •Y be uaecl u a pu1hiA9 inatruent or illpact. weapon to
9ain c~li&Ace. vubaU.aatioo abould be coatioued to vain
ca.pliance. ODly reaaonable Ioree to vaia ca.pliance aDd to
protect th-elvea and other1 My be uaed bf olficera. A
poaaible aolutioo to aucb occurrence• includea •tLne-backera• &a
part of u arreat teaa r..,vint the peraoaa puahint fro. behind
and either arreatiDt th• or IICWiDg tb• outaide the control
In ~e aecoftel aoeurio. police ollicua ue ~--ted vitb
puaively reaiatiDg iDdivicluala vbo retuae to cU.aperae. 08
appropriate reapoue to thaae iDdividuala' acticu, categorised
u _, -fMI8 ft CCIIIP- or a.eoGf 'lftft OD the Uae of Porce
Optiou c:bart., iDcludaa the uae of rial Ckip, CCIIplJ.uc:e
.,._Mil!Dia~~wriat Locka, !Viat Loeb, wriat Lack DovD/Ara aar,
e baton
. biag iDit.RMDt ucl laton C011plJ.uce 'feabniquea
non-atrikiag • Verbalilatioa abould be COiltiaued tbroutbout tlie
"i3!:b~~~~:4tin ca.pliance. Like tbe lizat acenario, ooly
·reaaonable ore• to tain ca.pliance and to protect th...elv.a and
other• aay be uaed by officera. Again, tba •line-backara• of an
arreat teaa can r..ove thoae iaclividuala vbo are pgbint, who are
refuaint or are unable to diaper•• fro. group behind the
police linea and either arreat ~ or repoaition tboae
individual• outaide the control area.



1:. t'D 8UOII

The . current procedure for reportint the uta of the baton •• a uae
of force incident ·in other than crowd control aituationa ia not
·. by thia Trainint Bulletin.
. ... ~= A Ute of rorce Report ia not required vben officer(a)
beea.e involved in an incident in which the baton ia uaed in
a crowd control aituation to puah or .ave individual• vbo
exhibit unlawful or hoatile behavior and wbo do not r••rnd
to verbal direction• by the police. 'l'hil procedure vil
apply only t.o officer• workin9 in ortaniaed aquad and
pla-oen-a1aed un1'•· Add1,1onally, 1~1•
~a,oA ~
utilized ~·thea• circu.atancea, officer• ahall notify
their i-..diate auperviaor of the uae of force once the
tactical aituation hal been reaolved.


The aupervilor ahall prepare the appropriate report documentinv
the officer'• action•.


·· -----------~~.


.October ' ' ' '

the pc)lic• reaponae to a aituation vllere a crowd bu gatbered
requina a careful eYaluatioa by .the aenior officer-iD-cbarp at
tbe aceae. A non-violent •ait-clowft• dwonatration require• a
.uch different police reapoaae than a violent group of people vbo
deatructin. fte tactics uaed t:o uaage or coDtrol a
cr9W IIP.8~ ~ fl,vibl.•~ ~iftt a -..:'ell, d mut.rati.Oft ar. •••• lar
eNDt, ualavful behavior br u iDclividual, or Wllavful ccmctuc:t
obaernd 1D u iaolated iDciclent, ahould DOt .fau'allr for. the
baaia for declaring u •••-.bly to be ulavful.


Should force bec:OM Uc:e••arr, tbe of force neceaaary to
overc:OM a auapect'• reaiatuce ia c:lepeDdeDt oa a YUiety of
factoz:•. When a batOD il utili1ed, evu cluriDt coaf~tationa
vitb boa tile crCNda, reaaoaableuaa ia ur to detu.iaiDt the
UIOu.Rt of force ud ttie type of CQIIPli&ftCe technique• vbicb &re
.oat appropriate for the circu.ataDcea. Officera ahould
· to de-eacalate coDfroatatioa. ~ utilizing verbal11ation
tec:bnique• prior to, du.rin9, &Ad after any ue of phylical force.·
Effective crowd aana~nt tachftiquea oftentt.ea preclude• the
neceaaity to .-ploy phyaical force and are a deterrent to
unla~~ behavior.
Thi• bulletin cancel• and auperaedaa ~ainint Bulletin Volu.e
xxv, I11ue 1, •uae of rorce-aaton, tart II-erowd Control• dated

oecemb4r lttl.




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