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Taser Meyer Knockdowns in the New Millennium

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Knockdowns in the
New Millennium

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

1

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
•

• Understand the relationship between selection of
tools/tactics and injuries to officers and suspects.
• Learn the injury-reduction philosophy.
• Learn more about in-custody deaths.
• Learn about policy and training to reduce injuries
• Learn about the Injury-Reduction Use-of-Force
Chart
• Learn a six-step strategy for implementation of
the injury-reduction philosophy.

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

2

WE’LL LOOK AT . . .
•Policy
•Training
•Equipment
•Tactics
•Supervision
•Review Processes
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

3

THE MISSION:
•

•
•
•

Greg Meyer

Fewer and less severe injuries to suspects
and officers
Reduced civil liability and complaints
Reduced disability time and pensions
An improved public image for your law
enforcement agency

800-453-5518

4

Use of Force 101

When can an officer
use force ??????

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

5

WHEN DO WE USE FORCE?
•
•
•
•
•

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

To make an arrest
To protect self or others
To prevent escape
To overcome resistance
To protect the suspect!

6

Use of Force 101

How much force
can an officer use ???

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

7

HOW MUCH FORCE
DO WE USE?

Greg Meyer

•

REASONABLE !

•

Graham v. Connor -- police use of force
incidents are “tense, uncertain, and rapidly
evolving”

800-453-5518

8

Use of Force 101

Why would an officer
use force ???

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

9

WHY DO WE USE FORCE?

Greg Meyer

•

CONTROL !!!

•

Control is safer for you and me

•

Uncontrolled situations are dangerous

800-453-5518

10

DEADLY FORCE

Greg Meyer

•

Will continue to be an option

•

Armed criminals

•

“Suicide by cop”

800-453-5518

11

The Injury-Reduction Philosophy
ƒ

ƒ

Officers must use only that force which is reasonable. The
most reasonable force is the type that gets the job done and
results in the least injury to officers and suspects.
Nonlethal weapons have been proven to be effective
knockdown tools which result in fewer and less severe
injuries to suspects and officers than conventional police
tactics.
Therefore nonlethal weapons should be used before
conventional tactics whenever the dynamics of the
situation allow the officer to have a choice.

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

12

The Study

Nonlethal Weapons
v.
Conventional Police Tactics:
The LAPD Experience
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

13

The Study
* 502 use of force incidents involving:
Baton
Taser

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

Kick
Spray

Punch

Flashlight

“Misc.”

Swarm

14

Effective
Force
Type

No
Injury

Taser/Gas
Effects
Only

Minor
Injury

Moderate
Injury

Major
Injury

TOT
AL

Baton

24

0

24

66

7

121

Kick

20

0

9

12

0

41

Punch

6

0

5

15

1

27

Misc.
Bodily Force

51

0

20

58

6

135

Flashlight

4

0

0

14

6

24

Swarm

33

0

3

10

1

47

Chemical
Spray
(CS/CN)

0

18

1

0

0

19

Taser

0

88

0

0

0

88

TOTAL

138

106

62

175

21

502

Suspect
Injuries

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

15

Officer
Injuries

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

Effective
Force
Type

No
Injury

Taser/Gas
Effects
Only

Minor
Injury

Moderate
Injury

Major
Injury

TOTAL

Baton

99

0

4

10

8

121

Kick

36

0

0

3

2

41

Punch

19

0

0

5

3

27

Misc.
Bodily Force

109

0

5

13

8

135

Flashlight

20

0

3

1

0

24

Swarm

39

0

1

6

1

47

Chemical

14

5

0

0

0

19

Taser

88

0

0

0

0

88

TOTAL

424

5

13

38

22

502

16

Injury-Based Use of Force Chart
Officer's Response

Expected
Injury

Deadly or GBI Attack, or Fleeing
Felon Rule

Deadly Force

Death or
Serious
Injury

Attacks Officer, and Unable to Use
OC/Taser

Baton, Kick, Other Impact

Moderate
to Major

Aggressive Resistance, and Unable
to Use OC/Taser/Swarm

Tackle, Leg Sweep or Aggressive
Compliance Holds (e.g.,
PPCT/Carotid/LVNR)

Minor to
Major

Bizarre Resistance, and Unsafe to
Approach, PCP/Psycho/Etc.

Taser, Swarm

None to
Moderate

Defiance of Verbal, Plus Credible
Threat

OC (Pepper Spray), Stun Gun

None to
Minor

Passive Resistance, Drunk PickUp

Firm Grip or Passive Compliance Holds

None

Cooperative

Presence, Verbalization

None

Suspect's Actions

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

17

Suspect's Actions

Greg Meyer

Officer's Response

Expected Injury

Attacks Officer, and
Unable to Use OC/Taser

Baton, Kick, Other Impact

Moderate to Major

Aggressive Resistance,
and Unable to Use
OC/Taser/Swarm

Beanbag, Tackle, Leg Sweep
or Aggressive Compliance Holds
(e.g., PPCT/Carotid/LVNR)

Minor to Major

Bizarre Resistance, and
Unsafe to Approach,
PCP/Psycho/Etc.

Taser, Swarm

None to Moderate

Defiance of Verbal, Plus
Credible Threat

OC (Pepper Spray), Stun Gun

None to Minor

800-453-5518

18

NOTHING AWAYS WORKS !

Greg Meyer

•

No 100% fail-safe tools or tactics

•

All might lead to injury or death

•

“Stuff Happens”

800-453-5518

19

DON’T TALK THEM
TO DEATH !!!!

Greg Meyer

•

Verbalization usually works, not always.

•

Stand-offs degenerate into shootings

•

Continued verbal vs. aggressive takedown

800-453-5518

20

USE DECISIVE FORCE

Greg Meyer

•

No one wins a long fight

•

Get it over with fast in order to . . .

•

Minimize injuries and bystander trauma

800-453-5518

21

DOING IT WRONG
•
•
•
•
•
•

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

Public will not accept or support you!
Civil disobedience, riots
Front pages forever
Sacrificial lambs of various ranks
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Intra-agency finger-pointing

22

POLICY
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

23

Local Govt. Policy Making
It would be more “‘cost effective’ for the
city to settle claims for broken bones of
combative suspects who are hit with batons
rather than to pay settlements” in chokehold
cases.
--L.A. Councilman Robert Farrell
Los Angeles times, 10/7/81

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

24

Local Govt. Policy: The Results

Greg Meyer

•

Injuries to suspects went UP 661%.

•

Injuries to officers went UP 521%.

•

The Chief’s request to modify the policy was ignored by
the City Council.

•

A HUGE GAP was created in the use-of-force policy;
baton striking techniques became the number-one tool.

800-453-5518

25

POLICY = COMMITMENT
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Greg Meyer

More than what comes out of a thick book
Commitment to human life
Commitment to reduced deaths/injuries
Commitment to reduce public liability
Commitment to maintain public credibility
Commitment to learn from mistakes
Commitment to professional employees

800-453-5518

26

TRAINING
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

27

TRAINING
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Greg Meyer

DYNAMIC
Interactive
Performance based
Confidence building
Realistic situation simulations
Refreshed
Recorded

800-453-5518

28

www.aele.org
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

29

www.aslet.org

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

30

EQUIPMENT
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

31

FORCE OPTIONS ???

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

32

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

33

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

34

Pepper Spray Effectiveness
•

•

Less effective on druggies than on those
who were drunk, mentally ill, belligerent
or combative
Odds of failure were found to be 2.5 times
greater when used on druggies
--NIJ study of pepper spray incidents
in Baltimore

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

35

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

36

THE IDEAL NONLETHAL WEAPON

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

•

Hand-held

•

Single officer

•

Immediately available

•

Maintains distance

•

Temporarily incapacitates

•

Noninjurious (compared to impact devices)

•

Affects only the intended target

•

Easy to train

•

Easy to maintain

•

R E L I A B L E knockdown capability
37

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

38

Question:
If we can put a man on the moon
and return him safely to Earth,
why can’t we put a man on the
ground
and take him safely to jail???
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

39

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

40

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

41

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

42

32 Cal.
Stinger®
Rubber
Balls

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

Drag
Stabilized
Round

2x2 Bean Bag
Round

43

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PHOTO / ROY HUNTINGTON

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

0

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........

44

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

45

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

46

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

47

EQUIPMENT

•
•
•
•
•

Greg Meyer

Best available for flexible response
Readily available at the user level
Never deployed with untrained personnel
Properly maintained
Inspection records

800-453-5518

48

TACTICS
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

49

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

50

TACTICS
•
•
•
•
•
•

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

TIME V. DISTANCE
Stand-off situations
Sudden attacks
Don’t “talk them to death”
Lethal-force back-up
Arrest tactics v. defensive tactics

51

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

52

RELUCTANCE TO USE FORCE

Greg Meyer

•

Front page of your local paper, six-o’clock news.

•

Lawsuits.

•

Federal consent decrees

•

Peer pressure to be less proactive

•

Administrative pressure to avoid adverse incidents

800-453-5518

53

Sudden In-Custody Death
•

On the ground

•

In the back seat of your police car

•

In your holding tank

•

In your jail

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

54

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

55

CUSTODY DEATHS

Greg Meyer

•

Typically it’s the drugs (coke, meth, PCP)

•

Excited delirium = acute exhaustive mania

•

Immediate medical treatment suggested

800-453-5518

56

Excited Delirium, etc.
•

“Excited delirium” is a term psychiatrists
use for people who flip out. It takes about
six officers to restrain such a person.”

•

“Acute exhaustive mania” is the same thing
--Dr. Charles Wetli
Suffolk, NY Medical Examiner

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

57

When do they happen?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Greg Meyer

After a violent altercation of any sort
After being hog-tied
After being pepper-sprayed
After being Tasered or stun-gun
After a neck-hold
After you think they’ve calmed down
After they have emergency medical help
800-453-5518

58

Prevention of In-Custody Death
•
•
•
•
•

•

Get them OFF their bellies . . . NOW!!!
Avoid a “full hog-tie”!!!
Have one person monitor...FULL TIME!!!
Get them emergency medical treatment!!!
Be especially aware of cocaine, PCP,
methamphetamines, schizophrenia
The big ones will have THE BIG ONE!!!

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

59

DANGER SIGNS !
a. “Fatalistic Mindset” of the violator.
b. 3-minute or longer fight
c. Drugs on board
d. Obesity
e. Increased ambient and/or body temperature
(Bob Bragg, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission)

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

60

What Happened???
•

“In-custody deaths are multi-factorial; they
look bad on TV...it does not necessarily
mean that the restraint methods caused the
--Dr. Charles Wetli
death.”

•

44 cases in Miami:
22 white male; 21 black male; 1 black female

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

61

Miami Deaths: Common Factors
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

ALL had cocaine in their systems
No neck-holds were used
Cardiac arrest usually after calmed down
Hyperthermia (104-108 degrees)
Cocaine blood-level range: .05 - 11.8 mg/L
Tend to be chronic cocaine users on binge
Only seven of 44 were hog-tied

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

62

San Diego: Common Factors

“In all eleven cases, the subject was
PRONE at the time of cardiac arrest.”
-- Dr. Brian Blackborne
Chief Medical Examiner, San Diego

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

63

SUPERVISION
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

64

SUPER VISION
•
•
•
•
•

Supervisors must supervise !!!
Guide, train, direct, motivate
Inspire, explain, encourage
Hold people accountable
Negligent retention of negligent supervision

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

65

REVIEW
PROCESSES
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

66

REVEW PROCESSES
•
•
•
•
•
•

Greg Meyer

Systematic and system-wide
Compare performance to policy
Value continuous improvement
Thorough debriefings
Thorough investigations
Include your trainers !!!

800-453-5518

67

ETHICAL EXPERTS AND
ATTORNEYS

Greg Meyer

•

Don’t use hookers

•

Use experts and attorneys to help evaluate
systems and practices

•

After litigation, “close the loop”

800-453-5518

68

YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
(Sorry about that, Chief!)
•

Examine your own agency’s use-of-force
incidents. What types of tools and tactics
are being used, in what situations? What
types of injuries are resulting to your
officers and your suspects?

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

69

YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
(Sorry about that, Chief!)
•

What are the costs of litigation and officer
disabilities resulting from your agency’s
use-of-force incidents?

$?$?$?$?$
Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

70

YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
(Sorry about that, Chief!)
•

Grade yourself and your agency on the
Six Steps for
Law Enforcement
Decision Makers

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

71

HOW YA MANAGIN’???
SIX STEPS FOR
LAW ENFORCEMENT
DECISION MAKERS

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

72

SIX STEPS
1. Recognize the need
to adopt more humane
knockdown tools and tactics.

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

73

SIX STEPS
2.

Greg Meyer

Make a solid commitment
to reducing injuries
to suspects and officers.

800-453-5518

74

SIX STEPS
3.

Greg Meyer

Acquire one or more
effective, available
nonlethal weapons.

800-453-5518

75

SIX STEPS
4.

Greg Meyer

Put less injurious
tools and tactics lower
on your continuum.

800-453-5518

76

SIX STEPS

5. Train to win!
Dynamic v. static
Have a back-up plan

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

77

SIX STEPS
6.

Greg Meyer

Require officers to explain
why they used a more injurious
knockdown weapon or tactic
instead of a less injurious one.
800-453-5518

78

REALITY!!!

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

79

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

80

DEDICATED
PROFESSSIONALS
•

•

Greg Meyer

Use force in good faith

Use force in a reasonable manner

800-453-5518

81

Knockdowns in the
New Millennium

Greg Meyer

800-453-5518

82

 

 

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