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  • Using force on a noncompliant / agressive, handcuffed suspect

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I did a quick search and didn't find anything. Just wanted some advice on the subject.

    I have about two years on the streets and have had to use force a number of times against suspects that I'm trying to detain/handcuff, but last night was the first time that I had to use force on a handcuffed individual.

    In a nutshell, here's what happened. Responded to a motor vehicle accident with other officers, made contact with the operator of the suspect vehicle, and could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He denies drinking anything, refuses to do FSTs, and refuses the PBT. I advise the suspect that he's under arrest for DWI and place him into cuffs. As we're escorting him to my cruising, he tries to pull away from me multiple times. At one point, he swings his body and breaks my grip. I grab back onto and utilize an armbar technique, taking him to the ground. We tell him to stop acting up, pick him up, and continue escorting him to the cruiser. After he's searched, we try to place him in the back of the cruiser. He yells "no" multiple times and tenses his body up. He also starts to flail his body around and attempts to push his body away from the cruiser Myself and another Officer utilized pressure points and a few strikes to his sternum until we were able to get him secured in the cruiser.

    After the incident, several of us were talking about what happened. Three of us felt that we did the right thing and feel that the level of force was justified. But another officer stated that we should have tried to talk with the suspect first, before using force on him. Does anyone agree or disagree with what we did?

    Second question... what if we had utilized a taser or OC spray, instead of the pressure points or the strikes to the sternum? Would we have been justified in using those options?

    Thanks for the responses in advance.

    By the way, we took the suspect to the hospital for a blood draw, and was advised by medical staff that his BAC was .286
    Last edited by Street_Cop50; 05-21-2011, 01:00 AM.
    Look sharp, act sharp, be sharp.

  • #2
    I wouldn't taze a cuffed suspect unless absolutely necessary...I think our SOPs would like that too much. How the He!! do you get BAC back so quick....it takes us 3 months or so to get it back!

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    • #3
      It depends on your departments policy on whether or not you can OC or Tase the suspect in cuffs. I can spray before I can Tase by my policies and only Tase people that pose an active threat to my safety or others. We are prohibited from deploying Taser probes while in cuffs and can only drive stun of that's the last resort as well. I have Tased in cuffs and explained it very well. Guy was trying to head-butt three CO's and myself while trying to spit blood and bite. Cheery old chap he was.

      By your account, talking to the knucklehead would not have done any good. He's drunk and already combative. I'm sure that you can articulate from your time on patrol that an intoxicated person rarely, if ever, responds to common sense. Throw a bad temper into the mix and off you go.

      By the way you have detailed the encounter, I would say that you used the force reasonable and necessary to effect and maintain the arrest which is what we're allowed to do. Some people, other cops included, sometimes don't realize you can't sing kuumbayah, roast smores and give everyone hugs. use of force policies are there for a reason. Good job getting the bad guy and no one getting hurt.

      By the way, was the officer that said you should have talked him down there when all the excitement happened?
      Last edited by mookster; 05-21-2011, 01:21 AM.

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      • #4
        --- I'm gonna step in real quick on the blood draw question. It only takes the hospital 20 minutes to get it back. The courts require a certified lab for court proceedings thats what takes so long. If you go to the hospital they can (assuming they don't get tweaked about privacy stuff) tell you right there what they have.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Street_Cop50 View Post
          After the incident, several of us were talking about what happened. Three of us felt that we did the right thing and feel that the level of force was justified. But another officer stated that we should have tried to talk with the suspect first, before using force on him. Does anyone agree or disagree with what we did?

          Second question... what if we had utilized a taser or OC spray, instead of the pressure points or the strikes to the sternum? Would we have been justified in using those options?
          WOW! Not trying to be a dik here, but that other officer who advised you should have tried to talk to the guy...who was actively resisting.....probably doesnt need to be in this field or at least needs a refresher on "WE ARE IN CHARGE, NOT YOU!". I would be curious to know at what point would he have used more than words? Some people can be just as nasty with their feet, elbows and body when theyre handcuffed as any of us can be with our hands while not in cuffs.

          Ive used a drive stun on the front hip area to get resisting a-holes in the back when they tense up. As others have said, check with your SOPs or ask your Sgt. Your actions sound fine to me.
          Last edited by crass cop; 05-21-2011, 08:26 AM.
          "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Street_Cop50 View Post
            Three of us felt that we did the right thing and feel that the level of force was justified. But another officer stated that we should have tried to talk with the suspect first, before using force on him. Does anyone agree or disagree with what we did?
            Talk to him.................when he is actively fighting you and you have already arrested him........................yea right!

            Your actions sound defensible depending on the articulation in your reports.

            A thing to remember.................ON VIDEO, anytime you strike a person in restraints, it LOOKS bad. You can be totally justified, perfectly under policy, and still look bad in court ----or god forbid---if the video gets released to the media.

            While we all know, strikes to nerve cluster areas are very effective in stopping resisting suspects, the general public still view those actions as "being brutal" when they see them on video.--------------------also remember that a jury is composed of the general public.

            {off soap box} Sounds to me like you handled the situation well.

            Originally posted by Street_Cop50 View Post
            Second question... what if we had utilized a taser or OC spray, instead of the pressure points or the strikes to the sternum? Would we have been justified in using those options?
            It would depend on your UOF policy.

            The drive stun would probably have been effective in that type of situation. We in Corrections often utilize ERD (so called stun guns---which are basically tasers on drive stun) with handcuffed prisoners who are resisting.

            If you think about it----a drive stun even looks benign. You are simply placing an item against the resisting person's body and all of a sudden they tense up and stop resisting. When done correctly there is no arcing, sparks or sound......
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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            • #7
              Thanks for the input everyone.


              Originally posted by TJx2 View Post
              I wouldn't taze a cuffed suspect unless absolutely necessary...I think our SOPs would like that too much. How the He!! do you get BAC back so quick....it takes us 3 months or so to get it back!
              TJx2... Just as oafr234 stated, we still sent the blood samples to the lab for court purposes, but the medical staff was able to give us an initial BAC level so we knew what we were dealing with.


              Originally posted by mookster View Post
              By the way, was the officer that said you should have talked him down there when all the excitement happened?
              Nope, showed up after the fact.
              Look sharp, act sharp, be sharp.

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              • #8
                As someone stated, talking to drunks rarely does any good in my experience...perhaps I should say combative drunks, that is. Looks okay to me and I can't say I'd have done anything differently.
                sigpic

                I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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                • #9
                  Agreed with the above posters, in that you did handle yourself just fine.

                  Every situation is different but I had a scenario where we tased a handcuffed subject. Bad guy is under arrest for an active warrant. He is drunk as a skunk and he lays down on the backseat and starts to kick the back window repeatedly. The squad that is transporting him is in front of me and stops in the middle of the street. Bad guy is told to knoock it off, where he then starts to kick at us. X26 taser deployed and he gets a 5 second ride. Shortly after the incident the Sgt. gives us a high five.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sounds legit to me. The only "talking" that should be done is with the guy who thinks you talk to someone who is drunk & resisting arrest. Maybe next time he has a perp resist, you guys should hang back and "talk" to the suspect.

                    As for deploying pepper/tazer on a cuffed suspect, I would, given the right circumstances. But every department has their own use of force regulations.
                    I make my living on Irish welfare.

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                    • #11
                      Sounds good to me. When a suspect doesn't want to get into the back of a cruiser it isn't an easy job no matter who they are. Even if you don't have camera's in your patrol vehicles I would assume you are being recorded anyway and use the appropriate force necessary which you appear to have done.

                      There is no talking to some people especially drunks so disregard what the one officer said. I am sure you exhausted that option...

                      Where the taser is concerned I would go by you agency SOP. Where my agency is concerned the purpose of a taser is to cuff and control so I wouldn't use the taser in your situation but there are always exigent circumstances. (If Brock Lesnar was in custody cuffed and coming for me I think I could reasonable articulate the use of a taser on him).

                      Good job taking a drunk of the roads!

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                      • #12
                        Sounds like he needed to be in maximum restraints. I have people who resist in handcuffs all the time. They usually get sprayed, but really drunks don't feel much. A gang fu and placed in max restraints is generally the best option.

                        Watch your back around the cop who said you should talk him down. You can't talk down a drunk who is fighting with you. That's crazy. He will either complain about you using proper force... or (more likely) he will get himself hurt or killed by a failure to engage.

                        The kind of people who don't like to use force are often the people who end up using too much force (ironically). By not using a lower level of force in the beginning and getting control quickly, they often have to end the situation with more force (after they catch a beating).

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                        • #13
                          We have full body wraps for these guys. They are great. Used to have to call the jail people to come out but we now we have a few in patrol cars. the ones that like to fight hate the wrap. that makes it even more satisfying.
                          "Did that hurt? It looked like it hurt"

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                          • #14
                            MG108 - Do you have any links to these "wraps" you're talking about?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TK5 View Post
                              MG108 - Do you have any links to these "wraps" you're talking about?
                              http://www.humanerestraint.com/page016.html
                              "Did that hurt? It looked like it hurt"

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