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Can a Suicide by Cop be prevented????

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  • Can a Suicide by Cop be prevented????

    Ok, before all the questions and slams come in, I do research with mentally ill and their interactions with emergency and LE. I am more than aware that once a suicide by cop event starts there is not much that you can do and my heart goes out to the officer that may have to pull the trigger. Your doing your job and it sucks you were put in that position.

    My question is more about the folks in your community that are well "off" that you run into regularly. Most of you in LE have your local "fruitcakes" that either make you mad or make you laugh on a daily basis. Do you think you can spot the ones that could be potential suicide by cop offenders? Keep in mind, no one is a mind reader and anyone can snap but some studies seem to be showing that there are signs to be aware of when chatting/encountering mentally ill regulars in your area. Some include the offenders chatter about "which is the gun", "which is the tazer" on your belt, "am I making you really mad right now" statements, "have you ever shot a person before" statements. This is just a few items that have come up in a recent FBI study of the subject.

    So if you have a few nutty persons in your area, do you think you would be clued into this event or not? Keep this civil, I am not LE nor putting LE on the defense. I am only interested in your thoughts on this matter.

  • #2
    Somebody who chooses suicide by cop as the way to leave this world can't be too crazy. They have to plan and set that plan in motion. The sad part is since this has been a media event when it happens more people are aware and more have commited suicide that way.

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    • #3
      I have also done a study on suicide by cop. It seems that one of the main reasons for doing this ( from unsuccessful attempts mind you) was reported as the subject knowing that police are trained in lethal force and it would be a "sure thing."
      Jerry
      "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Seems to me the main reason would be that they are just too darn cowardly to take care of the job themselves.
        "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

        For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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        • #5
          Can a Suicide by Cop be prevented????

          Taser can help.
          Kelly

          We are the thin blue line
          between you
          and all the money in the world.

          And no you can't have any.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 1sgkelly
            Can a Suicide by Cop be prevented????

            Taser can help.
            I agree

            Comment


            • #7
              Tasers have prevented more suicide's by cops in the last 5-10 years than any kind of therapy/treatment IMHO.

              But I'll tell you I treat every suicidal person as a possible suicide by cop, and my department does too. The "safe" distance for a person with a knife is 21 feet, how often do we interact with a suicidal person at 21 feet? We respond with guns drawn if it is a person known to have attempted with a weapon.

              Another thing is, I know it's not politically correct, but I'd rather be the cop pulling the trigger in 100 suicide by cops than ever have to see another murder suicide.

              Saw one a couple weeks ago, guy about 60 walks up behind his wife while she was eating at the dinner table and plugs her in the back of the head with a 12 gauge loaded with 00 buckshot. Then went over and sat down in his lay-z-boy and ate the barrel. Total front of his head was gone, no face nothing, and his pretty much intact brain was sitting in his lap.

              Thing I want to tell those types is, hey give us a call, we'll help you out, just meet us holding that shotgun.
              Illegitimi non carborundum - Don't let the bastards grind you down.

              Comment


              • #8
                I kind of know what you mean. We have our local "crazies" that it always seems like we are on calls with. Their is a pretty distinct line I notice in some of the people though.

                Like we have one lady who always calls because she thinks that people are in her walls. I always go out and walk around with her in her home to make her feel better. She is a looney tune, but not violent. I have interacted with her several years now and she is as gentle as they come, but crazy as heck. Everytime I go to her place she meets me outside and yells "They are BACK!" She calls once every three months or so for me to scare them away.

                We have some other people however that they get completely out of control and get violent. One person I can think of particular is a recovering head injury victim. Now this guy is nuts, mean and very strong always wants to fight. We always go to his home with three officers.

                In conclusion, I guess in dealing with the mentally ill after you know some people in your comunity you do know the ones that are pretty calm, violent, and could go either way.... Use caution on all of them though
                Retired 02/01/13

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                • #9
                  Previously posted - "Taser can help".

                  I always get a funny feeling when I see someone suggest taser as an alternative in a legitimate and justifiable deadly force situation.

                  One would assume that a "suicide by cop" candidate is already threatening or using a level of force which would result in an LEO using deadly force in return. Hence, the suicide by cop... While Taser is a wonderful tool and has a legitimate place on the use of force spectrum, it is not a substitute for deadly force.

                  While I can envision scenarios in which deployment and use of Taser at some point in the encounter may prevent it escalating to a deadly force situation, once the suspect has the capability and intent to use deadly force, he/she has pretty well left the LEO little less lethal options. We need to be careful about creating the perception among the public and fellow LEOs that a Taser or any other non-lethal means is somehow a match for an armed suspect posing a threat to an LEO or third party.

                  At the moment someone with an edged weapon, firearm, or other deadly means indicates an ability and intent to use that means upon me or third party, I'm not relying (nor am I required by law/policy/common sense to rely) on taser or any other less lethal means to save my bacon.

                  While no one wants to take a human life, we are under no obligation to needlessly sacrifice our own lives because an individual is bent on self-destruction.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Downeaster
                    Previously posted - "Taser can help".

                    I always get a funny feeling when I see someone suggest taser as an alternative in a legitimate and justifiable deadly force situation.

                    One would assume that a "suicide by cop" candidate is already threatening or using a level of force which would result in an LEO using deadly force in return. Hence, the suicide by cop... While Taser is a wonderful tool and has a legitimate place on the use of force spectrum, it is not a substitute for deadly force.

                    While I can envision scenarios in which deployment and use of Taser at some point in the encounter may prevent it escalating to a deadly force situation, once the suspect has the capability and intent to use deadly force, he/she has pretty well left the LEO little less lethal options. We need to be careful about creating the perception among the public and fellow LEOs that a Taser or any other non-lethal means is somehow a match for an armed suspect posing a threat to an LEO or third party.

                    At the moment someone with an edged weapon, firearm, or other deadly means indicates an ability and intent to use that means upon me or third party, I'm not relying (nor am I required by law/policy/common sense to rely) on taser or any other less lethal means to save my bacon.

                    While no one wants to take a human life, we are under no obligation to needlessly sacrifice our own lives because an individual is bent on self-destruction.
                    A tazer ALONE is not an option in one of those situations. But a taser with a COVER OFFICER is a very reasonable option. I would give the tazer a chance to disarm, but lethal force should be used the second someone's life or limb is in jeopardy.

                    A man with a knife saying I am going to kill you and he is within 21 feet but he is not charging ...... let him do the kickin' chicken for 5 seconds. Tazer does its job. He charges ..... its his ***.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Downeaster]
                      I always get a funny feeling when I see someone suggest taser as an alternative in a legitimate and justifiable deadly force situation.
                      QUOTE]

                      thats what i was wondering, i left the dept before tazers where big, at least in our area, where is the tazer on the use of force chart, i was always told not to deviate from the chart,,for the most part, if you do, you compromise its integrity.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Suicide by cop" has to be 1 of the top 5 "Oh ****!" calls to go on especially if the person is another cop. Tasers AND cover officers (plural) will work many times but as I said in another post planning& alternatives are our best defense. What I find interesting is how many offs. are quick to use the use of force continuum as a defense. In Phx, recognizing police contacts are a fluid event our Dept. has,for some time, utilized a "wheel" of sorts with the off. in the center & his force options encircling him. As in real life, what this does is leave the off. the option to use whatever force HE deems necessary & can articulate it BEFORE going to another "level" of force. In real life terms what this does is subconsciously instills confidence in the off making the decision, allows different options & from an administrations point of view allows them to demonstrate how & why the off did what he did to the general public in a way they can understand. As to IF these things can be prevented certain actions & key phrases are always good clues & if the person is smart enough to plan a "suicide by cop" confrontation he MAY be smart enough to listen to some logic. If that seems to be the case, I've told the person outright: "You're in control of this in a big way & I REALLY don't want to shoot you, but I'm going home tonight". The (fortunately )few times I've been in this position it worked, at least in terms of not killing the guy.

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                        • #13
                          ???????????, sorry its been a long day, are you saying that officers misuse the use of force scale?

                          here, oc is below hands on and impact weapons, yet i have used it during the middle of a scuffle, but as i have been told, if you disregard the scale, then the reliablity of it can be questioned, which leaves officers out in the wind, big time,
                          but are tazers with impact weapons or are they for non combative non complient people, i havent seen the new scale.

                          depending on the circumstances, a tazer could be very useful with a suicidal subject, i now that my old dept. policy for the use of the bean bag round, we had to have a cover officer with firearms.

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                          • #14
                            A good percentage of suicide by cop cases are people who have had no criminal past. We had a guy here go to the hospital and shoot his bedridden wife and then when police went to his home to tell him she was dead (They had no idea he had killed her) point a gun at officers and he would not back down and they could not back out.

                            He was shot and killed. Officers felt bad and the son said he fully understood that officers had to shoot. Man and been very distraught that his wife was gravely ill and would not recover so he took gun to hospital muffled shot with pillow and killed his wife and then went home and waited on police.

                            No criminal past at all.

                            Some of the suicides by cop cases are poepl who feel suicide is wrong and they somehow rationalize if a cop shoots them they didn't kill themselves.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you and an excellant discussion by all. Very interesting comments. Of course the bottom line is the officers safety, no arguement there. The point here is to be alert and possibly be able to prevent the situation. My experience has found that most suicidal folks (not the drama televised ones) don't really want to die. They are not cowards or plotting, just confused scared souls reaching out in any direction they can. Sometimes that direction involves LE.

                              Suicide by cop does have a planning phase from what I understand but not a rational one. Keep in mind, the person is not rational if they are even considering suicide to begin with. There are two types, one that is willing to take an officers life in order to get their life taken, they are the TV news ones. But the majority want no harm to LE, just harm to themselves, those often fail as the person actually has heart and won't risk harm to LE.

                              My thoughts are just that in a nice little world where funds and time and staff are available, LE is the first responder often and can help disarm these situations before they begin. If you could take just one of your local "fruitcakes" and identify a possible situation beginning and maybe disarm it by a simple conversation with the person, then would that be worth your time? I know, we don't live in Eden anymore and life does not unfold that way. Keep safe, keep alert and foremost, go home at night alive and well. I really appreciate those who have taken time to respond, the information is insightful.

                              Comment

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