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(LAPD Chief)Bratton bans use-of-force term 'distraction strike' but not force

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  • (LAPD Chief)Bratton bans use-of-force term 'distraction strike' but not force

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...nes-california



    Under fire for a videotape showing an officer punching a suspect repeatedly in the face, Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Friday that he is directing officers not to use the term "distraction strike" to describe when officers hit people to get them to submit to arrest.

    The chief said, however, he is not changing the policy that allows officers to use force; he is only doing away with the term, which he called "ambiguous." He said it had been misused by officers to explain why they struck a suspect.

    The term, he said, was developed to describe a punch or open-hand strike intended to divert a suspect's attention to where the blow lands so the officer can transition to another technique for completing the arrest.

    "However, the usage of the term 'distraction strike' has been misapplied to describe strikes intended to cause the suspect to submit to arrest or stop an offensive action when there was no intent to transition to another technique," Bratton wrote in a letter Friday to the Police Commission.

    Connie Rice, a civil rights attorney who has advised the commission on force issues, said the chief was doing the right thing.

    I have never heard of a "distraction strike". Is this new? What is the alternative?

  • #2
    I've never heard of it and have never been trained in popping someone in the face as a "distraction" method or pain compliance technique, however effective it might be. When I came on 21 years ago, we were trained to use a distraction technique that consisted of whacking a person on the back of the head as hard as you could with an open hand, but that was also in the days when we were trained to use a choke hold to render the fighter unconscious. I forgot the technical term for it, but it was commonly known as the "bitch slap". It usually just ****ed the distractees off. "Man, you can punch me in the face, but don't BITCH slap me m***** f*****!!!! I don't think this technique included little close-handed punches to the suspect's nose, but whatever works!!

    I wonder if it's just a short cut term they use ubiquitously to rationalize action that, while effective and relatively harmess to the bad guy, may not be what they were taught. Instead of doing a mandibular angle or hypoglossal PPCT move that may not have worked for them, they just gave him a little "distractor strike".

    Kinda like the well used "officer safety" exception to the search warrant rule. It doesn't exist, but everybody knows what you're talking about when you see a search for "officer safety" in a police report.

    But I think it's pretty cool that the chief can "do away" with a term. I thought only Noah Webster could do that.
    Last edited by Frank Booth; 11-18-2006, 02:14 PM.

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    • #3
      Memorize this statement: "I applied only that force which was necessary to overcome the arrestee's earnest and continuing resistance to my lawful orders." Start spouting that as soon as the first boss arrives on the scene and do not deviate. No other explanation or catch phrases are needed to justify your actions.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by xraodcop
        [url] I have never heard of a "distraction strike". Is this new? What is the alternative?
        The alternative would be taking the heat for an officer punching a guy in the face, would be my guess.

        But hey, they got the arrest and went home. Job well done.
        A true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

        -GK Chesterton

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        • #5
          Sigh..........

          Comment


          • #6
            when being "PC" gets you in trouble.....

            Originally posted by Contact
            The alternative would be taking the heat for an officer punching a guy in the face, would be my guess.

            But hey, they got the arrest and went home. Job well done.
            ..but heres the "joke"-LAPD used to describe as well as allow a forward punch- the naysayers of all things BAD policing made them change it ,and de-emphasize punching suspects( sad,because when I went thru LAPD academy ,we boxed as part of PT and weaponless defense tactics,were taught jabbing and the use of a forward "punch"/closed fist strikes,not the ambiguous "distraction blow",which could describe anything from the brush of your hand to a slap to a closed fist punch.all other city police units-airport,port ,L.A. School PD,use the term"punch" in both UOF and UOF reporting.Punching and boxing are natural and NOT hard to teach; they can protect you in situations where you need to deter the violent actions of a suspect,then transition to other forms of arrest and control,other than baton strikes,kicks,or OC ( my Dept currently teaches Krav maga in addition to ground grappling/control holds,which CONFLICTS with LAPDs current "arrest and control " techniques).Face it ,a fight is a fight, and if you tell officers they can't "hit" when they fight,they will try to revert to tactics that do not adequately answer the force being used against them-like a recent video showing an OC wielding deputy being beaten stupid by an attacking motorist.
            "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

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            • #7
              Distraction strike.

              Personal opinion here, but the more I see of Bratton, in uniform or out, the less impressed with him I am. Sounds like the heat is on, and once again the Chief and Command Staff give into the Dudley Do-Rights, Bleeding Hearts,and all the rest of the Hug-a-Thug advocates. Any similarity between these people, and real cops is purely co-incidental. Some of you LAPD guys correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I personally have a problem with the out of towners LA has brought in. ( Willy Williams, and now Bratton) who have absolutely no knowlege of the city, the department, or the problems it faces.Richard Pennington, who supposedly cleaned up NOPD, now heads the Atlanta PD. We all witnessed NOPD in action a little over a year ago. They show up, make some cosmetic changes, proclaim victory, and ride off into the sunset. Meanwhile, the working cops face the same problems they did when the hero's arrived.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PhilipCal
                Personal opinion here, but the more I see of Bratton, in uniform or out, the less impressed with him I am. Sounds like the heat is on, and once again the Chief and Command Staff give into the Dudley Do-Rights, Bleeding Hearts,and all the rest of the Hug-a-Thug advocates. Any similarity between these people, and real cops is purely co-incidental. Some of you LAPD guys correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I personally have a problem with the out of towners LA has brought in. ( Willy Williams, and now Bratton) who have absolutely no knowlege of the city, the department, or the problems it faces.Richard Pennington, who supposedly cleaned up NOPD, now heads the Atlanta PD. We all witnessed NOPD in action a little over a year ago. They show up, make some cosmetic changes, proclaim victory, and ride off into the sunset. Meanwhile, the working cops face the same problems they did when the hero's arrived.
                You know, I think Bratton is a great chief, but is facing a lot of pressure from people above him. LA just elected a hispanic mayor, and the guy they were punching in the face is hispanic. The mayor isn't going to **** off the people who put him in power. I think if given full access to do what he wanted, Bratton would be singing a different tune, but hes just trying to keep his job.

                As far as Atlanta, they seem to be doing really good. Crime is down and the equipment seems better. Just an opinion on the outside.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dinosaur32
                  Memorize this statement: "I applied only that force which was necessary to overcome the arrestee's earnest and continuing resistance to my lawful orders." Start spouting that as soon as the first boss arrives on the scene and do not deviate. No other explanation or catch phrases are needed to justify your actions.

                  Actually, that statement will get you in trouble. At least on the west coast it will. You need to justify that you used the force reasonable or necessary to overcome the suspect's actions. This is how you justify shooting the person with the toy gun. It wasn't necessary to shoot him, but, it was reasonable to think that the gun might be real and that you were in danger. In my current department, we use the term "objectionably reasonable". This means that you thought it was reasonable and most people with your same training and experience will probably think it was reasonable. You just took into consideration the facts of the situation and made your force decision based on those facts.

                  If you want to see case law, look up Graham v Connor.
                  God made perfect cops.......The rest he put in cars.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bully....Once you reasonably believe the child has a firearm it is necessary to shoot him to overcome his level of force.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LA just elected a hispanic mayor, and the guy they were punching in the face is hispanic. The mayor isn't going to **** off the people who put him in power. I think if given full access to do what he wanted, Bratton would be singing a different tune, but hes just trying to keep his job.
                      Now that's a reasonable, insightful and logical statement!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you guys think that video was a fight you are off the deep end. It was a struggle with the officers having the upper hand. The guy had a grip on the officer's hand, the one with his knee on the guy's throat, and he started punching him in the face because didn't like that. Unnecessary.
                        -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

                        --ArkansasRed24

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                        • #13
                          The guy had a grip on the officer's hand
                          Reminds me of that joke:
                          Patient: "Doc, my arm hurts when I do this...."
                          Doctor: "Well don't do that".

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                          • #14
                            Djack16...No perp who is the subject of a stop, interrogation or arrest has the right to touch the arresting officer. Touch me and you're going foe it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dinosaur32
                              Djack16...No perp who is the subject of a stop, interrogation or arrest has the right to touch the arresting officer. Touch me and you're going foe it.
                              In any arrest there is going to be some amount of touching. Looks like the guy was pretty much pinned down. Having his knee on his neck the way it was I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was suffering from blood and/or oxygen starvation.
                              -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

                              --ArkansasRed24

                              Comment

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