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Do you ever second guess yourself after using force?

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  • Do you ever second guess yourself after using force?

    Hi all, I recently became a deputy sheriff three months ago. I dont know if it' because I'm me to all this or if this is normal but do you ever find yourself second guessing yourself after a use of force or fight? Ive only had a handful of actual uses of force so far but each time I find myself asking myself if I should have some something different. For instance in my most recent encounter a woman on meth didn't want to give me her name. She then started to try and run and the fight was on. I got one cuff on her and an started to donkey kick back at me and got a few lucky kicks in. She tried to hide her other hand infront of her so I went in with a big knee strike to the back of her leg/glute area. This dropped her and I finished my arrest and charged her with assault on a PSO. Anywho, after this was done I neo going back over the situation in my head wondering if I really needed to strike her. Do you guys ever do this or I I just a me person thing?

  • #2
    Nope. If it was a lawful use of force, don't worry about it. The suspect made the decision for you. If they weren't okay with being slammed, they wouldn't have done what they did. She's lucky that you didn't use your baton.

    The only time I ever second-guessed myself for a use of force was after I didn't finish the trigger pull on a parolee who had just attacked me. I still regret not having killed the SOB, because after he got out from his short sentence for that incident, he caused a lot of problems for other people. He is currently doing three life sentences on multiple three-strikes cases.

    The closest I ever came to being stabbed was a 105 pound woman. She was drunk, and kept pulling away when I tried to handcuff her. She was putting her hands into her jacket pockets, which I interpreted as trying to lock down her hands where I couldn't get them. After the third time, I bounced her off the side of my car and got the bracelets on. It was then that I found the half-open Buck knife in her right pocket. The bitch was trying to cut me. Lesson finally learned.

    When someone wants to resist, go at them 100% and give them your best as fast as you can - F=ma. End the fight affirmatively, effectively and quickly.
    Last edited by ateamer; 12-01-2017, 12:28 PM.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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    • #3
      Once an incident is over, you will always have time to carefully ponder how things might have been done better. And even if you do that, six people will disagree with your findings and tell you their six different ways were better.

      But in real life, you may only have seconds, if that, to determine if you go home in one piece. It's what ateamer said. As long as what you did was lawful, it doesn't matter if one way is better than the other. The law only says reasonable force, not best reasonable force.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        Originally posted by L-1 View Post
        Once an incident is over, you will always have time to carefully ponder how things might have been done better. And even if you do that, six people will disagree with your findings and tell you their six different ways were better.

        But in real life, you may only have seconds, if that, to determine if you go home in one piece. It's what ateamer said. As long as what you did was lawful, it doesn't matter if one way is better than the other. The law only says reasonable force, not best reasonable force.
        I totally agree. Nothing about using force is good. Use what is reasonable and make it end quick... not what's ideal.

        Second guess this... The short little skinny wiry ones, are sometimes the hardest to control. Especially the females. I had one once that I admit that 'held back' on. I should not have. She was about 5'0" and about 100 lbs. Very drunk and belligerent. When I said she was under arrest, I put her up against a wall to cuff her, she came back off fast, so I directed her face down onto the pavement. I tried my best to control, but not hurt her. Big mistake. Damned if she didnt pop right back up kicking and screaming, like she was spring-loaded. Not very strong, but quick as a snake. Put her right back down, this time with a knee across her shoulder blades and my full weight. Got her cuffed and in an arm-bar, I had to grab her by the hair to control her head whipping around, otherwise she'd have bitten me. She kicked her legs and feet at me going back to the squad. I stuffed her into the backseat and slammed the door. Found I was bleeding from half a dozen scrapes and fingernail claw marks and my uniform shirt was ripped. She kicked the window divider loose and managed to worm head first into the front seat. She bashed the rotator light controls with her forehead and set off the siren. She ended up ankle cuffed and transported in a wagon.
        You can trust just about every officer you work with to risk their life to save yours, but don't ever leave your lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.

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        • #5
          Overcoming resistance is not going overboard. LEOs do not fight fair. They fight to overcome the resistance of the perp with whatever means/force are necessary. Don't Monday quarterback yourself. Be happy you went home and not to the hospital.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
            Once an incident is over, you will always have time to carefully ponder how things might have been done better. And even if you do that, six people will disagree with your findings and tell you their six different ways were better.

            But in real life, you may only have seconds, if that, to determine if you go home in one piece. It's what ateamer said. As long as what you did was lawful, it doesn't matter if one way is better than the other. The law only says reasonable force, not best reasonable force.
            100%

            You will think about it and wonder if you used the correct amount, the correct force, and if you could have handled it better Then you get over it

            HOWEVER................you did what you had to do at the time, with what information you had at the time with what resources you had at the time.

            Bottom line...................it was what it was. It was driven by the person whom you had to force NOT by you. As long as you were within policy guidelines, you did the correct thing.

            Second guessing yourself too much will shorten your lifespan.

            Originally posted by Curt5811 View Post

            Second guess this... The short little skinny wiry ones, are sometimes the hardest to control. Especially the females. I had one once that I admit that 'held back' on. I should not have. She was about 5'0" and about 100 lbs. Very drunk and belligerent. When I said she was under arrest, I put her up against a wall to cuff her, she came back off fast, so I directed her face down onto the pavement. I tried my best to control, but not hurt her. Big mistake. Damned if she didnt pop right back up kicking and screaming, like she was spring-loaded. Not very strong, but quick as a snake. Put her right back down, this time with a knee across her shoulder blades and my full weight. Got her cuffed and in an arm-bar, I had to grab her by the hair to control her head whipping around, otherwise she'd have bitten me. She kicked her legs and feet at me going back to the squad. I stuffed her into the backseat and slammed the door. Found I was bleeding from half a dozen scrapes and fingernail claw marks and my uniform shirt was ripped. She kicked the window divider loose and managed to worm head first into the front seat. She bashed the rotator light controls with her forehead and set off the siren. She ended up ankle cuffed and transported in a wagon.
            In 40 plus years of doing this game .............The only person who I actually knocked out with a full out face punch was a 98lb female.
            I was the senior person in the jail that night and I saw her fighting with an officer on the monitor
            She was trying to throw a female matron off a cell block tier. I got there to assist when she tried to punt the family jewels ..................I blocked the kick and instinctively punched her in the face.

            She was still out 15 minutes later (well she WAS drunk also) when I called the Sheriff at home to tell him what I had done.............When he stopped laughing he told me to charge her will assault and if she wasn't awake in another 1/2 hour to call an ambulance.
            Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-01-2017, 08:33 PM.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              My goal is to always use the least amount of force to control the situation. If I can get control with an arm bar or pressure point, then that’s what I do. If it means powerslamming someone on the pavement, then that’s what’s going to happen.

              Once the fight is over, it’s over. You don’t have to be best friends with the subject, but you better not teach them additional lessons by way of baton or fists. Those are the hits you can’t take back.

              The criminals don’t fight fair and they never will. You do what you have to do legally to make sure you come home at the end of your tour.

              No exceptions.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm sure you learned "just the force necessary" and "all force has to be justified", but even though I learned that, it took me my first use of force in the field to truly understand it. I knew I had to win, but I was so scared of liability that I wrestled the guy, using just a little more force than he was using. It seemed to be taking forever to get in control of him, and with the "instruction" of my FTO, I quickly ended it with a LITTLE more force. The use of force is ugly but necessary, and when you have use it, it should be in your mind to end as soon as possible for your safety and for others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have had arrestees comment that the force applied to them for resisting was too harsh, but they didn't have to resist to begin with. Their voluntary compliance wins all day long. Be comfortable with your control tactics. As others have said, don't second guess yourself. Be ready for the ones who are fighting you not in order to get away, but for the purpose of hurting you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My best advice - don't armchair quarterback your decisions while you are hands on. Wait until after everything is over with, the perp is locked away and you have written your reports. Then if you still have questions about your actions talk to your supervisor, tell them what you think and why.

                    In the simplest of terms with regards to Use of Force my personal mindset is to use the minimum force necessary to compel compliance. Did I ever second guess my actions? After the situation is over I would go over it in my mind and see if my actions were the right actions. Must have been; never had a complaint filed nor an officer injured either!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think debriefing things in my own mind or with others is a healthy way to learn and improve. Sometimes there are no right answers, and as a human you will make split second decisions that are wrong.

                      But I never ever doubt my intentions. My intentions are pure and true to American values and our mission as peace officers. I'm a good guy.

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                      • #12
                        Major changes in use of force from when I started to when I retired. At retirement force to be used was that which was sufficient to overcome the defendant's resistance and maintaining the officer's safety. When I started use of force rule was simple: Perp hits Officer, Perp goes to hospital. No ifs ands or buts.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dinosaur32 View Post
                          When I started use of force rule was simple: Perp hits Officer, Perp goes to hospital. No ifs ands or buts.
                          I remember those days
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Like mentioned above. LEOs dont fight fair. We dont have too. For me personally, Im a small person (clearly depicted by my username) and Ill do WHATEVER it takes to make sure I or any of my co-workers dont end up being hurt.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When I started, just about every patrol car had a couple forehead-shaped dents in the hood, and a report stating "after overcoming resistance, the suspect was taken into custody" was completely acceptable. That phrase covered just about anything short of a baton strike.
                              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                              Comment

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