Escalation of Force

For a law enforcement officer to detain you, he must have an articulable reasonable suspicion that you have, are or are about to commit a crime.

But here’s the thing- he doesn’t have to articulate that suspicion to YOU. He has to be able to articulate it to the court.

By all means, know your civil rights, and exercise them.

But understand this, because your freedom or your very life may depend upon this- when an officer has detained you, he has entered the realm of the use of force. Law enforcement has the power, the authority, to use reasonable force to effect that detainment. Your failure to comply will result in escalating force. And whatever actions happened before, the circumstances that lead to the detention are immaterial. Escalations of force are based on your actions while the officer is attempting to effect the detainment.

People are up in arms over a School Resource Officer taking down a student at Spring Valley High School.

Guess what? That happened only because the student made it happen. She could have followed the instructions of the teacher. Or the school administrator. Or the SRO. But she chose not to, and guess what? That has consequences.

The video isn’t entirely dispositive, but I see nothing that immediately suggests the SRO violated the students civil rights.

8 thoughts on “Escalation of Force”

  1. I love the talking head on CNN that insists that there was no reason that the SRO’s behavior would be acceptable, but then insisted that she didn’t need to know any of the context behind what led up to the incident. Can we not see the disconnnect? Ostrich Syndrome.

  2. Word. 🙂 (1) Just. Comply. + (2) Argue appropriateness of use-of-force later–better yet, let your lawyer do i. = (3) Avoid contusions, abrasions, possible death.

  3. Well, as a former LE Instructor type who majored in defensive tactics, I call this one as excessive, not highly excessive but excessive none the same. His technique was inefficient, poorly planned, and poorly executed, and resulted in him looking unprofessional and angry. Am I to believe that this Officer never contemplated methods of extracting recalcitrant teeny bops seated at desks? Choke holds in most departments are a no no. He had her arm (briefly) yet didn’t even attempt to wrist lock or use any pain compliance technique to escort the young women. He went straight to “hard techniques.” Rolling a person backwards in a desk has a distinct potential to produce serious injury. At best this guy needs a couple of days off and some refresher training.

    But remember folks ….cops are the only ones responsible enough to carry firearms….you peasant civilians can rely on them to respond in a timely manner. /sarc

    1. As a reader commented on the Facebook post version of this:

      One must also consider that the Video is VISUAL ONLY, and does not show everything.
      That sounds like a contradiction but bear with me.

      The Only way that student was leaving was by physically putting hands on her and making her leave.

      What you see is the Officer putting hands on her and then apparently getting violent with her.

      What you do not see… because a) the viewer does not have the tactile input of the officer being in contact with the offender… and b) it happens at the speed of the officer’s reaction to that input…

      Is that the student immediately started resisting at the moment of contact. When you are hands on and in physical contact, you can feel the reaction of the other individual, the tensing of muscles, the start of a movement to break free or fight.

      No Officer is going to allow that to happen, The Officer must maintain control at all times. So at the very instant the stupid young lady (and I use lady liberally here) starts to resist, the officer is going to take step, generally involving escalating force.

      Had the student done nothing, the Officer would have likely simply gone hands on, stood her out of the desk, and marched her out of the classroom.

      So even with a camera trained right on the event. It does not show everything.

    2. No matter what technique the officer used the result, and the resulting complaints, would have been the same. The only difference would be that the video would have been noisier if he had used a “pain compliance” technique. Maybe even more violent if she had not cooperated and allowed him to administer such a technique without resistance.

  4. At one time I was willing to give a cop the benefit of the doubt. No more. I’ve seen far too much misbehavior they’ve been allowed to get away with.

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