Police Officers Don't Lose Your Career To A Rodney King Incident
On the night of March 2, 1991, Rodney King and two friends were driving west on Interstate210 in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles after spending the night drinking and watching a basketball game. King was twice the legal limit, but when officers tried to pull him over he took them on a high speed chase that ended when officers cornered King's car, but things were actually just beginning. While a citizen video taped the incident officers tasered King and delivered 56 baton strikes and a number of kicks before they were able to handcuff King. After that the officers would go on trial for police brutality charges and civil rights violations, and in between the trials the LA riots broke out as the city destroyed itself. If the officers had been better trained this all could have been avoid.
Now let me make this clear, nobody is condoning police brutality, and street justice if it ever was acceptable isn't acceptable any longer. For driving drunk and endangering the lives of himself, the police officers, and everyone else in the community King probably deserved a beating, but that isn't the job of the police, and that is why we have a justice system. That night in March the officer's training failed them and Rodney King paid the price.
The question remains though how do officers take down a dangerous suspect without hurting themselves or the suspect unnecessarily. Brute force doesn't always work especially if a suspect is intoxicated, and lethal force is out of the question. So work together as a team, and maximize the tools you have, so you can end a potently bad fight quickly. Guardian Defense of Tactics is just one of the systems offers like you can utilize to stay safe, and still make the arrest.
It seems police academies are more concern with the lives of suspects than they are concerned about the lives of police officers. Now it isn't to say instructors don't care, but people are so worried about liability that the training has been watered down. Police officers have to qualify every year with a firearm, but hand to hand combat is seldom covered after graduation and officers concerned for their own safety have to find training on their own. Until things improve officers who don't want to end up a statistic need to learn effective self defense and arresting techniques.
So officers keep training and learning, because the more effective you are the faster you can end a fight, and when that happens everyone concerned is less likely to get hurt. If pain compliance doesn't work, a few strategic strikes will work, and if that doesn't work attack as a team with each officer taking a part of the body making the suspect compile. Almost as important as is knowing how to justify what level of force you use. In the case of King nobody could justify beating a man while he was down even after the fight he put up, so remember it isn't personal and you're just doing your job. More is expected out of you than the ordinary citizen, so it is a challenge every day. Show that you're up to the task by training, and doing your best. And remember be careful out there.
by: Matthew McKernan