T Nation

Bad Ideas



The biggest issue I saw was lack of “teamwork”/coordination. At face value a situation where two larger people each have a grip on one of a smaller and apparently stoned persons arms really “shouldn’t” end with the little guy having the opportunity to access weapons. Not that things don’t go sideways outside of practice but the poundage and numbers advantage was there.

Note: The officer makes reference to actual weed, as opposed to the synthetic shit that is sprayed with whatever chemicals are handy and causes everything from weed like lethargy to mania. Fighting someone on bath salts or meth is “not a good time”. Anyone who means me harm is hearby invited to smoke actual marijuana until they are baked stupid. I will take the pain tolerance increase for the diminished reflexes.(No, all the BJJ guys who only smoke enough to mellow are not applicable. They aren’t hitting the “hand the cop your weed while mumbling” level of high.)

Early in the video it looks like the officers are running things pretty well. The officer on the right of the screen is doing the talking/interaction and the officer on the left is “overwatch”/backup. At 1:16 things start getting more iffy. Each officer has one of the subjects arms and the officer on the right is still talking/communicating. The officers are holding their arms away from their bodies a bit more than optimal. Sure they have the subject extended, but so are they. At 1:18 the officer on the left rectifies that for a second, then gets extended again while half assing some wrist controls.

1:18-1:38 is where I think the wheels come off in terms of coordination and initiative. Prior to this the talk him into cuffs vs drop him decision is really one of “professional opinion”. I have neither the training or experience to even want to second guess the officers. I think the one doing the talking is the Sgt so he likely has enough experience that if he thought it was worth trying to get it done with words, I would take that as reasoned. If you or mapwhap tell me he was fucked up in that estimation, I trust you guys more.

At this point though the officer on the left is doing enough bending and torquing to cause pain/get someone to tighten up. This is what you want when trying standing wrist locks. Unfortunately the officer on the right is ordering the subject not to “tense up”. The subject may not have made the decision to try to shoot his way out yet. He is verbalizing about “It’s how you have my wrist/arm” and may have been doing a shit job of processing what hurt and why because of intoxication.

1:40-1:42Officer on left looks to be ramping up the wrist controls, all while the officer on the right is trying to keep it non-physical. This really is an either or situation. I honestly have a question about the decision to get the cuffs out at this point. It seems to me like handcuffing would be easier/safer when there is either “no resistance”, compliant subject, or "no ability to effectively resist, unconscious or damn near it. Otherwise the officer is tying up at least one of his hands, having to access something, and perhaps just adding a steel thing to any flailing that happens.
1:42-1:43The officer on the left is doing things to his body structure/posture while trying for the wrist control that are essentially, wrong. He is torquing his spine. When he lowers his hips he doesn’t do anything to put his weight on the subject or to slave the subject’s weight to his own. He drops, tenses, and still does everything with his arms so all the drop does is make him less mobile. The angle of the camera also makes me suspect the “weak” lines in his, not mobile enough to shift easily, stance are right where Sir Smokes A Lot is likely to bump/crash into him.

1:44-1:49Either the subject is channeling Gozo Shioda or the officers walked themselves right into something I call “accidental Aiki” when I teach. Two bigger guys get spun/dragged around by the little guy here. I think part of what happened is that the cops are pulling in different directions with no thought to coordinate efforts. So when the, about to try to kill an officer, subject starts trying to move he lucks into one of those directions himself. The end result is the officer on the right gets dragged along like he just grabbed the bumper of a rolling truck. The officer on the left is adding to the subjects strength here for a moment, then he gets bent forward, weak line in his stance, by the combined momentum. The back bumper and trunk of the car could have been an asset to the cops. IF they would have run the guy back into it a little bit it would have bent him backwards and fucked his posture up. Instead it ends up bracing the subject’s right/far side hip and preventing the officer on the left from following the spin.
1:50Subject’s right hand is free. Either the officer let it go purposely or he couldn’t hold on because he was really out of position. Either way the subject brings his arm behind his right hip and his elbow “flags” in the classic tell that a weapon is coming out. The officer on the left also starts his draw stroke. The officer on the right is still off balance, recovers at 1:51, and slaved to the subject’s left arm.
1:52Both officers are on the same side of the screen. Officer left is now far left, officer formerly right is now doing Yeoman’s work as a human shield for the subject because he is still doing his damnedest to control the one arm he started with.
1:54Subject shoots. If the officer doing the talking was the Sgt, I am not sure how this round hit the other officer in the leg, but he appears to have a hitch in his step at the end of the video. The officer who was verbalizing commands turns, runs to put the car between him and the armed subject, then draws and begins firing.

When things started to go sideways the officers were more in each other’s way than anything. The way the subject spun them is something I have seen so many times it is almost funny.

The lack of aggressiveness noted before, idaho and Zeb1, was certainly a factor. IF they would have committed to forcing him to the ground early, or spun him and put him face down on the trunk the suspect may not have even had the opportunity to get himself killed. Unfortunately, I don’t think “team tactics” get a whole lot of play in law enforcement training, outside special units, and almost no training time among patrol officers who are going to be working together.

I think that is one of the points of disconnect between street cops and some of the people who watch videos like this and offer criticism from a “I work X” perspective. In corrections the one prisoner resists two C.O.'s problem gets solved all the time. However those men and women get a lot more practice working together to solve those physical problems. At the extreme CERT teams drill a ton of problems that seem analogous to the 2+ officers vs. one asshole problem, but they practice until they know all there dance steps. Hell, even dialed in bar/event security actually gets more training and repeated “practice” working as a team than most single patrolmen who have to play “pick up ball” with whomever answers their call for assistance.

The above may read like I am being overly harsh of the two officers in the video. I don’t mean to second guess any of their decisions. That was a 100% justified/good shoot. In reality things started going tits up only 30 odd seconds before it was a full on murder fight. In that time frame both officers managed to get their timing and headspace back and fight to the win. I do mean to be harsh about the technical execution of the wristlocks/standing controls. That shit was awefull. Great “teachable” moment video.

Train Hard. Stay safe.


Robert A


It really was, great picture, great audio, held the camera horizontal. That is how to get cell phone camera work done.


All of this. How old was the firefighter? Did he just piss away a public sector job with dental, medical, pension, etc? All of that to get an apology for a girl/women who exfilled from the scene of the lunacy before punches were thrown.

Everything about the “monkey dance” paradigm was there.

Pro-tip: Defense happens pretty much at the time and scene of the incident, or when there is immediate danger of future threat. It isn’t “defense” to KO someone for shit that got said or done 2 minutes and a block away. It could easily be what they “have coming”, but it is really more properly termed “retribution”.


Robert A


Excellent analysis, thank you. as you pointed out, excellent training video. Points from my perspective:

  • You are correct in the lack of coordination between the officers, in fact, it was horrible. I don’t know what the crime rate in their city is, or what their working environment is, but, in the large city housing projects, you did your best to be in teams, to the point, that if you had the time, you called in backup BEFORE you arrested because you knew the local populace would turn on you. I get the feeling they were not accustomed to operating with back up, either through some stupid macho bullshit, or not enough officers on the street. or maybe a quiet place and they were not used to violence.

  • When I worked the street, there was an unwritten rule, that if you were the first officer on the scene, you would take lead on the call. I would generally follow this rule until I thought the officer was fucking up by allowing the suspect to talk himself into fighting, or the officer was just plain stupid. If there was a supervisor on the scene, then this situation falls on him, sorry, I was a supervisor and everything that happened on my watch was my responsibility. He should have took control and FIRMLY directed the other officer to follow his commands.

  • The lack of strong, loud, verbal commands. Two weeks out of the academy and you should know you cannot reason with an intoxicated person. Period. Trying to “talk down” a drunk or drug induced asshole is as pointless as watching golf. In the first place, speaking in a soft calm voice is useless, mainly, because, they cannot understand you through their muddled senses. Loud, simple, commands to break their mindset,“down on the ground now!” stop, don’t move". very loud, not only for the suspect, but, for your future defense. You want the entire neighborhood to hear you yell, “stop, don’t move”. Maybe someone will actually testify to the shooting team on you behalf if the situation goes south.

  • In my experience, you cannot handcuff a person who is resisting arrest. Period. A vast majority of the fights I was involved in ,were because some officer tried to handcuff a person who was either actively or passively resisting. Drunks (alcohol/drugs) are the worst for this. Hardened felons will just try to kill you up front if you make a mistake, they know they have a limited opportunity to capitalize on your stupidity.

Our academy has a 80 hour officer survival class (or it did , when I was there) and I was one of the part time instructors. I used to run a handcuffing drill that I called the " handcuffing rodeo". I would take them to the mat room (rookies) and pick out the smallest male and female of the class. I would take them off to the side and tell them" no punching, kicking, biting, or groin shots, but, resist as best as you can". Then I would pick teams of two rookies and the instructions were simple. “you are on the stopwatch”, handcuff that person as fast as possible". I would see the larger males smirk and smile, like “look at this stupid shit”. I would blow the whistle and the games were on. Funny as hell, most of the time they could not handcuff the person at all, too green to work as a team, use verbal commands, get them on the ground, etc. Reminded me of the officers above.

  • Their physical control techniques were atrocious. enough said.

  • Mindset: I used to follow a simple code on the street, because, anything complicated will eventually get you killed. The same room clearing and urban combat techniques we are using in "stan, haven’t changed much from Stalingrad. Other than cranial vault displacement, (blowing their brains out), there are three fairly dependable ways of taking someone out of a fight: sight, breath, or stance. Take away one of those and you have the advantage. You should always have that plan, and, since 90% of police work doesn’t require deadly force, then you should know that taking their stance away will give you the ability control and cuff. Just some thoughts.


Great points idaho,

I just clicked the thumb up button. I don’t know what exactly that does. So, hopefully nothing bad.

I remember reading that the assault on officers and officer injury stats were more than halved when operating two to a patrol vs one. I really cannot think of much that actual police are required for where a second set of eyes wouldn’t make everyone a lot safer. Of course money and the perception of “more” units on the road favor individual patrols, and dialed in officers having to make “policy” like you note.

I am glad you said this. It is well into the area of “I don’t even know what I don’t know” for me. That makes sense, and there was zero communication between the two officers there.

They do get points for not both trying to be the one to give the lawful commands though. I see that in a lot of video. I get that it is a positive when things are “kinetic” and the goal is to add as much stimuli to process as possible to try to get inside someone else’s OODA loop. When compliance is the stated goal though it gets hard to square that with the “everyone yelling” picture. I think that practice is hard to squash because of both human nature, and because the “cool kids”(SWAT, CERT) use it purposefully so it gets drifted into situations where it isn’t.

Again, thank you. I suspected as much. Cuffs are well out of my toolbox so it was only suspicion. When I am teaching restraints/pins I make the point about compliance vs temporary compliance and that doing things like holding someone down but not hurting them and certainly cuffing require more control than you would likely need to kill or maim the same person. I am coming to the material from either a traditional martial arts, we do it because traditional technique to practice, or a pin/control in a posture where you can access a “tool” then get steel into your hand perspective. The difference there is if it breaks down in the first interest you just keep fighting/chalk it up to “learning” and in the second if you lose position the “tool” is usually a lot more useful when tangled asshole to elbow than handcuffs.

The “handcuffing rodeo” drill sounds like a great evolution. I am sure a lot of learning occurred.

The mindset point is huge and I hope anyone lurking doesn’t gloss over it.

Same rules as every year: First we take our man’s balance. Then we take the rest of him. I use exactly that as a teaching point with the standing joint locks.

Actually my gi-fag/pajama fighter lecture material is that there are 3 “Spirits” and at any given point you breathe one of them into your technique. That sounds really Miyagi cool. Unfortunately the three spirits I am talking about are:

Fuck Off!-You and I riffed about “fuck off” tools before. This is the whole "enemy is close/pushing in and I want space to maneuver/fuck them up thing.

Stay Off!-I like this freedom of motion/maneuver/separation and I aim to keep it. I will use it to achieve my goals.

**Fuck You!**That guy. Fuck him. If you translate this as “aggressively close with and destroy the enemy” you are not far off. You have to dominate and destroy capability. I very much believe that “control”/“restraint” and the kind of domination it takes to gain enough mastery of the situation to handcuff someone goes here. It is way easier to hold someone down and shank them like a cellmate who stole from you than it is to get both their arms behind them, fiddle with handcuffs, and not hurt them in the process. Bows and guns are awesome because they let you say fuck you from a distance. Explosives and crew served weapons let you say “fuck you and everyone next to you.” Really, I am all about communication.

The fact that I actually think these 3 Spirits are Traditional Martial Arts has me not fitting in with a lot of the pajama set.

Train hard. Stay Safe.


Robert A


Damn good quote, going to blatantly steal that one:))

Fuck Off!-You and I riffed about “fuck off” tools before. This is the whole "enemy is close/pushing in and I want space to maneuver/fuck them up thing.

Stay Off!-I like this freedom of motion/maneuver/separation and I aim to keep it. I will use it to achieve my goals.

Fuck You!That guy. Fuck him. If you translate this as “aggressively close with and destroy the enemy” you are not far off. You have to dominate and destroy capability. I very much believe that “control”/“restraint” and the kind of domination it takes to gain enough mastery of the situation to handcuff someone goes here. It is way easier to hold someone down and shank them like a cellmate who stole from you than it is to get both their arms behind them, fiddle with handcuffs, and not hurt them in the process. Bows and guns are awesome because they let you say fuck you from a distance. Explosives and crew served weapons let you say “fuck you and everyone next to you.” Really, I am all about communication.

Your three are better than mine, going to steal those also:))


Don’t have a lot of time this morning, but, from what I can see, the officer did everything right: loud , verbal commands, backing away from the suspect, allowing the suspect to decide whether to stop or continue his aggression. According to the second video, there was multiple witness, which clarifies my point I made in another post. Loud ,verbal commands are not only for the suspect, they are for the witnesses also.


LOL…Not much to say about this, but, Damn…



Law enforcement theater?
Medical Theater is definitely a thing.

Steal away, with my compliments. If you think anything I write could help anyone on the pointy end of the good fight, disseminate it wide and loud. If it is in written communications and possible giving a plug to biotest for building the playground would be great.


Robert A


Another fallen sister, all my respect for your service.:


Double Fuck…Killed one day after being sworn in. According to the article, she had prior experience, but, fuck, dead on the second day.



Do we have the statistics on officer deaths for 2016 yet? I am usually the one pointing out that the internet just makes it easier to notice, but this really does seem like an above average level of awful news.

Train Hard. Stay Safe.


Robert A


Another fallen brother. My respectful salute to your service.



Damn it.

That is all I had to reply, but I needed 20 characters and I damn sure was not going to “just use the like” button to that post.


Robert A


Some good training and situational awareness indicators in this article:

Confronting a suspect in a non-custodial atmosphere.

Taking the extra step in verifying his response.

Noticing the placement of his hands walking up the stairs. If you have enough suspicion to articulate further investigation, then you have enough to pat him down. In my opinion, a huge mistake here.

“it all happened so fast” the deadly truth about street shootings.

Walking in a stair well,one of the most lethal killing zones you will ever encounter. I don’t know if they were aware of this or not.

Being shot and still focusing on the threat and your partner. Good Job here, did not seem to panic.


Good article and breakdown. I agree on the Terry Stop/patdown, but terrain may have been a limiter there as well. If the officer noticed while on stairs rather than a landing they may have been waiting until they had a flat platform and a real 2 vs 1 situation.

I am sure anyone in the NYPD is aware of stairwell/vertical patrol risks after all the coverage Former Officer Liang’s trial and conviction garnered after his accidental shooting.


Robert A


A good reminder there is no such animal as a “routine” traffic stop. Attempted shotgun blast to the head. Good control afterward, and I like the way he checked the trunk lid on his way up to the driver.



Damn, good reflexes on the part of the officer. He jumped back and looks like he put himself not only “away” but toward the rear of the vehicle. That would have put some metal, door frame, between him and the would be cop killer and also made the shooter’s follow up shots harder.

Was the “What’s up man?” comment from the officer? If so, even better because he was that “switched on” but still conducting himself in a way no soccer moms would find threatening.

I hope his hearing recovers. Reminded me of Archer. “You really don’t want tinnitus.”

Fantastic example of applying a bit of maneuver/positioning into a startle response.


Robert A


Why are patrol rifles a good idea?

Is it a good idea to have a tool that is more easy to make accurate hits with and has better terminal performance? There is the answer.

**Irving, Texas **

The suspect had just robbed a place called the Cash Store, which sounds like a stop n’ rob if ever there was. An alarm was tripped getting the police response. He took a female victim as a hostage/human shield to try to get himself into a car and away from the scene.

Pretty clear justification for use of lethal force to stop kidnapping. Doesn’t look like a far shot, but still much easier with a long gun than a hand gun. Additionally the “stretch”/cavitation of a .223 means that a round doesn’t have to hit actual brainstem to still get the “deep brain”/brainstem/marionette with the chords cut effect.

Officers did a good job of splitting the kidnappers attention, and the one who could angle got the shot. He may have had to consider sight offset/height over bore at that range as well.

Train hard. Stay safe.


Robert A


Good example for the use of a patrol rifle/ SMG/ carbine. I am firmly in that corner. Superior accuracy is the foremost reason for me. Even an MP-5 with a folding stock is more stable, something our European brothers have know for a long time. Travel through De Gaulle, Heathrow, or Schiphol airports, and its going to a SHOT show for SMG’s. Good Video.

On to another brother killed in the line of duty. All my respect.