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Buck
06-17-2010, 09:56 AM
There is a viral and controversial video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSt0iOOFzC0) that is getting people's attention, probably not as much as the new dancing baby video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukQlwI0V6nQ), of late. The video shows a cop punching with a closed fist a very aggressive young women in the face, who is interfering with an arrest.

Should of he had more control? Should he have had exercised better control than punching was there other options? That is the obvious question. It was clear the cop was trying to gain control over an out of control situation. It was clear he reacted outside of his training when he couldn't get control and stop the aggressive and resistance actions of both women. He was in an intense escalating low-violent situation where he couldn't get the control he needed per his job requirements. He reacted outside his training as a cop, reacted and punched the woman in the face. Did he have other options to gaining control of these two women.

As you watch the video you question whether the cop actions where justified, or not. As a martial artist, an Aikidoka, I too questioned the cop's actions. Did he have to punch her in the face or not? Where there other options? He could have used a taser, or another less lethal weapon than a gun, and more intense than a punch. Or he could of use some less intense than what I just mentioned. That is the question many of us think, what where the other options?

Of course, "IF" the cop was trained in Aikido his reaction to the aggressive actions of the women would have been with in the perimeters of Aikido. In fact, he would have gained control over both women. He would have arrested and controlled one women before the other got involved. He would have not punched the woman who attacked him with pushes and shoving. He would have not struggled with either women. He would have gotten the acceptable control he needed.

Aikido can have some level of shocking and violent results like throwing or driving someone to the ground. But there are many techniques that are designed to easily control a person in such a situation without injury or harm. Aikido is applicable and acceptable to handle such situations, in an appropriate manner. Aikido can match the intensity needed to control the situation in an acceptable manner, better than an untrained reaction, like punching. Which clearly in the video didn't help the situation or the aggressiveness of either of the women; including the antagonism of the two men filming the situation in the crowd.

If the cop was trained in Aikido he would have not lost it and punched the woman, He would have be able to arrest the other woman is much less time and effort. He wouldn't have gotten all the unwanted attention then and now. I am sure the majority of the crowd would have been impressed with his actions and squelched he situation. Now hindsight is 20/20, but maybe we can learn from hindsight as Aikido can be a very useful and effective tool for law enforcement for situations like these.

Cop Video: :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSt0iOOFzC0

Keith Larman
06-17-2010, 10:13 AM
Dude, have you *ever* had to deal with a situation like that?

chillzATL
06-17-2010, 10:17 AM
The cop would have gotten "unwanted attention" no matter what he did because people think that any reaction must match the original action, especially if police are involved.

"Jaywalking? That's nothing, why did he have to touch her? he should have just let her rant and rave until she calmed down then arrested her". That's the mindset of the typical person in this country. She came up on a cop and was slapping at her, along with her friend. Regardless of what your opinions are of why a cop is telling you to do something, you simply do it and make your case later. You don't fight the cop or slap at him because you know.. you might get popped.

oh and him use a taser on her? that would have gotten 5x the reaction that this did....

Marc Abrams
06-17-2010, 10:25 AM
Dude, have you *ever* had to deal with a situation like that?

What he said! The original poster has been given ample opportunity by many different people in many different venues to establish the basis of his claims as an Aikidoka and/or martial artist. NOBODY has receive an accurate response yet. This poster appears to speak from a place akin to Fantasy Island. I am just waiting for Tattoo to say "Hey Boss, The Plane, The Plane!"

Marc Abrams

Gorgeous George
06-17-2010, 10:31 AM
'interfering with an arrest'? I'd describe it more as 'attacking a police officer'.
I thought aikido had atemi - which you use to create time and openings when dealing with somebody...i guess if he'd followed it up with nikkyo, it would have been more effective - but then, if he'd applied nikkyo, she'd probably have a broken wrist too, and these idiots would still be whining.
It's all well and good saying it's 'just' a couple of women, and they're 'just' pushing him - until one of them grabs his gun...he doesn't know what's in their minds, does he?

Was the punch 'outside his training'? I don't know about the training he received, you see. When watching him failing, for a long long time, to control and put the cuffs on the woman, I can safely say that he has had poor training, and that even i could have done a better job.

Michael Hackett
06-17-2010, 10:40 AM
Interesting video. Some folks will think this was brutality and others will defend the officer's actions. While we all have opinions, there is a analysis that is clearly established in law to rely on. First is the reasonable peace officer standard - would a reasonable peace officer (not a reasonable person) take the same action in the same circumstances? Then you assess under the 14th Amendment and ask three questions: What was the reason/need for the use of force? What was the relationship between the need to use force and the amount of force actually used? Was the force used in a good faith effort to restore or maintain discipline or order, or used maliciously and sadistically for the purpose of causing harm? After doing that analysis, then determine if the officer's actions were within department policy.

Remember too, the determination of whether force was excessive does not consider all alternatives to the force chosen.

When an officer strikes someone with a punch, his actions may be entirely legal and justified under the law, but it almost always inflames the emotions of those who see it, and often results in an injured hand to the officer. Other alternatives are more palatable, such as pepper spray usually.

Interestingly enough, that is exactly the calculus that we insist the officers process before they apply force to a citizen in an instant.

And finally, Aikido is a wonderful tool for a peace officer; not the only tool, but an effective tool in many cases.

JW
06-17-2010, 10:41 AM
I also wonder what training he had. As beginners in aikido we probably all tried applying wrist/arm "techniques" against non-compliant friends. It kind of looks like what you see in the first few seconds of this very vid.
So.. I agree more and better training would likely have helped. But he could have already had a decent amount of overly-compliant aikido training and still have had this same result.

dps
06-17-2010, 11:11 AM
I look at the video as a deterrent to interfering with a police officer. If you do you make get hit or worse and deserve it.

David

Buck
06-17-2010, 11:11 AM
If the cop was trained in Aikido he would have not lost it and punched the woman, He would have be able to arrest the other woman is much less time and effort. He wouldn't have gotten all the unwanted attention then and now. I am sure the majority of the crowd would have been impressed with his actions and squelched he situation. Now hindsight is 20/20, but maybe we can learn from hindsight as Aikido can be a very useful and effective tool for law enforcement for situations like these.

Cop Video: :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSt0iOOFzC0

Yea, I can see for some and those with expertise in both fields, it can sound like a statement and point of authority. I thought it was clear, I was asking questions..hmmm. I see where the issue may lay. So, to be clearer, I am asking hypothetical questions, and not making statements of authority in any way, FWIW. :)

Here are the corrections."If the cop was trained in Aikido he would have not lost it and punched the woman[?] He would have be able to arrest the other woman is much less time and effort[?] He wouldn't have gotten all the unwanted attention then and now[?]. I am sure the majority of the crowd would have been impressed with his actions and squelched [t]he situation [if it was handled quicker with Aikido?]. Now hindsight is 20/20, but maybe we can learn from hindsight as Aikido can be a very useful and effective tool for law enforcement for situations like these[?]"

hope that helped, and thanks for the feedback. :)

Brett Charvat
06-17-2010, 11:25 AM
Use of force by police officers rarely if ever looks good on camera. What I saw was one lone officer trying to affect an arrest in the middle of a crowd while being met with active physical resistance from the arrestee as well as physical obstruction from the female in the pink shirt.

Did the officer's use of force look good? No, obviously it didn't. Was it justified given the totality of the circumstances? That's a trickier question. Did the officer feel that his use of force was reasonable in that situation? Was he within his departmental policy? These are questions that without answers to, we're all going to come up short while we armchair quarterback this incident.

However, a couple of thoughts spring to mind. First, as Larman Sensei pointed out, people who are not cops have very little idea of what it is like to be a cop. This does not invalidate their opinions, but it does narrow their experience base.

Mr. Burgess posits in his original post that had the officer been well trained in the glorious art of aikido, he would have been able to magically affect a painless arrest to the delight of the crowd. I think often times as aikido practitioners, it's tempting to imagine how much better the world would work if we all did aikido whenever we weren't eating, sleeping, or working. I can tell you as a current police officer myself, the idea of training any sizeable number of officers in any martial system, let alone one as complex and difficult and time-consuming as aikido, is a laughable fantasy. In our department, we got a whopping two weeks of hand-to-hand training. Two weeks. At the academy. And that was it. That was it because that's all our agency can afford. Every single officer I have ever met who trains in martial arts does so on his/her own time and own dime. I think it's a great idea, but it will never, ever be something that an agency's management team will spend money on. Money goes to equipment and training to use that equipment. It's important that I make this clear; I am NOT agreeing with that mindset, simply stating the way it is. I think an agency full of officers well-trained in effective hands-on arrest techniques would be a great thing. It would also take 5 years to get those officers from the academy to the street and cost (I'm estimating) 20 times what an officer costs to train now. It will never, ever, ever happen.

Is this incident the result of that lack of training? Possibly. But even if lack of training is the culprit, it will never be fixed to any noticeable degree. Administrators are reactionary bodies. They will wait for the bad thing to happen, and after it does they will change the training regimen to address the specific circumstances of the bad thing, and then they will continue to wait for the next bad thing. That's just how the system works.

Buck
06-17-2010, 12:08 PM
You make good points.

Yes, we ask allot of police officers, and the demand are beyond what we ask of any profession. There is a fantasy of a perfect world that is part of that demand, and expectation. We demand police officers to react to such situations beyond how we, the public- obviously-react. And thing, behave and react outside of our wiring as humans. That is one issue I did struggle with writing my post.

The other thing I was thinking is that, we the public, demand so much yet don't support those demands as in training. Yes a two week course in Aikido would be not enough, and no city, a.k.a the public wants to spend the money to have police officers meet the demands we expect and put on them. And we the behavior's we enact that make us hypocritical. The initial incident I believe was over Jay walking. The onus is on the public to comply with an officer, i.e. be respectful, even if you don't agree. Just in the same way we demand it from police officers. Especially in this situation where if the women wasn't Jay walking and the officer was unprofessional doesn't give the other woman the right to attack the officer in the manner she did, and interfere with an arrest.

My view is option and choice of tools to apply, we all know is these conflict situation you react as your are trained. Obviously the officer wasn't trained to punch the woman, he is trained to take calmly and collectively what many people will kill for less. He reacted outside of his training, for what ever reason, such as lack of it, etc. Now if he had substantial Aikido training for such situations, it would be another tool at hand. It is faster than reaching and employing a can of pepper spray that may have really aggravated the situation even more due to the reaction of the woman being sprayed. Watching a women or two react to being sprayed, experiencing dramatic effects from the discomfort and pain, expressed physically and vocally has a huge effect on the psyche and sympathy of the crowd. It may have evoked the two men to get involved with the officer. That is where possible a proper Aikido waza would be effective. It is less dramatic and pressing on our psyche to see a women at the receiving end of a waza than say, pepper spray, a taser or even punched.

I do understand that even if the officer had proper Aikido training for the situation he still may have hit the women. But that incident happened because the officer was struggling to arrest another women for some time. He didn't gain control very quickly and it furthered the complexity of the situation. More time then the officer probably wanted the situation to go on for. What I do understand about law enforcement, and what I have been told is the concerns with on-lookers and crowds; you don't want them interfering much less there at the scene. For all sorts of safety reasons, because a crowd can interfere with an arrest, and was evident in this situation. Point being, I think any cop would want to try and arrest someone as quickly and efficiently as possible without incident.

I see proper Aikido training as being helpful to cops in these situations. Yes, it takes time and commitment on the officers part, pro-active administrations and money from us taxes payers. And there is no guarantee the Aikido training will be utilized properly by ever officer. But I think it would be a worth while option. Ya know, having a cop punch a woman in the face simply isn't good press not matter if it was justified our not, and there might be much less press if any if she was being stopped with an Aikido waza.

Buck
06-17-2010, 12:42 PM
The other thing is, how effective was punching the woman? And how long did it take for the cop to arrest the women resisting arrest? That is good in the sense he didn't throw her to the ground. I think he was using allot of restraint. He would have easily out muscled her injuring her, i.e. taking her to the ground, slamming her up against the car, Grabbing and twisting a joint, punching, kicking and all those thing. He could have been much more brutal.

I think he should restraint in his punch. I don't think he hit her as hard as he could have.

Over all he showed restraint, and control- absent of the punch. And that is why it took he so long to arrest. But I think that time to arrest the woman would have been dramatically cut down if he knew some Aikido. It was clear while trying to arrest the woman he didn't want to injure the woman he was arresting and fought to gain control of her limbs and body. If he had Aikido training he would have had controlled the woman and made the arrest in seconds without the risk of injuring her.

I believe Aikido would have been a very effective tool because when employed it doesn't affect our psyche like a punch, pepper spray or a shooting some one with a taser or fire arm does. It is designed to restrain without injury in such situation. Of course anything can be abused. Yet, there is less engagement time, struggle engagement, loss and amount of energy, and the ability to control the safety of both parties involved. Overall, Aikido wazas for such a situation have attractive and effective positive results.

Demetrio Cereijo
06-17-2010, 01:16 PM
, and there might be much less press if any if she was being stopped with an Aikido waza.

Agree, the officer should have shihonage'd her.

lbb
06-17-2010, 01:34 PM
I think often times as aikido practitioners, it's tempting to imagine how much better the world would work if we all did aikido whenever we weren't eating, sleeping, or working.

There are a lot of people on this forum who will tell you that they do aikido while they are eating, sleeping and working. :D

Chris Covington
06-17-2010, 02:02 PM
Hello Philip et al

My view is option and choice of tools to apply, we all know is these conflict situation you react as your are trained. Obviously the officer wasn't trained to punch the woman, he is trained to take calmly and collectively what many people will kill for less. He reacted outside of his training, for what ever reason, such as lack of it, etc. Now if he had substantial Aikido training for such situations, it would be another tool at hand. It is faster than reaching and employing a can of pepper spray that may have really aggravated the situation even more due to the reaction of the woman being sprayed.

It is very easy to play Monday morning QB here but I'll add my two cents. I don't know what is considered appropriate use of force in his county/city but by my understanding of use of force in Baltimore City he was well within appropriate use of force hitting the woman in pink. According to a sheet explaining use of force in Baltimore the subject's actions were "assultive." That is "Hostile attacking movements that are not likely to produce serious physical injury or death. Any ominous or overt physical display of aggression." I would say slapping at him and pushing him would qualify. The officer's response should be "Combative Control Techniques," with the method of force being "Appropriate strikes and/or kicks, Baton/Impact Weapon, canine deployment, and Less-than Lethal Weapons." Was he trained to punch her? I don't know if that would be number one, but it worked and it seems reasonable by Baltimore City standards (which I think are pretty universal any LEO out there care to comment?).

And how long did it take for the cop to arrest the women resisting arrest? That is good in the sense he didn't throw her to the ground. I think he was using allot of restraint. He would have easily out muscled her injuring her, i.e. taking her to the ground, slamming her up against the car, Grabbing and twisting a joint, punching, kicking and all those thing. He could have been much more brutal.

You don't think taking her to the ground is appropriate? Grabbing and twisting a joint is either? Aren't you advocating aikido here? Grabbing and twisting a joint would be a prime aikido tactic would it not? Taking her to the ground would be another wouldn't it? I am very curious how you would employ aikido tactics in LE without using joint locks and taking someone to the ground?

I believe Aikido would have been a very effective tool because when employed it doesn't affect our psyche like a punch, pepper spray or a shooting some one with a taser or fire arm does. It is designed to restrain without injury in such situation.

You seem to have made the assuption the officer in the video did not have any aikido or aikido like training and had he done some aikido he would have made short work of this. I didn't see anywhere listing what sort of training he had. He may very well have some decent rank in aikido, who knows. Aikido training in the dojo and arresting tactics taught in the academy don't always look so good or work as well with a resisiting person. I don't know if you have had the chance to apply a joint lock to someone who is really trying to resist but it is MUCH more difficult than you might think. Try getting a nikkyo on a very strong judoka after he grabs your gi and really locks his wrist out. I don't know how much aikido training would have helped. Another consideration is that someone locked tightly in many aikido locks might not realize the position they are in and continue to struggle injuring their own joint. I would rather have a bruise on my face than a broken wrist.

ChrisMoses
06-17-2010, 02:22 PM
In my view, the real problem here is that what generated this incident was jaywalking. Seattle has a 'zero tolerance' policy wrt jaywalking and probably half of the people who work on my floor have gotten the dreaded $75 ticket. It's almost as bad as the $25 "no trashbag" ticket. If he was making an arrest for something more heinous, I think it would be easier to accept and understand his use of force against someone who was actively disrupting an attempt to restrain someone who was being arrested. In my view, that *policy* put the LEO into a fairly dangerous situation (attempting to cite 5 people for a ticket most people get irate about being handed) then having to deal with a crowd of people while you attempt to arrest someone. One commentator mentioned that he should have taken the woman down faster instead of trying to cuff her standing up. Maybe, but that also puts you on the ground with 10-20 people surrounding you and could have made for an even worse situation.

A bad situation all around, and knowing some Aikido would not have avoided it.

C. David Henderson
06-17-2010, 02:43 PM
As Michael points out, there are underlying constitutional rules about the use of force based on civil rights laws. Every major police force in the country has developed and modifies rules based on what a reasonable officer should understand to be reasonable.

I once had the good fortune to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court (US) on behalf of a police organization concerning an excessive force issue; based on my recollection, I think Michael's comments are valid and accurate. I also tend to agree with Chris Covington that the officer didn't use excessive force here.

I had a friend who was an officer who had to punch someone in the face during an arrest -- got a piece of the man's tooth lodged in his knuckle for his troubles.

As to whether aikido is a useful tool for LEO's, I think it's very clear from the posts of LEO's on this forum and in other venuse that it is. But people do get injured in Aikido, so ....

Regards

Marc Abrams
06-17-2010, 03:46 PM
As Michael points out, there are underlying constitutional rules about the use of force based on civil rights laws. Every major police force in the country has developed and modifies rules based on what a reasonable officer should understand to be reasonable.

I once had the good fortune to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court (US) on behalf of a police organization concerning an excessive force issue; based on my recollection, I think Michael's comments are valid and accurate. I also tend to agree with Chris Covington that the officer didn't use excessive force here.

I had a friend who was an officer who had to punch someone in the face during an arrest -- got a piece of the man's tooth lodged in his knuckle for his troubles.

As to whether aikido is a useful tool for LEO's, I think it's very clear from the posts of LEO's on this forum and in other venuse that it is. But people do get injured in Aikido, so ....

Regards

Charles:

When a poster seems to live in some self-imposed, fantasy world, it is easy to understand the initial post. I absolutely agree with you (and other responders) that anybody with some real-life experience can understand this officer's predicament and the realistic nature of his response. I was raised in a world in which you ALWAYS listened to a police officer. The idea of physically challenging a LEO is wacky and I have little sympathy for the woman who ate the fist. Officers are not given enough consistent training and have to work to help people who demonstrate little appreciation or respect for their work.

Marc Abrams

TreyPrice
06-17-2010, 04:23 PM
I have spent my career working the alternative education programs and rough school. I deal with a lot of situations like that. You always do your best to stay calm and in control (of yourself). Use of force by the LEO is always taught to meet the level of need. In other words don't shoot a jaywalker, or old lady unless you or others are at risk.

Kids are not what they were 10 or 15 years ago. Many have no problem hitting an adult (teacher, police officer, anyone).

I am sure we can come up with a hundred ways he could have dealt with that situation, or how we would have. He dealt with it the best way he could. Would Aikido training have helped him? I think so. Fact is we were not there, and unless you are experienced with dealing with these type situations on a daily basis you become reactive, and emotions kick in. It take self-control, experience and confidence in these situations. I tell my employees - "if you lose your cool, you may lose your job. Maintain control at all times."

I don't plan to join the ranks of the unemployed because some kid wants to play toughguy. I have some great Aikido at work videos from our security cameras, but there are privacy issues)

My $.02

Train hard!

Michael Hackett
06-17-2010, 05:19 PM
Part of the problem in reviewing a video such as this one is the lack of information. We see only a moving snapshot of the events and there are other considerations that we can't see. What happened before the camera started rolling? What was being said by the participants and the crowd? There are so many variations on a theme that we can't make an informed decision until we know the totality of circumstances.

Most agencies authorize a punch under these DEPICTED circumstances. From a personal perspective, I would allow a punch to be delivered but would discourage it. As I mentioned earlier, a common result of a punch is a broken hand, and punches and kicks just look bad on the evening news broadcasts.

Would Aikido have been helpful to this officer? Probably, but the training he did receive wasn't very effective as it was. Officers in Washington receive defensive tactics instruction in the Academy and then rarely refresh their DT training - much like the officers across the country. Ask George Ledyard Sensei to discuss his experiences in police training. He has both advised and taught LEOs in Washington for years.

senshincenter
06-17-2010, 05:53 PM
Outside of the question of whether the punch was a legal and/or reasonable use of force, and/or whether or not it was in line with his department policy, I would say that 1:42 shows the officer is not well-trained.

Is it fair then to ask, "Would more training have benefited the officer?" Yes. If I say "yes," to that, I think it is fair to ask, "Would Aikido training have benefited the officer?" That is how I'm understanding Phil's original set of questions.

Some other things to think about in the discussion:

Research has shown that empty-handed control holds, such as found in Aikido, generate more injuries to the suspect and/or the officer, statistically speaking, than other force options such as pepper spray and/or taser.

Also, it is becoming common practice for departments to be sued for not providing their officers with adequate Arrest and Control training. This may be the motivation for a change in budgets that was suggested as needed above.

dmv

Scott Harrington
06-17-2010, 06:00 PM
The difficulties of police work is violence by it's nature can be an ugly thing. A punch brings back all the bad feeling from the bully on the playground, to the wife beater, to the drunken brawl your brother -in-law started.

We give police the wonderful "batman utility belt" complete with 21th century technology but spend very little on hand-to-hand combat, probably spending 20x more in legal costs and final 'restitution' to the 'injured' party than the cost of a continuing course in Koga restraint system. Plus the bad will generated to the public.

A reserve officer friend recently went to a training course where a hybrid system of strikes, chokes, etc. was taught. Bas Rutten going at it in the ring, type stuff. Seeing some of his vastly different techniques, they 'allowed' him to give a short section on Aikido based techniques. First, they were amazed at the effectiveness, the pain (always a good persuader) and most importantly, the CAMERA FRIENDLINESS of what was used. Applying a Wristlock with a loud verbal remark to "Relax, calm down, stop resisting!" relieves the feeling of spectators of excessive force being used.

All too often, the course of instruction is based on what is hot, who knows who, what is easier, than what actually is better based for the officer on the street.

BUT, in conclusion, the officer in this video, has the duty, responsibility, and risk of being on the daily edge of anarchy vs. civilization. He is the end of the line in all situations - a civilian may choose to avoid a situation, a police officer cannot. So, in his shoes, with the training he may have received (or not), he did what he considered appropriate. Let's be glad the injuries were minimal and public order was kept.

I have often thought that every senior student in High School should go through a 1 hour class on how to get arrested, with the principal being handcuffed to demonstrate the procedure. Good time to show how to respect the Police Officer, be aware of your Civil Rights, and protect yourself from a potential hostile situation.

Scott Harrington

Michael Hackett
06-17-2010, 06:28 PM
Valadez Sensei is correct in that many agencies are being sued for the vicarious liability concept of "negligent failure to train" their officers, but most of those suits go nowhere, at least here in California. California, like many states, has a POST Commission (Peace Officer Standards and Training) that dictates the curriculum for defensive tactics and essentially sets the "industry standard". As a general statement, meeting the industry standard provides a very effective legal defense.

Unfortunately when budgets get cut, often the first thing to go is training and the officers only receive mandated training. Many of the techniques taught in this state are "aikido like", and like aikido, take hundreds if not thousands of repetitions to become really competent. Therein lies the budget rub.

Ellis Amdur
06-17-2010, 07:34 PM
Note on the video. At appr. 1:30 - 1:45 - older African American man with a black-white brim hat. He appears to have a hand-gun in his hand at his side, partially covered by a cloth. Maybe not - but I'm not alone in noticing this.
A couple of points on the scenario:
1. Aikido usually works by taking someone to the ground. In such a crowd, that would have been very dangerous - we had an officer incapacitated for life after a crowd put the boots on him. It is a LOT harder to maintain control, by wrist or armlock, of a squirming, flexible person (as the original subject was) while on one's feet.
2. When he punched the woman in pink, she had her hands on his arms, near his gunbelt. Had he tussled with her, her friend - or another person - would have had a good chance at grabbing the gun. The punch to the face emphatically put a stop to that.
3. Tough situation - a hair-grab with an arm-lock and a slam face-down on the hood of his car? But - a crowd, a teenager who was "merely" being non-compliant after a jaywalking citation - I wonder if the officer was inhibited from using the proper, more emphatic use of force sooner.
4. It looked a lot worse than it was - he didn't deck her, there was no injury (if there had been, the professional grievance mongers who immediately claimed racism, and minimized the young women's actions would have been all over that). He popped her in the face, she didn't like it, but she, with the probably chagrinned help of the slender young man, backed off.

Best
Ellis Amdur

senshincenter
06-17-2010, 08:00 PM
On the Devil's Advocate side:

If the officer was correctly determining the danger of his situation (which undoubtedly was there), enough to strike one person and not take another to the ground, it seems reasonable to ask, "Why not disengage and re-engage when numbers are more on his side?"

It's true, an officer does not have a legal obligation to disengage in order to be considered reasonable in his/her use of force, but from a tactical point of view, I hope more officers that would have seen how dangerous that situation truly was would have done so. Having not done so, regarding this officer, I do again see a base for Phil's questions.

In other words, I could see a more experienced officer, more seasoned, more trained, etc., telling this one officer: "Hey, next time that happens, especially for a jaywalking ticket, disengage and wait till back-up arrives - you could have been killed." In that statement, it does seem there is again room for Phil's questions.

Please bare in mind that we are going off solely what the video shows and what folks are saying about it on the Internet. What really went on could be entirely different from what we are talking about. My comments may be totally irrelevant to what actually took place.

Note: Washington state seems at a critical juncture regarding its LE/Public relations regarding use of force. A lot has been happening there in the last two years.

Please call me "Dave". :-)

Kevin Leavitt
06-17-2010, 08:26 PM
IMO, he acted within the parameters of the threat and the parameters of his training for the looks at how he handled her. He appear to not have much skill in the way of control and apprehension. Given more training, maybe he would have reacted differently. I don't know, I am not him.

Excessive, not in the least IMO.

Bottom line, you come at an officer the way she did, she is luck that is all she got.

Ellis Amdur
06-17-2010, 08:53 PM
Dave -

I work with SPD, so I've had a few phone conversations. None of those conversations were with officials, and none of them reflect any more than my understanding of the situation.
*Essentially, you have a busy intersection, near a school. An overpass has been built, specifically due to a dangerous situation where kids cross the street. Parents don't want their kids hit.
So problem #1: Police let jaywalking go - in their sight - and a kid is hit. Furious complaints, which will include allowing minority kids to be hit, because they are not "worth" protection.

*Some kids do NOT merely jaywalk. I've seen many times where a group of kids saunter across the street, and stop in traffic, simply stand there, having a conversation. If you honk or try to edge past, the kids sometimes get belligerent. If one is elderly or otherwise timid, a group of belligerent kids (do you think those two girls would not be of that ilk?) can make driving in the area intimidating.
Problem #2 - The police do not enforce jaywalking - driving citizens become enraged - feeling helpless, racism increases ("all black kids are like that!") - helpless people become hateful. Often the police have the "job" of protecting us from feeling helpless.

*So the police officer stopped one young man - then four young girls marched out in the street. He stopped them and merely tried to cite them. One girl cursed him and began to walk away. So what should the officer do? Let her go? In front of a group of people, the message now is: if you don't like what the officer lawfully does, defy him. If you're leaning on his car and he tells you to move, tell him to go away. If you are stopped for a traffic ticket and think it's unjustified, drive away.
Problem #3 - a defiant young lady ramps up her own aggression, entitled and seeing herself as invulnerable. If the officer withdraws "tactically," whenever a group of people is mildly oppositional, our society is finished, because this will lead to an extension of the militarization of police - only travel in large groups, every issue is suppression. Furthermore, if he withdraws, how do they find her? Now we have an "investigation" to find the jaywalker.

My personal opinion, fwiw, is that I think the officer was too physically "careful." He was actually trying, in my opinion, to do something like aikido. On a stiffer person, it might have worked. (Anyone notice the attempt at the ude-garami?). The first young lady should have been slammed onto the hood of the car and cuffed.

REspectfully,
Ellis Amdur

crbateman
06-17-2010, 08:53 PM
I don't know how the law is interpreted in that locale, but the woman in pink clearly put her hands on the officer and shoved him, prior to the punch. Around here, that is considered assaulting an officer, and is often going to result in much worse than a poke in the chops... I think she got off easy, frankly, particularly if the cop had been in fear of his own safety in this highly charged episode, alone and not on his own turf.

Michael Hackett
06-17-2010, 09:12 PM
It was bad enough with the Lady In Pink pushed at the officer. It went seriously downhill when he tried to control her on the opposite side of the patrol care and the Lady In Black started grabbing him from behind. He was in grave danger at that point and had to turn to the Lady in Black to control her. The camera man who filmed this encroached far more than should have been allowed as well.

I think the years of SPD coming under fire for excessive force have come home to roost and made the officers wary of using force, even when necessary and appropriate. I remember the days when they were expected to sit around the campfire and sing "Kumbayah" with violent suspects. Those pesky pendulums (pendula?) take forever to find a happy medium in their arc.

senshincenter
06-17-2010, 11:31 PM
Indeed, this is an incident worthy of discussion. I think this is good for officers and the public to participate in. That's why I liked Phil's post. I know what I would have done, or at least like to believe I would have been capable of doing. I don't want to second guess the officer, especially since I don't have any of the facts of the case outside of the Internet - not a good source. But I can still appreciate Phil's post. That is what I want to make space for.

For what it's worth, and if it adds to the discussion good, here is what I would have done for a situation like the one we are thinking we know here (again - remember - things could be totally different than we are discussing):

You decide to cite the woman for jaywalking. In that crowd, I would have requested a back for the cite. Let's say there is not one available - it happens. Ok, you go it alone - you feel it's an important cite in need of attention - nothing wrong with that. So, you are citing the woman and you turn on the verbal judo as best you can - selling the cite - being polite, courteous, and professional - explaining her options for not signing the cite. Okay - it doesn't work. She goes 148 on you - resists arrest. She goes from infraction to misdemeanor - here where I live you go to jail for that (no cite and release). In that crowd, I would again request for a back to make the arrest - letting folks know I got a 148. Here, folks break and back for that. Even if it has to come from another agency - CHP, SBPD, State Park, VSO, UCPD. But, let's say, everyone is busy, or let's say someone says, "Ten minutes out." Ten minutes is too long for verbal judo and too long for waiting. Like Ellis said, I agree, you make an arrest, quick and sure. No hesitation - more violence of action. Get her in the car and get gone. But let's say your back is three out. So, you start thinking - hmmmm, maybe I can wait. The job is grey - not black and white - so you go with wait. Okay, it happens - you wait for your back to put cuffs on. So you are trying to keep tabs on her, and in comes her friend while you have her in a control hold. Her friend grabs at you in an attempt to have her friend escape from your control hold. Here, one could be looking at lynching or attempted lynching now for the friend - a felony. I now have a new priority regarding who I arrest. I put it out on the radio and ask for my back to expedite. Here, that means folks are coming Code 3 - lights and sirens. Here, nobody, from no agency, is going to leave a LEO in that situation by him/herself - regardless of how many report calls there are. Maybe it's different in Seattle - so I could be talking out my ass here. I pray it's not different in Seattle.

Let me stop here: For me, what I'm trying to do with all of these things is give myself facts I can articulate in a report that explain my actions. If you do this, and you punch a lyncher in the face, you will have a much different incident than if you don't do this and you punch a woman in the face. At the same time, you are constantly trying to tap into your greatest resource when it comes to your safety in this type of crowd situation - fellow officers.

Maybe the officer did all this. I don't know. Does anyone else know?

For the sake of the discussion, I'll try and follow the events as they unfold and share them with folks here as I can. However, perhaps there is a larger more general topic underneath here that every Aikidoka can feel is directed at him/her or can be directed at him/her:

When it's time to act, it's time to act. When you act, be quick, dominating, and decisive. I think it is a fair critique that much of Aikido as it is practiced today is anything but quick, dominating, and decisive. In that sense, in answering Phil's questions, maybe Aikido would not have helped this officer after all. :-(

Thanks,
dmv

Michael Hackett
06-17-2010, 11:44 PM
David,

For those who aren't familiar with our unique California use of the word "lynching" we should explain that it means taking a prisoner from a law enforcement agent. Most people interpret it to mean vigilante justice with a hanging.

senshincenter
06-18-2010, 12:17 AM
Yes - thanks Mike.

Lyle Laizure
06-18-2010, 07:21 AM
I looked at the video and I am thinking the officer was kind in his reaction to the situation. Rather than say "If the officer had been well trained in Aikido he could have handled the situation better." I will say "If the ladies in the video were studying Aikido perhaps it would have never escalated."

Marc Abrams
06-18-2010, 08:43 AM
One thing that should also be pointed out about this situation is that for budgetary reasons, most police departments went from having two officers per patrol car to one officer. The presence of a second officer would have made a substantial difference in that situation.

Marc Abrams

Buck
06-18-2010, 09:21 AM
I looked at the video and I am thinking the officer was kind in his reaction to the situation. Rather than say "If the officer had been well trained in Aikido he could have handled the situation better." I will say "If the ladies in the video were studying Aikido perhaps it would have never escalated."

To address Lyle's comments: A profound thought. It is clearly something I over looked. We do put the greater onus on the police. When it should be equal in turn with the general public. I too believe if the women did learn Aikido the situation would have been different.

Buck
06-18-2010, 09:23 AM
First off, thank you Dave for your comments- the insight and understanding of my reasons of this thread, and your well thought out contributions, such as your vid. It is my hope the comments composing the thread will be of value and a resource.

ChrisMoses
06-18-2010, 09:57 AM
One thing that should also be pointed out about this situation is that for budgetary reasons, most police departments went from having two officers per patrol car to one officer. The presence of a second officer would have made a substantial difference in that situation.

Marc Abrams

I was going to make that point myself. I think it would be better for everyone involved if all officers worked with a partner, it just changes the whole dynamic.

Michael Hackett
06-18-2010, 10:16 AM
The issue of two-man cars is actually pretty complex and most agencies do not and have not ever run two-man cars. On the surface it would appear that doubling the manpower would make things safer, but that hasn't been borne out. In some jurisdictions it has been successful, while in others it has proven to be more dangerous.

What has been found through research and anecdotally is that in some cultures (and each city has a distinct culture) the two-man cars bite off more than they can chew, while the single officers tend to be more conscious of officer safety practices and/or wait for sufficient manpower to act. There is also a belief that in a two-person car, the officers are less observant of the world they're patrolling. I don't know of any valid research on this point and I think it a myth.

Most jurisdictions continue to operate single person patrol cars and many choose to deploy more cars and have automatic back-ups in their protocol. In this case a second officer would have been helpful indeed, regardless of how he or she arrived there.

I've worked both and I personally prefer a single car because then I was only concerned with my own safety and didn't have to be attentive to what my partner was doing or failing to do. I have to admit that it was wonderful music to hear the sirens coming from all directions when everything went south though.

Buck
06-18-2010, 10:29 AM
...for budgetary reasons, most police departments went from having two officers per patrol car to one officer. The presence of a second officer would have made a substantial difference in that situation.

Kindly, I don't know if that would have been the case? I am not a cop obviously, but, I have seen situations where it takes many cops to subdue a person fighting them like that woman did, she may have fought even harder filling more threatened and out numbered. Yes, maybe the other women may not have interfered, though I don't think so - pls see the thread in the Open Discussion Forum on this topic. Here again I am kindly pointing out the use of Aikido maybe a useful tool, on the officer's end.

But as Lyle points out, the dynamic of the situation would have been different if the women had learned Aikido.

FWIW. The quoted comment came up earlier in thread #10 by Brett Charvat. I agreed with him that more funds need to be allocated to the police dept to help cops handle the situation at the public's level of expectations and demands.

Now I see what Michael has added and I am thinking the women in pink may have attacked the other cop, if there was one. Or the crowd would have gotten more excited and acted, possibly. The situation with two cops may have become more complicated and dangerous.

niall
06-18-2010, 10:33 AM
Looks like I am in a minority but from a non-USA and non-law enforcement viewpoint it looked like an inappropriate angry reaction by the officer at a time when the woman was moving away from him. It did not get him any closer to a successful outcome. A law enforcement officer punching someone who is not an immediate threat is indefensible. His training was inadequate. I suspect it will be an expensive punch for Seattle.

C. David Henderson
06-18-2010, 10:45 AM
Respectfully, I certainly see why you would criticize his conduct as less-than-commendable, and think reasonable people may certainly disagree on that issue.

Legally, rightly or wrongly, I think it would be hard to win a civil rights claim here, and possibly difficult even to get a case to trial without dismissal or summary judgment. Equally, were I representing the woman who "attacked" him, I think it would be difficult to establish the officer was acting outside the scope of his authority so as to authorize self-defense or defense-of-another.

Then again, I tell folks if they like to gamble its better to go to a casino than to trial, because you can figure out your odds of losing at a casino with more certainty.

FWIW

niall
06-18-2010, 10:50 AM
Thanks for that legal background, C. David. As well as a possible civil rights case I was also thinking of the indirect and incalculable costs of deteriorating community relations.

Dennis Hooker
06-18-2010, 11:05 AM
I too think the police officer was within his rights seeing what we were allowed to see. I do not know how it all went down. Was he polite and she aggressive one, or was he over aggressive instigating a situation police are supposed to quell? This is one reason I hate vigilante video recording. It starts only after the real reason for situations has escalated.

David Orange
06-18-2010, 10:32 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100619/ap_on_re_us/us_seattle_police_punch

The young lady apologized to the officer.

He still might catch hell for punching her, but having watched the video, I'd have to take his side.

As for other aspects, I see many points in the various interactions where he could easily have taken either person off balance and effected a hold but it looks like he's just been taught "jujutsu" type arresting techniques without any understanding of "taking balance". At one point, he tries yonkyo and she has such good balance he can't do it. Another time, he tries, as someone else pointed out, ude garami, but he can't get it. And I saw a beautiful opening for what we used to call kanuki hiki tate (chicken-head lock) but he didn't seem to be aware of it. Not to criticize the man, but he clearly wasn't trained at all in the power of yielding or leading. He lets her stand with her balance and tries to do all these locks on her while going against her pretty remarkable strength and flexibility.

To the "credit" of the young woman in black, it should be a good lesson for everyone to see how well she keeps her balance and how nearly impossible it is for the officer to control her. But it appears that if he'd had some training in taking balance, he could have had her in any number of locks in an instant and might have had her in the car before she could have resisted or anyone could have interfered. So, technically, this video, for me, underscores the importance of taking balance and using good technique, along with the relative unimportance of strength.

As Ellis pointed out, the older man in the black/white hat does appear to have a pistol down by his side, but on close inspection, it appears to me that what he's holding is actually a camera. But it could so easily have been a gun. And then look at all the people coming in very close and videoing the arrest in progress. Geez. I can tell you I'd never come up on an arresting officer like that. But look how many people did. And then think how many of them could have had a knife or gun on them. And the officer could easily be dead.

My father was a county deputy for about 23 years and when I was a little kid, I and my siblings were all painfully aware that every time he left the house could be the last time we'd ever see him. But as I grew up, I learned how to talk to officers and how to act around them and I have never gotten into serious trouble with any of them. I once had two officers search me and I just stood very softly and let them touch me any way they wanted and let them pat me down fully and let them know that I was not going to resist in any way. In a more serious situation, I was very angry, but I sat still and let them know I would not resist in any way. Worst I've ever gotten was a ticket (knock on my head [wood]).

Anyway, I have to appreciate the young lady for apologizing and I hope the officer gets off lightly but goes forward with maybe a more subtle appreciation for the people of that community. And I hope he gets some excellent training in aikido or aikijujutsu!

My prayer go out for him and all involved. It looks like they all got off better than what might have happened.

David

Buck
06-18-2010, 10:52 PM
For me, I think the cop was restrained in handling her. He could of used allot more physical force, he could have easily out muscled her, You can see that though out the vid. He could have tripped her or tackled her, he could have head hunted her. Overall over-powering her with his strength. But he didn't. I viewed it as he was being careful not to injure with her, but struggled(as a result of lacking the knowledge and principles offered by Aikido). Let me point to the point where the camera guy told the cop that her blouse was coming off and he readjusted his grip to prevent the blouse from coming down off the girl in black. The cop seemed to try and get the right maneuver to get her hands in a cuffing position, primarily. I am not saying your wrong, you may have information I don't. I am just offering my observation of what I seen.

Buck
06-19-2010, 11:45 AM
As this thread winds down I offer my concluding comments. Dave pointed in his observed the girl in black to have good balance while resisting arrest, hence the cop was unable to complete his attempt at yonkyo. Dave further points out, the importance of kazushi -taking the other person's balance away- important to successful Aikido waza. It is true, or at least that is what we are taught. You find the principle of kazushi to be a core element to technique in all Japanese martial arts, and Chinese martial arts. thus, showing the importance of that principle to technique.

Now, the young lady is emotionally agitated to say the least, and fighting matching the resistance provided by the cop. That is she is not fighting any harder than to prevent the cops attempts to restrain her. She is not punching, kicking etc. But the emotional content she is employing keeps the cops attempts to place her in a arresting position at bay. She maintains her balance.

The cop, also maintains his balance as he doesn't fall, or trip. He is struggling to control her body movements and position to be optimum for his advantage. He only gains control when the woman's cardio and muscle strength has failed, and she no longer has the energy to resist the cop. But the entire time the cop also maintains his balance even when he is attacked by the woman in pink. It is probably do to the strength of the attack, and his natural physical reaction and conditioning.

In this instance it was a battle of kazushi between the two, much like all conflict are. We employ waza at some point of the conflict for the advantage of kazushi, be it by atemi (if that is part of your style), or before, during or after Aikido waza. Simply standing and looking at your opponent isn't going to result in kazushi.

Having a full understanding in employing kazushi is of course is important and vital to wining a conflict. Neither the cop nor the women gained kazushi. Both where on balance and failed at kazushi brought the conflict from a long stalemate to failure of energy.

The woman being emotionally agitated is working on adrenaline levels higher then the cop, which she is not aware of. I have read material addressed to cops in dealing and controlling adrenaline dumps. I will assume he is aware of that because of his emotional state and control during the situation. A person, like the woman, in an uncontrolled adrenaline dump state plays a determining factor in the successfulness of waza in terms of kazushi - being the key element. That is waza is to assist in obtaining kazushi. Once kazushi is achieved control is achieved. Therefore, at what point when do you apply a waza, (excluding atemi due to the situation) to obtain kazushi in this situation? Is it before, during or after.

In my view, a waza should be applied, per this situation, when the woman naturally breaks her own kazushi. Which can be seen in the vid. When the women shifts her weight, or shifts her posture (off her own centerline), or is in mid-step she compromises her balance. Honestly, this isn’t something wholly profound as it is found in many martial arts. A simple basic that is very effective, and can be considered, when at the forefront of consciousness a secret in plain sight. The key then, which I feel in this situation was timing.

The cop was either early or late in his timing applying his efforts, and failing to obtain kazushi. The women reacted to the cops poor timing to maintain her balance. In a sense his poor timing worked against him, and made it more difficult to obtain his goal. Had the cop, had proper Aikido training, equaling his presumed understanding of adrenaline dump, his waza would have been nothing more than his weight shifting when she naturally compromised her balance. Therefore he would only need to apply a waza partially to gain the control he needed. The exact wazas can be debated later. In this way, the waza wouldn’t have not looked overly excessive to many members in the crowed who were bias against the cop. For example, if he struct her, or applied a jujitsu arm barre driving her forcefully down and locking her up in wincing and excruciating pain. 
Some members of the crowd would have done more than the women in pink. Obviously, a dangerous situation for the cop.

This video can show how Aikido wazas can be successfully used in various levels of application without looking violent and gain control - though some waza look violent- hence ideal and effective for these kinds of situations as seen in the vid.

senshincenter
06-23-2010, 12:52 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYE0OKrziok

A lighter side - perhaps.

Chris Covington
06-23-2010, 08:09 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYE0OKrziok

A lighter side - perhaps.

That was some funny ship!