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Old 12-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #26
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

The events that teachers become embroiled in are usually a little different than those experienced by law enforcement agents. As for whether the officer was worth his salt or not.....it appeared that he DID handle an unruly 15 year old girl with ease.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #27
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Rupert -
Things have changed in our world-and not for the better. Thank God that, at least, if an "unruly" teenager strikes a law enforcement officer, they will still be physically subdued-and hurt in the process, I hope (I said "hurt," not maimed). And perhaps a security officer as well. However, it is probably true that in much of Western society, a teenager can spit in the face of a teacher or punch them in the face, and the teacher will be sanctioned - even fired or charged with a crime - if they act in self-defense. Was that true in your school?

When my mother was 21 years old, she got her first job as a music instructor in a very tough mining town in central Pennsylvania, teaching high school seniors. On her very first day of work, she told the class to open their books, and a young man of well-over six feet in the back of the room said, "f**k you." (This was 1942 - what is normal now was shocking then - is this an improvement?). My mother said, "What did you say?" And the young man strode up to the front of the room right in her face, and said, again, "F**k you." My mom hit him upside the head with a hand (that I knew well), strengthened by a lifetime of piano playing, so hard that he ended up flat on his back. She said, "Now go to the principal's office and tell him what you just said," He said, "Yes, ma'am," and did so. (And got more consequences there and surely at home as well). At the end of the day, she was called to the principal's office herself, steeling herself for possibly being fired, and he got from behind his desk and shook her hand and said, "I"m glad we got that out of the way the first day. You'll do fine here."
Now, aside from the statement by some that violence begats violence, so my mother's action was wrong, she should have (fill in the blank, I don't have the energy) is the paradoxical, often triumphantly voiced riposte, "If your mother did that today, she'd be shot." And this is good?

It is entirely possible that, if this young woman does not buy into the Green philosophy (and hopefully that is not supported by her parents), this could be a turning point in what is evidently an entirely self-indulgent, entitled life. Kind of Zen, isn't it? With a Yiddish slant -"What is the sound of one hand klopping?"

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-10-2013 at 09:05 PM.

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Old 12-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #28
jurasketu
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Television Media blowing something out of proportion and context? Preposterous.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:19 PM   #29
hughrbeyer
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Here in the United States we use the "reasonable officer" standard for this part of the analysis. Would a reasonable officer in the same circumstances, and with the same training have used this force?
Trouble with this standard is that it's impossible to apply. In practice, it turns into "Would a super-self-aware and completely balanced officer with thorough knowledge of the situation available after the fact but not at the time (because we can't forget, after the fact, what we now know) and with foreknowledge of the consequences of actions they take and plenty of time to think through every possible course of action and potential outcome, and with full awareness of the media feeding frenzy that would make any sort of post-hoc rationality impossible, act in this manner?"

43 bullets in an unarmed man, beating a guy long after he's down--these trigger my "bad cop" response. This? Ground the girl until she's 21 and move on.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:47 PM   #30
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

The girl was acting like an animal, lashing out, spitting. All for one lousy fare. She was using offense as defense, since she surely knew she was breaking the law. And, she could not have been harmed, judging by the fact that she was standing unwaveringly next to the inspector, and spat rather heartily at him.

More disturbing to me about her behavior, is where did it come from? I wonder what the environment is like in her home, and what she grew up with. This kind of behavior doesn't come to be in a vacuum.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:45 PM   #31
Michael Hackett
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Actually Hugh, the analysis you described is exactly why the "reasonable officer" standard was adopted by the appellate courts - to prevent Monday Morning Quarterbacking. What the courts expect is a review of what the officer knew at the time of the event and how he responded. In many cases we learn all sorts of new details that the officer couldn't possibly have known when he acted, and those new details may change the whole character of the event. The standard of conduct isn't what we know now, but rather what he knew at that moment. A mistake in fact does not immediately constitute an improper use of force legally. As for your two examples, they would trigger the "bad cop" feeling in most people and those people might well be right. Then too, they might also be legally justified by the totality of the circumstances. These issues simply aren't simple.

In the case of the young lady Down Under, I simply don't know enough details of the incident to form a rational decision about the use of force, and I've been doing this type of work for many years, sometimes in split second and sometimes in the cool light of day. I counsel to reserve judgment until the facts are known, but I doubt we will ever know any more about this incident than we do now.

Michael
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:47 AM   #32
Brett_D
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
True enough it's an assault when you "engage" an officer. This was Australia, not the US. I've spent very little time in Oz, but I'm not sure if security guys there carry firearms. I THINK some of the cops there carry firearms but I'm not sure.
As you say, though, we don't know what went on prior to the start of the video.
W
Just to clarify, these were ticket inspectors, i.e. employees of the rail system, not officers, nor security. They do not carry weapons.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:26 AM   #33
Michael Hackett
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Brett, do you know the limits of a ticket inspector's job? In some places they have the power of arrest and citation and are considered to be limited peace officers. Is that the case in Australia?

Michael
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #34
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Brett Duncan wrote: View Post
Just to clarify, these were ticket inspectors, i.e. employees of the rail system, not officers, nor security. They do not carry weapons.
As part of my larger context, what I perceive is that Australia has empowered civilians with some kind of authority over its population. In this case, the claim is that inspectors have been granted the task of ensuring transit riders abide by the obligations of the rail system. Implied in this task is some authority to apply control over individuals who are not compliant; as a obligation of riding, individuals subject themselves to the authority of the inspectors. Maybe its arrest, maybe its fines, maybe its loss of privileges. The issue is that a rider did not abide by the obligations of the rail system (i.e. did not pay for a ticket) and rejected the civil authority tasked with enforcing the obligations of the relationship. If what you are saying is true, the fact that she chose her course of action against an unarmed, non-security oriented inspector indicates to me that she was taking advantage of the system.

At a base level, assaulting these authorities represents a rejection of the system. Inherent in the assault is the risk of serious injury, elevated by the presence of items that increase risk of injury. The [lack] of weapons carried by the inspectors only [theoretically] reduces the risk of serious injury to any parties involved in an assault. My comments were aimed at the observation that it was permissible to assault the inspector(s) because they represented an outlet upon which to express frustration at the rail system. Armed, unarmed, whatever. I think it is interesting that we are willing to give this young lady a pass for behavior that committed by someone else may not have been easily forgiven.

Like an American football fan... (i.e. real football). I mean, collared shirts in a sport? (Just kidding, you rugby people are crazy).

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Old 12-11-2013, 01:03 PM   #35
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
My comments were aimed at the observation that it was permissible to assault the inspector(s) because they represented an outlet upon which to express frustration at the rail system. Armed, unarmed, whatever. I think it is interesting that we are willing to give this young lady a pass for behavior that committed by someone else may not have been easily forgiven.
Emphasis mine.

Confused here. Admittedly I haven't been following closely, but did someone in this conversation actually say that? Or are you talking instead about the general public's attitude (or some segment of it)?
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #36
Brett_D
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Brett, do you know the limits of a ticket inspector's job? In some places they have the power of arrest and citation and are considered to be limited peace officers. Is that the case in Australia?
In Victoria, ticket inspectors do have, on Dept of Transport property, the right to detain and arrest fare evaders. There is also a section of the community that believes they should not have such rights and who routinely complain in the media. Some even actively encourage fare evasion, and argue that public transport should be free. The Greens leader who appeared in the news clip gets considerable support from that part of the community, so his expressed views need to be understood in this context.

Jon Reading wrote:
Quote:
As part of my larger context, what I perceive is that Australia has empowered civilians with some kind of authority over its population. In this case, the claim is that inspectors have been granted the task of ensuring transit riders abide by the obligations of the rail system. Implied in this task is some authority to apply control over individuals who are not compliant; as a obligation of riding, individuals subject themselves to the authority of the inspectors. Maybe its arrest, maybe its fines, maybe its loss of privileges. The issue is that a rider did not abide by the obligations of the rail system (i.e. did not pay for a ticket) and rejected the civil authority tasked with enforcing the obligations of the relationship. If what you are saying is true, the fact that she chose her course of action against an unarmed, non-security oriented inspector indicates to me that she was taking advantage of the system.

At a base level, assaulting these authorities represents a rejection of the system. Inherent in the assault is the risk of serious injury, elevated by the presence of items that increase risk of injury. The [lack] of weapons carried by the inspectors only [theoretically] reduces the risk of serious injury to any parties involved in an assault. My comments were aimed at the observation that it was permissible to assault the inspector(s) because they represented an outlet upon which to express frustration at the rail system. Armed, unarmed, whatever. I think it is interesting that we are willing to give this young lady a pass for behavior that committed by someone else may not have been easily forgiven.
Jon, I also think that she was trying to take advantage of the system. My personal experience of the trains in Melbourne is that the ticket inspectors are for most part very polite and friendly, and not looking for conflict. But there's always someone willing to test the limits, and when the weather gets hot, patience evaporates quickly.

Quote:
Like an American football fan... (i.e. real football). I mean, collared shirts in a sport? (Just kidding, you rugby people are crazy).
Probably!
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:48 PM   #37
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Brett Duncan wrote: View Post
There is also a section of the community that believes they should not have such rights and who routinely complain in the media. Some even actively encourage fare evasion, and argue that public transport should be free.
And thats fine but, who punches anyone on the face should expect, at least, to be punched back. even 15 y.o. girls.

I'm tired of people who thinks breaking the law as civil disobedience should not bring repercusions on them.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:43 PM   #38
seank
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Been a while since I've been on, but noticed this article first up.

Firstly, I do live in Victoria and saw the footage the day it was released. I have several issues with the conduct of the inspectors in question.

Firstly, they are not the police nor are they PSOs (the equivalent of metro police) - they are simply ticket inspectors with the delegated right to detain/arrest under highly specific circumstances.

Secondly the girl did not punch the inspector, she struck out at the person - he ducked because he was using a mobile phone or mobile headset - not in response to any form of contact.

Thirdly the officer used a grossly inflated response to a slight female, totally disproportionate to the attack. Our assault laws are very very clear, and authorised officers are held highly accountable for what they do (or at least they should). Slamming someone into the ground, whether she hit or head or not, is an exceedingly dangerous thing to do. All it takes is a centimetre either way and the person is killed or in a vegetative state.

Fourthly, this is not the first incident of its type. There was footage from a month ago showing a non-resisting offender being pinned to the ground by three offices, whereupon a fourth waltzes straight in and slams his knee down on the persons throat. There is an established pattern of misuse of powers and unlawful assault from the people in question. Compounding this is a manslaughter last year where four security guards pinned a man on the floor of a casino in a way that caused a massive heart attack. The four guards were let off with a slap on the wrist because their place of business is too important to properly prosecute.

Fifthly the girl in question is in foster care owing to an abusive upbringing and would be classified as an at risk person. It is patently unfair to claim that she got what she deserved - many people in this situation lash out because it is an instinctive and pre-trained response.

Lastly, I do not buy from anyone that a fifty kilogram adolescent female would pose a remote risk striking at an adult male with twice the weight and at least 30 centimetres in height. I'm sorry but if there is no weapon involved there is no way that she could possibly do any kind of real damage by taking a swipe. If a weapon were involved then there may have been cause for the kind of reaction.

I know that if you strike out at a police officer you probably deserve what you get, but not in the measure of the response that this inspector meted out. Furthermore, making assumptions about a vulnerable member of our society is reprehensible - would you say the same thing for an abused dog that snarled and snapped at someone?

I'm sorry for the rant but I am one of those who are sick and tired of our so-called public officers abusing their position of power to play out some power trip. All for the sake of making themselves feel big.

I long for the days when a ticket inspector would take down evidence and let the police or PSOs do their job, not act out some vigilante fantasy that is going to get someone killed or permanently disabled.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #39
Brian Gillaspie
 
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

I don't know what being in foster care has to do with the situation. She may have a rough life but that shouldn't factor into how the inspector responded.

I also think that striking out at someone really isn't that different than punching someone. In a safe dojo environment there may be a difference but in an uncontrolled environment anything coming towards your head can be dangerous. I for one am not fast enough to see something coming towards my head and decide if it's a punch, open hand strike, a knife, or someone giving me a high five if it is full speed.

I'm not saying the response was right or wrong. I just don't think it is possible to judge the reactions without being directly involved.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:36 PM   #40
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Fifthly the girl in question is in foster care owing to an abusive upbringing and would be classified as an at risk person. It is patently unfair to claim that she got what she deserved - many people in this situation lash out because it is an instinctive and pre-trained response.
Sean - such information is relevant to a treatment professional. Since that is frequently my job, I would take that into account in the sense of conveying that wrong done to one does not justify doing wrong. But that said - how can it possibly be relevant or even accessible to someone charged with enforcing the law - or, in this case, the rules.

Oh, and by the way, here's why many have become cynical about those in my profession who always find an explanation for others aggression or wrong-doing: This from Texas:
Quote:
But while not disputing that Couch had broken the law by drinking as a minor and driving under the influence, a psychologist testifying on his behalf argued that he had developed a condition called “affluenza” because his family’s wealth had led him to grow up with a feeling of entitlement.
We have an excuse for everything.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-11-2013 at 11:39 PM.

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Old 12-11-2013, 11:46 PM   #41
Krystal Locke
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
I have worked as a teacher for many years and have had my share of altercations. How long do you think I would last as a teacher if I picked up a student and dropped them on their head?

Any guard worth his salt should be able to deal with an unruly 15 year old girl with ease.
Yup. With ease, and sometimes by dropping her on her head. Age doesn't matter. Gender doesn't matter. Physical size doesn't matter. Violence will be contained as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. If the violence turns toward me, I will stop the violence by whatever means I can. I am allowed to protect myself even when it is my job to protect others.

I've worked as a security guard for many years and have had my share and yours of altercations. You dont want any part of a 15 year old girl coming at you. Sometimes you have to drop someone on their head to get them to stop fighting. I will never second-guess anyone's successful self-defense or security choices unless I was actually there for the whole situation.
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:37 AM   #42
Michael Hackett
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once opined ".....detached reflection cannot be expected in the face of an upturned knife." In that particular case he wasn't talking specifically about a knife, but rather the circumstances of an assault in general.

It would appear that you folks in Australia have a number of issues with your transit system and it appears that it is a divisive political issue. I don't understand the background at all and I don't understand how this incident characterizes the issues involved. This single event is a tempest in a teapot to many of us, and certainly to me. If the fare inspector did something wrong, he will face the consequences. If he followed the law and policy, then nothing will happen to him. Maybe some of our Australian friends will let us know how it comes out in the end.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:10 AM   #43
lbb
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Yup. With ease, and sometimes by dropping her on her head. Age doesn't matter. Gender doesn't matter. Physical size doesn't matter. Violence will be contained as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. If the violence turns toward me, I will stop the violence by whatever means I can. I am allowed to protect myself even when it is my job to protect others.
And was that the case in this situation? Was it the ticket-taker's "job to protect others"? And were others being threatened here? What if there is no threat and you initiate the confrontation -- does that change your justification?
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #44
jonreading
 
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

In follow up to some posts touching on my post...

My observation was more of a generalized "we" based upon the slant of the journalism and the comments from readers - It does not represent the perspective of a specific person. It does seem to have some foundation in posts on this thread, too.

Mary, answering somewhat out of order, yes, I think we need to understand the role of "inspector" was crafted to fulfill some role of authority. Maybe its first response to this young lady pushing a passenger on to a rail. Maybe its apprehension because the young lady was intoxicated or chemically imbalanced and a risk to herself. Maybe its to call bomb squad because she dropped a package in the middle of a group of passengers. Maybe its to strip her privilege to ride the rail because she did not pay for that service.The fact that the offense this time was restricted to a personal offense does not diminish the role of inspector to provide some authority in making sure none of these things happen. All of these things have happened on our MARTA rail system; our non-security, non-officer, MARTA staff responded to protect those around.

Quote:
I'm sorry but if there is no weapon involved there is no way that she could possibly do any kind of real damage by taking a swipe
Said another way - Contingent upon the awareness of a weapon, contingent upon the risk of injury from a strike, it is permissible to hit someone. So if I don't use a weapon and I try to not to hurt someone, it is permissible for me to hit someone? The assumption here is that you claim the risk of injury is lowered because of age, gender, and weight. None of which actually remove risk of injury, just reduce it. Of course, what if she chooses to strike at the eyes? What about biting? What if she has a contractible disease?

I'm sorry, I know too many authorities who were injured because there was "no way" they couldn't been hurt dealing with a person.

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Old 12-12-2013, 10:48 AM   #45
Janet Rosen
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

I don't like abuse of power by police/paras and I don't like second guessing videos but I will state categorically that at age 15 I was the same size and attitude and potential danger as I was at 25.

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #46
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
In follow up to some posts touching on my post...

My observation was more of a generalized "we" based upon the slant of the journalism and the comments from readers - It does not represent the perspective of a specific person. It does seem to have some foundation in posts on this thread, too.

Mary, answering somewhat out of order, yes, I think we need to understand the role of "inspector" was crafted to fulfill some role of authority. Maybe its first response to this young lady pushing a passenger on to a rail. Maybe its apprehension because the young lady was intoxicated or chemically imbalanced and a risk to herself. Maybe its to call bomb squad because she dropped a package in the middle of a group of passengers. Maybe its to strip her privilege to ride the rail because she did not pay for that service.The fact that the offense this time was restricted to a personal offense does not diminish the role of inspector to provide some authority in making sure none of these things happen. All of these things have happened on our MARTA rail system; our non-security, non-officer, MARTA staff responded to protect those around.
But that's not really the question I was asking. I wasn't asking about what might have happened (but didn't), or what happened at some other time and place. I was asking about what DID happen here. What was the ticket-taker actually responding to? HAD a passenger been pushed onto a rail? HAD a package been dropped?

I'm not trying to second-guess; OTOH, in the absence of threatening behavior, isn't it second-guessing to speculate that a turnstile-jumper might be a threat to others?
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:56 PM   #47
Michael Douglas
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Ben White wrote: View Post
Essentially what has happened is that the person involved has not purchased a ticket and is stopped by the ticket inspector, at 0.06 the ticket inspector gets a punch in the face from the offender and it is at that point that they use a throw and pin, I am not sure if its Judo or Aikido but I am guessing if its Aikido then someone may well be able to recognize what form it is.
I saw a "single leg takedown" ... as far as I know that's not Aikido waza, even though it is the absolute number one most efficient throw in my experience..
Poor guy was talking into his phone/radio when he got clocked, I'm sure he was a bit cross and just dumped her. Good for him.
She should have stood calmly and paid the fine.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #48
Michael Hackett
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Once again, there isn't enough information available about this incident. Was she just a fare-evader? Or was she drunk and threatening others? Was she going along cooperatively or was she making threats? Did they know her from previous episodes? All that is speculation. Without that knowledge I certainly couldn't form an objective opinion of whether the USE of force was justified. The LEVEL of force doesn't appear off the scale IF the USE of force was appropriate.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:42 PM   #49
Krystal Locke
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
And was that the case in this situation? Was it the ticket-taker's "job to protect others"? And were others being threatened here? What if there is no threat and you initiate the confrontation -- does that change your justification?
Breaking the law is a threat to all. The inspectors are there to protect the public specifically from the crime of gate-crashing. Being detained by a legal authority for breaking the law is not an unreasonable consequence of one's illegal actions. Responding to being detained with violence is assault upon the officer, no matter what type of officer they are, or what the perpetrator's personal circumstances may be. The inspector did not take the girl to ground until she resisted arrest and attempted to strike him. He has the right to arrest her, she does not have the right to resist the arrest.

We are working off a poor video of a situation we were not part of. Hard to say. But I am in Mr. Hackett's camp. If the inspector was justified, he did a fine job of ending the danger she presented to him and to the other people in the station. Get the person down, get them controlled, get them to where they cannot hurt themselves or others. I do not buy the outcry over the gender, age, and size differentials. A 15 year old person can be reasonably expected to follow basic social contracts like not breaking the law, not trying to hit people who are stopping lawbreakers, tits or not.

Is a person pulling a runner on anyone or anything a threat? Is dine and dash an actionable offense? Anyone hurt by that? How about a tax evader? Ticket/money counterfeiter? Insurance fraud? Gate-hopping? An extra cable line running to the neighbor's house? Shoplifting? While few of these actions are assault, they are all theft of some sort or another and therefore there is harm. If the inspector let the poor little abused 15 year old hop fence, why not the next person who tries, and the next? Why make anyone pay at all? Fuel is free, drivers are all volunteers, inspectors dont have to support themselves and their families, right?
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:09 PM   #50
James Sawers
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Re: Responding to being punched in the face.

I was more taken with the second girl that spat on the other officer's face. In a world of AIDS and TB, that is a crime in itself (or, should be). I have a friend who is a Chicago cop and she tells me stories of arrestees trying to infect her by spitting and biting her....Seems to me that the officers showed restraint.......I've had people attack me many times and it is not always easy to NOT hurt them. The officers in question are not responsible for someone else's stupidity.
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