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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Personally I would have just nailed him with the cruiser, but I guess the LAPD has rules.


Los Angeles, California — On March 19, 2021 around 3:40 p.m., a Rampart Area sergeant was flagged down by a community member due to a suspect being armed with a hammer and what was believed to be a hatchet. Additional officers met with the sergeant, formulated a plan, and attempted to detain the suspect. Officers used less lethal devices, but they were not effective. The suspect threw a hammer and then a metal object resembling a pick axe at the officers, resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting. The suspect was struck by gunfire. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. During the investigation a hammer and rear-mounted bicycle kick stand were recovered at scene.
 

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The more I watch these standoffs with people armed with knives, the more I question why vehicles aren't utilized as impact weapons.

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And how's that video for stressful on the job training!

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That sergeant did a good job of controlling and communicating during that incident.

LA...did the Sgt want the same shooter for the 40mm just to minimize the amount of UOF paperwork or was there another reason?


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I don't see where the vehicle could have been used in this situation, other than for cover as they used it. I can't speak for Massachusetts but in California, intentionally striking someone with a car would be considered lethal force. Other than the time when the officer actually fired his handgun, lethal force would not have been justified during this situation. Where are you guys saying he should have hit the suspect with the patrol car?

USAF, I'm guessing you may be correct as to why he was asking one officer to be the 40mm guy, although as we see in the video, there was indeed more than one 40mm operator involved. There normally is a lot of administrative paperwork involved in our use of force incidents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think when the suspect start crossing the street and is in the cross walk probably would have been the time to do it. The 40MM is a awesome tool however it seem to me that's its use and deployment needs to be tightened up a little. Sending less lethal munitions down range like that opens the door to a lot of collateral damage not only for the public but the officers as well. If the officer was to inadvertently strike a pedestrian (like the one we see @ 2:50) in the temple or eye its lights out at best. I will also cite the death of Victoria E. Snelgrove in 2004 right here in Boston she caught a pepper ball to the eye and it killed her.

10503


And when I say use the cruiser I mean something like this:
Where the suspect lived.

Opposed to this:
Where the suspect also lived, but now walks with a limp.
Although I will acknowledge this is an extreme and dangerous tactic, given the totality of the circumstances (mad man with shot gun) and the objective reasonableness of the officer, it could be, and I believe it later was justified in this case.
 

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`Rodney, like I mentioned earlier, I can't speak for Massachusetts but here in California, intentionally striking someone with a car would be considered deadly force. There was no reason to use deadly force while the suspect was crossing the street. At least from what I saw in this video, the only time deadly force would have been authorized (and legal) would be when the suspect threw the hammer and the axe looking thingy, at the officers.

Our less lethal policies are about as "tight" as they can get, unfortunately it's the operators and the suspects that sometimes cause the problems. In the pictures you have above, those are all from this past summer during the protests/riots. Sometimes the 40mm / beanbag shotgun operator misses and hits the suspect in the face when they're supposed to be aiming at the naval area. Sometimes the suspects are moving and end up "ducking" into the round. Most suspects don't stand still and allow themselves to be hit, especially when there's thousands of people rioting in the streets.

As for sending less lethal rounds downrange, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. To let the suspect walk up on a citizen while armed isn't the best thing to let happen either. The 40mm has Eotech optics that are very accurate so it's a calculated risk, like much of police work when the suspect is uncooperative.

Regarding Victoria Snelgrove, if memory serves me right, the officer who fired that pepper ball gun was not trained on it and never should have had it in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does the LAPD still allow the PIT maneuver, and would that be considered lethal force?
 

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Yes, we can do the PIT, but only under certain circumstances.

  • Only 35mph and under
  • Not if the suspect is known to be armed with any type of firearm
  • Not a motorcycle (unless deadly force is authorized)
  • Generally not in a residential area where people are outside

Just like with most, if not all other agencies, it is not considered lethal force.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are officer allowed at any time to violate any LAPD policy or procedure given there are certain exigent circumstances pertaining to that incident. Or in other words would a officer be allowed to improvise givin that officer is attempting to seek a safe and peaceful resolution. Or is it strictly "the officer shall do X" or face disciplinary repercussions?
 

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Yes, we can deviate from our policies or training as long as the officer provides a reasonable explanation. For example, it is our policy to put ourselves "at scene" or "out" (we call it, Code-6) when arriving at a radio call location or before stopping a car or pedestrian and take some type of police action. However, if we were to be ambushed while driving down the street, the Department doesn't expect an officer to utilize their radio before utilizing their firearm to defend themselves.

As long as the explanation is reasonable for the given situation, it would be OK. The officer can't make stuff up because he/she realized afterward that he/she violated a policy or training and is trying to save themselves from potential discipline. Speaking only for our department, those policies and training are there for a reason, to help mitigate an officer from being hurt or killed, not to get them in trouble.
 
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