What Cops Know

The headline screams about the sense of outrage after a San Bernardino Deputy spiked a teen aged female during a brawl. Typical MSM ignore all the events leading up to the slam dunk and focus on the moment the little slut took her swan dive. Poor baby. Guess what? After her crash landing she decided that she didn’t want to play anymore and quit the fight. Guess he got her attention.


When cops break up a brawl the intent is to stop the fight. The longer a physical confrontation continues the more likely events will spiral out of control. The goal is to avoid the confrontation or end it as soon as possible. Recall a scene from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Butch ended the fight before it even began. Wasn’t nice, but chances are Butch saved his opponent and himself a whole lot of wear and tear.

Back in my day, as a cop, we had a philosophy. Sometimes you had to hurt a suspect to keep from injuring him. Other times you have to injure him to keep from killing him.

I worked with a San Antonio cop who, years before, was charged with beating a suspect to death. The suspect was very large and was drunk on paregoric. Paregoric is an opium-based syrup that has pain killing properties. An officer tried to arrest him, and the fight was on. Eventually several officers joined the fray. As my guy put it, “we weren’t mad at him. We just wanted to put him jail.” The fight escalated to the point where the officers would have been justified in shooting him. They resorted to nightsticks because they didn’t want to shoot him. The suspect later died of his injuries.

De-escalation is all well and good. The problem is that both sides have to participate. When only one side offers to de-escalate and the other side doesn’t it is no longer de-escalation but acquiescence.

When de-escalation fails!

Somewhere along the line, the lessons learned by cops thirty years ago got lost. Back in the eighties it was fashionable to talk about the use of force continuum. The concept was that cops had a variety of options when dealing with any situation. The trick was to pick the appropriate level of force to match or overcome the resistance offered. Too little and the officer would fail to control the situation. Too much force and officer would run afoul of policy and law. This required judgment on the part of the officer.

I suspect that the bureaucrats were offended by the concept of individual officers using their own judgment. So, the bureaucrats came up with checklists. Begin at the beginning and check each box in progression. No skipping! An officer confronted by a suspect operating at a level five must first check boxes 1 thru 4 before going to level 5. If the offender continues to escalate the officer will always be behind the power curve.

Taking a suspect down hard and fast may look like hell, but the fight ends quickly. Most of the search warrants and buy bust arrests we conducted rarely resulted in injuries to anybody. I can’t recall any suspects claiming that we used excessive force in the process. The cynics among task force members claimed it was because the suspects were damn glad to be left alive and figured they came out ahead.

Proponents claimed that body cameras and videos would prove to be beneficial to officers. Watch the video, all of it. The MSM has the uncanny ability to unsee things that don’t meet the narrative.

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