Thank you SPD.


"the body cam video doesn’t appear to show any attempt at using a taser or tear gas to subdue the man."

That tends to happen when you're dealing with someone wielding a 6 inch knife who just decapitated another human. Not a lot of wiggle room in any negotiations.


If u have not watched the video, skip it. You have been warned.


Good write up Lester.


What we need to admit is that tasers don't work well enough. They're gangbusters against generally calm suspects, but they have trouble penetrating baggy clothes, or against adrenalized suspects.


@2: "when you're dealing with someone wielding a 6 inch knife"

For the majority of the video he was not wielding a knife. Or did you not actually watch the video?


Totally Righteous kill.
Thank You, officers.


@6 for the majority of the video, the suspect had not been shot and killed.


This makes me question if there isn't some sort of Nerf weapon that might have more peacefully resolved this situation. Given that the suspect had previously cut a woman's head off of her body, and was flailing about in closed quarters with a big knife, I think one of the larger, rifle-style Nerf guns might have be justified, as long as it wasn't pointed at the eyes.


Ugh. Useless sympathy to the decapitated woman and anyone else caught in whatever the fuck this was.


@10: "Useless empathy" is sociopathic. Ugh.


"Useless empathy" is a recognition of our limitations. Celebrating the alleged murderer's violent death is sociopathic and even psychopathic. Even the officers seeing what they saw wanted him alive.


Boos to the Policie Union preemptively justifying the killing.

Kudos to the Citizenry for demanding independent Investigations of such deaths.

Given that cops have historically shown a reluctance to crossing that thin Blue line
of Accountability, how can we count on King County sheriffs to be unbiased, when they
work and play with SPD? Will King County also call on SPD to Investigate their shootings?


We need another, better way to subdue our wayward Citizens
that doesn't guarantee their (perhaps untimely) demise.


Speaking of Preemptively: no, FAX2, I do NOT have the Answer. But Crowdsourcing seems an Excellent way to provide some, or many, Answers.


@5 - You're partly right. Tasers can be fired or driven directly into a person. When fired, the darts Have a stated range of 16 feet (when I retired in 2011, anyway), but you can basically cut that in 1/2 as after 8-10 feet, the darts no longer have the "oomph" to get through even light clothing and they also often separate too far apart from one another by then. If only one dart lands, the Taser isn't very effective.

That said, Tasers are very effective when driven directly into a person, what our dep't called "drive-stunning." But no cop in his/her right mind will get in close enough to do that with a suspect armed with a knife, as you're obviously at arm's reach then. It's more for strong, yet unarmed, resistance.

Interesting side note is that University of Calgary did a 10-year study many years ago on effectiveness and risks of varyingly levels of use of force. Tasers were found to have fatal outcomes more often than lateral-vascular neck restraints, i.e. "chokeholds." Tasers don't "look" bad, tho, and LVNR's do, so it's the latter that are universally banned now.

Mace works pretty well, actually, but the problem in enclosed spaces is that it also effectively maces the officers, somewhat incapacitating them by preventing them from being able to see all that well. And just a small amount will do it. It's more of an "out-in--the-open" measure.

One less-lethal option I like is beanbag rounds fired from a shotgun. I wish more departments made use of them, but unfortunately they're rare in police departments. I lobbied my department off and on for years to adopt them, but the the department claims they're afraid that officers will accidentally shoot a buckshot round rather than the intended beanbag round. I suspect the same is true with other departments. Knowing human fallibility, I'm sure that would happen on rare occasions, but I'm equally sure it would save many more lives than not.

As to this guy, had we known for sure the woman was dead and beyond help (obvious in this case) AND there were no other potential victims in the house/building, we would have retreated to cover, covered the exits, and called out Tactical Team, who had an exceptional record of getting nutjobs out alive. If we weren't sure about other potential victims, we can't really retreat in that instance...or in other cases where the victim isn't decapitated but in need of medical help. So, either these officers neglected to back out and call SWAT due to the "momentum of action" (which happens and must be guarded against), or they weren't certain that there weren't other victims in the residence that they had to get to.


@17 Thank you for that.


Second @18; thank you @17.


Seconding 18. Morty's commentary is always super enlightening. I never even knew cops carried buckshot and sorta wonder why they would, though I guess I could sorta see it's being potentially useful in certain situations. What a crazy freaking job that must've been.



Beat me to it. Guess I'm thirding him.


@3 if you have not watched the video, people should definitely view it. it seems like people on both sides of issue benefit from knowing the truth (as much as one can arrive at 'truth') rather than speak without actual knowledge of the situation. the video is grainy and hardly graphic.

don't we owe it to police to understand their perspective as much as possible before we judge their actions.


It's possible to know that the Seattle PD far too violent, and that the least violent police on the planet, in the same situation, also would have shot this motherfucker? The Dutch, British, Danish police would have iced this guy no question. There was another living civilian in the apartment right? Were they supposed to back out the door and let him cut her head off too? Of course not.


"So, either these officers neglected to back out and call SWAT due to the "momentum of action" (which happens and must be guarded against), or they weren't certain that there weren't other victims in the residence that they had to get to."

Great comment. Thanks, Morty.

"... the "momentum of action" (which happens and must be guarded against... "

This sounds like a training issue. If it IS, it'd be pretty Pragmatic to teach it, and save the vast expenses of wrongful death, etc, lawsuits.

Plus, there'd be fewer Dead people.


@24 - Departments are training for it and have been for awhile now, but it's deceptively easy to fall prey to it in the heat of the moment.

So, for anyone wondering what it is, in high-stress of fast-paced situations, the mere momentum of a course of action that has started can carry one through to a less than ideal conclusion, as if predetermined. The intensity and urgency of a situation can make one neglect to reassess, if even for an instant.

In this case, once the officers kick the door and are confronted with a combative subject with a knife, momentum can result in them failing to consider stepping back or other alternatives. I don't think that happened here based on what little I know of it, but to carry the hypothetical forward, guns are out, he has a deadly weapon, he won't surrender, so the gun must be used. It's not conscious, and experience more than anything helps to prevent it.

Even a split-second's reassessment...while still keeping the suspect at bay, of course...may allow the officer to consider a tactical retreat, for instance. The totality of the circumstances (such as the couple factors I mentioned above) may mean those options less than deadly force aren't realistic, but a good and well-trained officer will have considered them anyway, if only as a fleeting thought. A fleeting consideration is more than sufficient to possibly allow for a better outcome.

But yeah, most departments have been pretty good about trying to instill that awareness in officers over the last 20 years or so...but as I said, it can be hard to practice when the shit is going down at a mile a minute. Experience makes it easier, but so does refresher training and more refresher training.

I'm sure I fell victim to it a time or two and made what was ultimately a poor decision as a result (to be clear, I never shot anyone during my career), every officer has, but minimizing the purely natural behavior is the goal. A good officer, possessed of good judgement and not prone to panic will seldom experience the problem, whereas a jumpy or excitable officer...and there are definitely some of those out there, unfortunately...will seldom overcome it.


Has anyone been able to translate what the guy was saying?


@26 you know the dude was shot to death, right? Somehow you interpret that as "protecting"...


"Momentum of Action" perfectly describes the inciting incident in Camus' The Stranger.

But then, so does "racism".

Please wait...

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