AD Warning-Tactics & U of F [004-15]

Short Story:  The officers received a radio call from the Fire Department that they were responding to a call where a male had locked himself in the bathroom with a knife, threatening suicide. The suspect’s brother briefed the Fire Department captain.  The captain knocked on the bathroom door.  The suspect opened it and the captain noted that the suspect was naked and had dried blood on his body.  The suspect inquired if the Fire Department had a gun so they could shoot him, then closed the door.  Officers and Sergeant A arrived and deployed around the door and covered the rear window.  Sergeant A heard a noise in the bathroom, but the suspect did not respond.  Sergeant A did not know if this failure was willful, or if the suspect was down and bleeding out.  He decided that exigent circumstances existed and decided to breach the door.  Sergeant A deployed officers around the door, one equipped with a TASER.  Officer F kicked the bathroom door.  The suspect was holding a knife, screaming, and covered with blood.  Officer D ordered the suspect to drop his knife.  The suspect replied, “you are going to have to shoot me!”  Several officers repeatedly told the suspect to drop the knife.  Officer C observed the knife fall to the floor and announced, “the knife is down.”  The suspect began to exit the bathroom in the direction of the officers.  Sergeant A yelled “TASER him.”  Officer B activated the TASER.  Officer F observed the suspect cross the threshold of the bathroom in the direction of the officers and, still believing he had the knife, fired one shot as the TASER was fired.  The suspect went down.  He got up and continued advancing.  He was TASERed two more times before the officers were able to handcuff him.  BOPC Finding: Tactic and U of F:   1) Sergeant A did not effectively communicate with the officers assigned to the team about their specific roles.  He gave them multiple conflicting responsibilities. 2) Sergeant A had a barricaded suspect and did not request additional resources. 3) Sergeant A did not conduct a thorough assessment of the situation and decided to breach the door.  He did not contact the Mental Evaluation Unit nor SWAT for advice.  4) It was not reasonable for Officer F to believe there was an imminent threat of death without seeing the knife.


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