AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics [065-15]

SHORT STORY: Detectives A, Officers A and B observed a suspect holding a pistol out in an extended hand pointing in a westerly direction. The pistol moved backward twice as if being fired. Suspect ran and officers put out a backup on a shooting suspect and gave location and description. The detectives drove into an alley following the suspect at a distance of 15-20 yards. They momentarily lost sight of him and slowed their vehicle down. Suspect had scaled a fence and on the other side got stuck when his clothing got hung up in the fence.   As Officer A brought the vehicle to a stop, he advised Detective A and Officer B that the suspect had gone over the fence. He looked out his window and saw the suspects hand and a gun come over the fence and point at him. Officer A drew and fired twice through his passenger window, shattering it. Detective A exited the vehicle and ordered suspect to drop his gun. When he did not, Detective A fired 3 rounds and then saw the gun drop. Officer B put out a help call and the suspect was taken down from the fence and handcuffed. BOPC FINDING: AD Tactics: 1. Code Six. Detectives A and B did not advise Communications Division (CD) of their Code Six location.  The purpose of going Code Six is to advise CD and officers in the area of their location and the nature of the field investigation, should the incident escalate and necessitate the response of additional personnel. The BOPC determined that Detective A and B’s failure to ensure their personnel went Code Six was a substantial deviation without justification from approved Department tactical training. 2. Back Up / Help Call Detective A and Officers A and B requested Back-Up for a suspect that they knew was armed with a handgun and had likely just fired the weapon. Although officers are given discretion regarding the appropriate time to broadcast a request for additional resources based on the ongoing tactical situation, it would have been tactically advantageous for Officer B to broadcast a Help Call when he observed the suspect armed with a handgun in order to alert responding personnel of the seriousness of the incident. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the BOPC determined that Officer B’s actions did not substantially deviate from approved Department tactical training. 3. Pursuing Armed Suspects Detective A and Officers A and B pursued Subject 1, whom they knew was armed with a handgun. Containment of an armed suspect demands optimal situational awareness. The ability to maintain the tactical advantage rests on the ability of the officers to effectively communicate, thus ensuring a coordinated effort and successful resolution. In this case, Detective A and Officers A and B were in plainclothes in an unmarked vehicle when they observed Subject 1 armed with a handgun and began to follow him as he fled from the area. Although Officer B indicated that they were approximately 15 to 20 yards away from Subject 1 and that the officers indicated they were only tracking the suspect until they could establish a perimeter, in this circumstance it would have been more tactically prudent for the officers to hold their position and go into containment mode. It is the BOPC’s expectation that officers are decisive in their actions during a rapidly unfolding, life-threating situation while taking into consideration police work is inherently dangerous. In this case, the officers were attempting to minimize the continued threat to the public while dealing with a fleeing armed suspect. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the BOPC determined, that the actions of Detective A and Officers A and B were reasonable and not a substantial deviation from approved Department tactical training 4. Tactical Vehicle Deployment. Officer A stopped their police vehicle next to where he believed Subject 1 had climbed over the fence. Operational success is based on the ability of the officers to effectively plan and approach each incident in a safe manner, keeping officer safety in mind at all times. Officers when faced with an ongoing tactical situation must remain alert to improve their overall safety, by their ability to recognize an unsafe situation and work collectively to ensure a successful resolution. Officer A stopped the police vehicle where he last observed Subject 1 climbing over a fence with the intent of establishing a perimeter in order to contain the suspect. However, unbeknownst to Officer A, Subject 1’s pants had become caught on the top of fence thus preventing him from being able to touch the ground or get down off the fence. The BOPC was particularly critical of Detective A, the supervising officer, who was in the vehicle with Officer A. The BOPC concluded that Detective A had a responsibility to prevent Officer A from continuing to follow the armed suspect further into the alley. In this incident, it would have been tactically prudent for Officer A to stop the vehicle, further away from Subject 1’s last known whereabouts in order to prevent placing himself or his partners at a tactical disadvantage. · The BOPC additionally considered the following: 1. Target Selection – According to Officer A, as he engaged Subject 1 with his service pistol he fired his weapon at the gun Subject 1 was holding in his hand, instead of aiming at the largest target, as officers are trained. Holding Service Pistol in Right Hand and Hand-Held Radio in Left Hand – Officer B drew his service pistol in his right hand while holding his hand-held radio in his left hand. Officers are reminded the tactical disadvantage of having a service pistol in one hand and an additional piece of equipment in the other hand. The evaluation of tactics requires that consideration be given to the fact that officers are forced to make split-second decisions under very stressful and dynamic circumstances. Tactics are conceptual and intended to be flexible and incident specific, which requires that each incident be looked at objectively and that the tactics be evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances. In conducting an objective assessment of this incident, the BOPC found that the approval of a tactical plan without designated roles and responsibilities, coupled with the lack of sufficient supervisory oversight in the field by Detectives A and B as the incident unfolded was a substantial deviation without justification from approved Department tactical training, thus requiring a finding of Administrative Disapproval. Additionally, the BOPC found that Officers A and B’s tactics did not substantially deviate from deviate from approved Department tactical training.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics and U of F [57-15]

SHORT STORY: Officers responded to a radio call about a man breaking windows with a skateboard. Officers saw the broken window and observed the suspect walking and saw him swing the skateboard at a store window. Officers exited their vehicle and ordered the suspect to get on the ground. The suspect mounted his skateboard and skated away. The officers returned to their vehicle and followed the suspect. He would periodically fall off his skateboard, then get back on and continue down the street. When the suspect fell, Officer A, believing they had an opportunity to seize the skateboard, stopped the vehicle and told Officer B to grab it. Officer B exited the vehicle and ran toward the skateboard. So did the suspect. Officer A saw that Officer B was going to lose the race and feared the suspect would use the skateboard against his partner. He exited the vehicle and ran towards them. Officer B drew his pistol and ordered the suspect not to pick up the skateboard. Officer A arrived from the rear and grabbed suspect in a bear hug before he could pick up the skateboard. Officer B holstered. Suspects hands were under his body and the officers struggled with him to get his hands out and in cuffs. The officers eventually used blows to no effect. Officer A told Officer B to use the TASER. Officer B did so several times with no result. Officer A broadcast a help call.  Officer A was exhausted. Officer B, seeing that the TASER was having no success decided to grab the suspects legs. He could not holster the TASER because the holster was on his side that was on the ground. He placed the TASER up on a step and grabbed the suspect’s legs with his legs to try and control his kicking and tried to control one of the suspects arms. The suspect managed to get control of the TASER and started TASERing Officer B. Officer A heard Officer B screaming and shaking as well as hearing the TASER fire. Officer A felt his partner was incapacitated and being seriously injured along with the possibility that the suspect would be able to get Officer B’s gun because he could not see the suspect’s hands. Officer A drew his weapon, ordered the suspect to drop the TASER, and when he did not, he fired one round into the suspect’s back. The suspect ceased struggling. BOPC FINDINGS: AD on Tactics and AD on U of F:   Tactics: (1) did not wait for additional resources before making contact with the suspect; (2) failed to properly maintain control of the TASER; (3) additional considerations: (a) unnecessary spark test; (b) rib cage and back TASER application not best, should be arm, thigh, or calf; (3) no hobble or baton on person. U of F: it was not reasonable to believe that the suspect’s actions presented a threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics-[056-15]

SHORT STORY: Suspect exited a truck, yelled “help me, help me” and wandered aimlessly in an intersection. He then got back in the truck and drove off until he fell out. The truck continued and crashed into a fence. Suspect stood up and walked into traffic. Then took off his shirt and began walking with a gallon of water in his hands. Witnesses called the police. Meanwhile the subject tried to get in the passenger side of a Port Police vehicle. He was prevented by the officer who thought he appeared to be a mad man. Suspect walked on the road and would throw objects at vehicles. Officers arrived and requested a backup. Officers sat the suspect down and handcuffed him using two pairs of handcuffs because of his large size.   Officers attempted to get the suspect in the police vehicle but he would not put his legs in and began kicking. He used his weight to push himself out of the vehicle and the officers guided him to the ground. Suspect began saying “heart attack-heart attack.” Officers used body weight to hold the suspect down as he was kicking and moving from side to side. Officers put a hobble restraint device on the suspect’s legs and placed him on his left side. A Rescue Ambulance was requested. Officers noted that the suspect did not appear to be breathing. They placed the suspect in the seated position, but still no pulse. CPR was begun. A breathing mask was also brought into use. A heartbeat was felt, but then again stopped. The RA arrived and took the suspect to the hospital, but he did not survive. BOPC FINDINGS: AD Tactics (1) did not update their location when looking for the suspect; (2) did not request an RA in a timely manner; (3) additionally considered (a) suspect told to place hands on hood to be in front of In-car-camera, hoods can be hot; (b) did not activate rear seat camera prior to trying to get suspect in vehicle; (c) did not have hobble restraint device on their person; (d) stepped on suspects foot for control, could lose balance.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics and Unintentional Discharge [039-15]

SHORT STORY: Parole Compliance Unit officers went to a residence to arrest a parolee with desertion status. The officers formed up in a stick. An officer knocked on the door. He could see the suspect through the window running inside a rear bedroom. The officer’s forced the door and entered. Sergeant A went to the rear of the residence to watch the back window. When Officer A kicked the bedroom door, he had his pistol out and his finger slipped onto the trigger and he had an unintentional discharge. BOPC FINDING: AD Tactics and AD on UD: Tactics: (1) failure to communicate observations and intentions; (2) incomplete and inadequate operations plan; (3) failure to cover rear leaving Sergeant A alone to deal with possible armed suspect; (4) breached the door without requesting additional resources; (5) no request for a backup when suspect fled towards rear; (6) failure to contact SWAT for possibly armed barricaded suspect; UD: (1) finger on trigger when kicking door.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics [038-15]

SHORT STORY: Officers received a radio call about a person and his dog causing a disturbance. Officers A and B responded. Officer B activated his body camera. Suspect and other persons with him showed signs of intoxication. Officers told the persons they would have to leave. Suspect yelled a racial slur at Officer A and left. Suspect walked to another open business, loitered out front and yelled racial epithets at people walking into the business. Officer A requested an additional unit. Suspect became involved in a minor scuffle with a witness. The witness pushed the suspect to the ground. Officers told the witness that they would deal with the suspect. Officers told the suspect to place his hands behind his back. Suspect yelled expletives and did not comply. Officers struggled with suspect and took him to the ground. Officer A believed that the suspect was trying to take possession of his partner’s gun and fired 2 rounds into the suspect. BOPC FINDINGS: AD on Tactics; AD on D & E; AD on U of F: Tactics: (1) did not discuss tactics prior to making contact; (2) crossfire; (3) did not handcuff and search suspect. D & E: (1) video did not show suspect’s hand near Officer B’s holster, no reasonable belief that situation would escalate to point where deadly force may be justified. U of F: (1) video did not show subject’s hand near Officer B’s holster and Officer B did not feel jerky movements on holster nor did Officer B make any statements or actions suggesting suspect was trying to take away his pistol.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics-[031-15]

SHORT STORY: Officers received a radio call that a man had stabbed himself with a knife and was despondent. On arriving they saw a man in a wheel chair bleeding from the stomach. Officer A approached the man to render aid. Suspect pulled a knife from under his thigh. The officers repositioned themselves to the doorway and repeatedly ordered the suspect to drop the knife. The suspect rose from the wheelchair and began walking back and forth. He stabbed himself in the chest with the knife. He then started walking towards the officers. They backed out of the apartment into the hallway. Officer D stepped backwards 7-8 feet and found himself blocked in by a wall and a railing. Suspect walked rapidly towards him with his arm extended and the blade of the knife pointed at the officer. Officers B, C, and D fired simultaneously. Suspect went down, and then pushed himself out and lunged toward Officer D within 2 feet. Officer D fired another round. BOPC FINDINGS: AD Tactics. (1) officers did not form a tactical plan; (2) did not have a TASER on their person; (3) Officer D should not have deployed to a place where he became trapped.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics and U of F [027-15]

SHORT STORY: Off duty officer driving personal vehicle with a friend was cut off in traffic in another jurisdiction by suspect vehicle and exchanged angry words. The suspect vehicle did a u-turn and passed the officer’s vehicle at a stop sign firing 2 rounds at the officer as he went by. Officer followed suspect vehicle to obtain a license plate number. He initially lost the vehicle in a cul de sac, then saw the vehicle backing out and coming toward him. The officer exited his vehicle. The suspect pointed a gun out of the vehicle (denied) and accelerated toward officer in an attempt to hit him (admitted). The officer redeployed and fired 5 shots at the suspect from behind another car. The suspect sideswiped the officers car and escaped. He was later captured. No gun was found, but he had gunshot residue on his hands and neck. BOPC FINDINGS: AD Tactics and AD U of F: Tactics: (1) followed an armed suspect rather than notifying local jurisdiction; (2) did not notify jurisdiction until after OIS; (3) lack of reverence for life because he followed an armed suspect with another civilian in the officer’s vehicle as a passenger; (4) left cover when he exited his vehicle; U of F: (1) round one was in policy since it was in response to suspect pointing a gun at officer, but rounds 2-4 were out of policy because the vehicle was moving away from the officer and violated the prohibition against shooting at moving vehicles; (2) when the vehicle was moving away from the officer, there was no longer a imminent threat of danger.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics and U of F [020-15]

SHORT STORY: Officers on patrol observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed in a residential zone. They activated their red lights and the vehicle pulled over. As the officers approached the vehicle sped off. It had paper plates and the officers suspected that the vehicle was stolen. The pursuit continued at a high speed. Suddenly, the vehicle swerved and came to a stop. The driver opened the door and braced it with his feet. The officers thought ‘ambush’ and attempted to stop to the rear of the suspect’s vehicle, but because of the sudden stop and their speed ended up swerving to the side of the vehicle to prevent crashing into it. The vehicles were side to side and the suspect opened the door of his vehicle which prevented the passenger door of the police vehicle from opening, trapping the passenger officer in the vehicle.   The suspect exited, holding the door against the officer’s door, and had his hands down at his waist band. Fearing he was about to be shot, Officer B fired six rounds from inside the vehicle at the suspect. Officer A had exited the vehicle. Suspect ran. Officers C and D arrived and the officers went in foot pursuit. The suspect went down with his arms under his body and his arms were eventually forced out. No gun was recovered. BOPC FINDING: AD tactics and AD use of force: TACTICS (1) no Code 6; (2) did not discuss tactics at start of watch; (3) insufficient communication during incident; (4) failure to broadcast a help call; (5) pursued a possibly armed suspect; (5) should have used high risk vehicle stop; (6) initiating physical contact while holding pistol. U OF F: (1) not reasonable to believe in imminent danger.

AD Warning-Police Commission AD-Tactics [018-15]

SHORT STORY: Suspect #1 and Victim #1 (both homeless) got into an argument over the use of a cell phone. Suspect #1 battered Victim #1 and chased and hit him with a bat. Victim #1 called 911. An RA arrived first and directed Sergeant A to a tent that Suspect #1 was in. Sergeant B and Officers A, B, C, and D arrived. Suspect #2 approached the officers and began demanding to be taken to jail. The officers attempted to calm Suspect #1 and Suspect #2 down. Suspect #1 suddenly jumped into the tent that had not been searched. Suspect #1 had an object in his hand and was TASED. He dropped the object (cell phone) but was not affected by the TASER. Suspect #1 charged Officer B swinging his arms. Officer B dropped his baton and holstered his weapon unsuccessfully to defend himself. The officers all attempted to control the suspect using leverage and body weight. Meanwhile Suspect #2 had picked up the baton and was holding it like a bat. Suspect #2 was taken down to the ground. Officer A at that point felt Suspect #1 grabbing his gun. The pistol was coming out of his holster. Officer B yelled “He’s got my gun.”   (Body Worn Video showed Suspect #1’s hand on the pistol and that it was partially removed from the holster) Officer A, D, and Sergeant A fired shots. BOPC FINDINGS: AD Tactics: 3/2 split: (1) Officer B failed to maintain control of his baton and pistol.

AD Warning – Police Commission AD-Tactics [012-15]

SHORT STORY: Officers were in an unmarked vehicle. Officer A looked down an alley and saw Suspect #1 pointing a handgun at Victim #1. Suspect #2 and Suspect #3 were standing next to Suspect #1. Believing he was witnessing a robbery or a murder, Officer A alerted Officer B who stopped the police vehicle and both exited. Officer A entered the alley and observed Suspect #1 aiming the gun at the head of Victim #1. Officer A identified himself and ordered Suspect #1 to drop the gun. Suspect #1 turned toward Officer A and Officer A fired 3 rounds. Officer B heard the rounds as he entered the alley. All 3 suspects were proned out on the ground. The pistol turned out to be an air soft replica. Suspect #2 was hit in the arm. Investigation revealed that it was not a robbery, but play acting. BOPC FINDINGS: AD on Tactics: (1) failure to communicate effectively with partner; (2) separation; (3) no Code 6; (4) did not utilize cover; (5) broadcast for back-up not help.