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Thread: Police and non-lethal weapons

  1. #1
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    Default Police and non-lethal weapons

    I saw this Tedx Talk a while ago on ABC24 (I think) and thought it was a good argument;



    In that context, I wonder about this story. In particular I wonder how threatened the police were by this girl, and whether they would have shot her, had pepper spray not been an option?

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    Default Re: Police and non-lethal weapons

    I can't view the video, owheelj (am at work). But with my wife being a cop, I don't ever want her to 'wrestle' any crook down. At least any crook capable of holding a knife etc (including 12yr old girls). If they're 'wrestling' someone, they've already given up safe distance. So yes, arm them with as many non-lethal weapons as possible... and use them all the time. For everything. Not sure if this is real applicable to your video of course...
    I've never met a man so ignorant I couldn't learn something from him. - Galileo

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    Default Re: Police and non-lethal weapons

    The video makes the argument that non-lethal weapons were introduced based on the argument that they were an alternative that would reduce police shootings, yet in reality are almost exclusively used when shooting wouldn't have been used, and haven't had an impact on the use of guns by police; ie. that the argument for their introduction was a fallacy.

    I think your argument about wrestling is also false, at least in this case. If the purpose of pepper spray was to reduce police wrestling (with pre-teen girls, or otherwise) then obviously that failed, because they still wrestled with her prior to using the spray. While conceding the media has been known to misreport or sensationalise such incidents, reading that story doesn't make me think the police used pepper spray to protect themselves from a 12 year old girl. It sounds like they used it for convenience or punishment, rather than because of a particular threat to anybody's life.

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    There is a separate argument here about physical standards in police forces. Entry standards were lowered to "diversify" the forces.

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    Default Re: Police and non-lethal weapons

    The speaker generalised a lot. Not all military are worse than police in the use of force, and some jurisdictions have training for military in dealing with civilians and to avoid escalating conflict. This is particularly true of nations that regularly contribute peace-keepers for use by the UN. Scandinavian troops for example.
    Many military personel also have ROE [Rules Of Engagement] which can be different for specific deployments [ranging from UN {unarmed observers} to all out war within Geneva Convention guidelines]. But it depends on the quality of the troop training.
    Nevertheless, it was an interesting talk.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

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    Just watched through the video. Defiantly an interesting view. For a lecturer at ADFA he didn't show to much confidence in the restraint of soldiers. I think the issue with most of those stupid taserings(?) was the police not being willing to react with physical force. Children and the elderly should be easy to deal with for a capable police officer.

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    Default Re: Police and non-lethal weapons

    I dunno, if I was a cop I wouldnt like to be relying on tackling people to the ground. One of our local boys in blue recently had his nose and cheek bone broken when he attempted to restrain, from behind, a 17 year old girl. She smashed the back of her head into his face. And shes not that big a girl.
    not so long ago the local boys had to call in out of town cops (our guys dont have tasers) to deal with a guy with an axe having a major psychotic episode, and they knew it was a mental health issue and didnt want to shoot him.
    Anyone issued with any type of weapon needs to be very well trained.

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    Agree with you on the training. I imagine the cop who got beat up by a teenage girl still hasn't heard the end of it...

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    Default Re: Police and non-lethal weapons

    Quote owheelj said View Post
    The video makes the argument that non-lethal weapons were introduced based on the argument that they were an alternative that would reduce police shootings, yet in reality are almost exclusively used when shooting wouldn't have been used, and haven't had an impact on the use of guns by police; ie. that the argument for their introduction was a fallacy.

    I think your argument about wrestling is also false, at least in this case. If the purpose of pepper spray was to reduce police wrestling (with pre-teen girls, or otherwise) then obviously that failed, because they still wrestled with her prior to using the spray. While conceding the media has been known to misreport or sensationalise such incidents, reading that story doesn't make me think the police used pepper spray to protect themselves from a 12 year old girl. It sounds like they used it for convenience or punishment, rather than because of a particular threat to anybody's life.
    Thanks for the explanation, still haven't had time to get on interwebz at home...

    Yeah, I agree that argument for introducing them as 'only' replacement for lethal weapons is bullshit. They're for more many more uses than lethal weapons. Keeping yourself safe is one of them. To anyone who wants cops to 'wrestle' with offenders, I'd say 'send your own loved ones to do it then'. I'd rather my wife stay away until they're on the ground with arms behind them waiting for the cuffs. Don't go within striking distance until then.. of course reality is sometimes more complicated.

    @ I_FH: "Entry standards were lowered to diversify the forces"? holy shit. Did you just commit those words to written record? I'd suggest you re-think 'lowered' to 'changed' at the very least.

    For your other point: A child or elderly person can still stick a knife in Mr Universe's ear if he lets them get that close.
    I've never met a man so ignorant I couldn't learn something from him. - Galileo

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    I stand by that claim. I was referring to physical standards incase that wasn't clear.

    So you would taze the child running away instead of chasing them? Sounds like fitness could be an issue...
    Last edited by I_FH; 2nd May 2012 at 02:11 PM.

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