This is a discussion on Houston man shot by police in group home within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by mcp1810 I think you might have some bad information here. You refer to him as being paralyzed. That was most definitely not ...
Our academy taught officers to avoid it. I frequently was the subject in "dealing with people" scenarios. One of my primary goals was to trap rookies in corners or bathrooms or closets.
If HPD teaches similar officer survival tactics ( and you yourself said you and your partners would not find yourselves in that situation so I assume you would never willingly back into a corner when dealing with a single subject) was it unreasonable for the shooter to believe that first officer had retreated into that corner out of fear?
Why would that first able bodied trained and equipped officer be so fearful of a one armed one legged man in a wheel chair?
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OK I get it... I understand your points. I cant understand how any cop would allow himself to get into this position. But evidently thats what happened. Bad tactics, not paying attention, underestimating the EDP...However it happened. However there were still options available to the officers other than deadly force. Most people never having been in sny kind of a similar situation dont understand how fast these things happen... I'd bet this situation from start to finish took no less that two minutes. Thats the only way I could understand the use of deadly force... But ultimately the Police failed in this instance. I'm sure this cop didnt come to work planning to take someones life, I'm sure he regrets it, I'm sure he kicks himself every hour of the day for making mistakes, for not calling in sick, for jumping on the call, even for being born. I understand, I get it. Still at the end of the day the police killed someone they were called to protect.
Just speculation on my part but I could easily see the first officer arriving and not waiting for the second officer to arrive before going in and making contact. He gets himself cornered just before the second officer gets in the door. Second officer hears first officer yelling for the deceased to show his hands and or drop the weapon, comes in gun drawn, sees cornered officer and a shiny pointy thing in the deceased's hand. Believing it to be an immediate deadly threat to the first officer he fires his weapon.
Not saying that this is what happened, just a possibility.
In my mind the key here is how long were the officers there? If they were both in the house for ten minutes before this went down I would agree whole heartedly with you Secret Spuk. But if the shooter steps into the house and is immediately presented with an officer cornered by a guy in a wheel chair with something in his hand I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt here. If he shoots we end up with the current situation. If he doesn't shoot, and it is and endged weapon and the other officer gets stabbed and possibly killed, everyone is going to asking why he hesitated. This would not be the first officer to get jammed up over another officer's tactical failure.
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Some random thoughts:
Where did so many get the idea this was a silvery little pen? Has anyone seen a photo of said pen?
This was a "group" home, not a hospital. Many of these group homes are not very spacious, nor well-lit. Think of a glorified slum; this describes most group homes, many of which are established primarliy as a means of harvesting the benefit checks of the patients.
Houston PD is actually very up-to-date in its training in dealing with the mentally ill; HPD is nationally recognized for this. LE trainers come to HPD for training that they take back to train their people. A significant portion of HPD officers are "C.I.T." trained, and some ride "C.I.R.T." units, accompanied by a mental health professional. That being said, giving a mentally ill person the gift of first blood is NOT part of the curriculum!
Have any of you tried to "kick over" a wheelchair? I have had to take down down a wheelchair or two; it is more like grab and heave.
Kicking a wheelchair presents one's femoral artery to the occupant of that chair, if he has a blade.
One HPD officer was famously murdered by a homeless person with a one-inch blade.
Most HPD officers patrol alone. It is possible that officer Marin arrived some time after the first, to find the first officer already cornered, and perceived he had an immediate decision to make. (I am speculating on this one.)
The decedent that we are discussing was not paralyzed; he was missing an arm and a leg. He was probably capable of launching himself from that wheelchair.
I will neither confirm nor deny which Houston-area agency employs me, due to rules about social media. I have not formed an opinion whether this was a righteous shooting. I will patiently let the investigation proceed, while giving officer Marin the benefit of the doubt.
Well if HPD is "nationally recognized" for dealing with mental patients, then I'd really hate to see how lesser trained agencies deal with the mentally ill. Yikes!
But, you are right, the backwardness of LE, overall, in dealing with the mentally ill, is quite frightful. Paranoid schizophrenics, in particular, are not only unpredictable, but simply do not respond to the usual techniques used to control people. Unfortunately, society has decided to "mainstream" the mentally ill, with the result that LE has become, in effect, an arm of the health care system. Is it pracical to send every patrol officer in the USA to nursing school and counseling school, to be cross-trained? The CIRT units in HPD do combine an officer with a mental health professional, but there are only a few on duty at any one time, in a jurisdiction with over two million people, in an area of over 500 square miles.
Mainstreaming, IMHO, is a mistake. Another problem is with these "group" homes. IMHO, any mental care facility should have in-house staff that can deal with anything short of a SWAT scenario.
Kicking over a wheelchair is a actually quite easy.
Police work is dangerous, anyone not prepared to take some chances should find another profession.
Expediency is more the mother of all screwups.
As we were advised by Rexter,,, The HPD is up to date in the treatment of emotionally disturbed persons. IMO Probably a lot more than most departments. I wonder if the responding officers requested a CIT team, or other more qualified persons. I wonder if there was even a CIT team working, and able to respond within a reasonable time.
The nature of police work is that "crap happens". And that more often the crap that happens very fast, and without warning. And that crap happens when and where we least expect it. Police work is dangerous. At the same time this is no excuse for the use of excessive force. Two officers should have been able to handle a one armed one legged guy without killing him. The police cant kill someone for having a shiney object. The police cant kill someone for what they could do.