Seattle Bus Station beating, Security "Observe and Report"

This is a discussion on Seattle Bus Station beating, Security "Observe and Report" within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by mcp1810 Asbestos underoos are on............... Having been a union rep and also having worked private security I have absolutely no problem with ...

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Thread: Seattle Bus Station beating, Security "Observe and Report"

  1. #16
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    Agree with mcp etc., but...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Asbestos underoos are on...............
    Having been a union rep and also having worked private security I have absolutely no problem with the security guards and their actions.
    They did exactly what they are paid to do. If the folks there don't like what they got for their money they need to negotiate a new contract. These guys are probably making minimum wage, or close to it. If you want them to insert themselves into a violent situation you need to provide them with the training and the tools to do the job safely and you need to adquately compensate them for that risk.
    I love how the employer is disapointed in the response of the guards. I wonder what their employee handbook says to do in situations like this. Do you think more people have been fired by that company for following the written policies or from deviating from them? If the guards had gone hands on and the thing went sideways would the company cover medical and legal expenses or claim that since they violated written policy they were on their own?
    The security guards did their job and they did it well. It is no fault of theirs that the general public does not understand what their job really is.
    I agree with you. Not only that, there are so very many people here who repeatedly counsel about not getting involved in stuff unless it is your own family; bet some of them are going to criticize the "guards."

    Everyone talks about "liability" and risk of not only getting hurt but getting into trouble with the law. It is real.

    In some threads we repeatedly read about the restrictions (I happen to agree with them) on loss prevention personnel doing anything more than politely asking. Why should these guys be different?

    I have no idea what I would have or should have or could have done had I stepped into that situation. I do know that no matter what it would be, just call 911 and "be a good witness," grab a kid and break her arm quick so I could grab another kid and do the same till they all got off the girl, pull a weapon; no matter what, there would be plenty of Monday morning quarterbacks; police, judges, lawyers, newspapers, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all critiquing me.

    The "security guards" didn't witness what led up to this beating, didn't know who provoked it, and had no more duty to intervene than anyone else.

    What's that you said about the chl doesn't make you a cop? It doesn't make you a guardian? And were you there it would make physically intervening highly risky to you individually. Maybe you pull one kid off and they turn on you forcing to draw, and then it is no longer clear that it was self defense or justifiable use of force, that issue happens all the time when folks intervene.

    All of that said, the right thing would have been to do something more than just stand there.... but I can't fault them.

    And there are plenty here who shouldn't either as they have repeated the mantra, "be a good witness," "don't intervene in third party issues," etc., ad nauseum.

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I agree with you. Not only that, there are so very many people here who repeatedly counsel about not getting involved in stuff unless it is your own family; bet some of them are going to criticize the "guards."

    Everyone talks about "liability" and risk of not only getting hurt but getting into trouble with the law. It is real.

    In some threads we repeatedly read about the restrictions (I happen to agree with them) on loss prevention personnel doing anything more than politely asking. Why should these guys be different?

    I have no idea what I would have or should have or could have done had I stepped into that situation. I do know that no matter what it would be, just call 911 and "be a good witness," grab a kid and break her arm quick so I could grab another kid and do the same till they all got off the girl, pull a weapon; no matter what, there would be plenty of Monday morning quarterbacks; police, judges, lawyers, newspapers, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all critiquing me.

    The "security guards" didn't witness what led up to this beating, didn't know who provoked it, and had no more duty to intervene than anyone else.

    What's that you said about the chl doesn't make you a cop? It doesn't make you a guardian? And were you there it would make physically intervening highly risky to you individually. Maybe you pull one kid off and they turn on you forcing to draw, and then it is no longer clear that it was self defense or justifiable use of force, that issue happens all the time when folks intervene.

    All of that said, the right thing would have been to do something more than just stand there.... but I can't fault them.

    And there are plenty here who shouldn't either as they have repeated the mantra, "be a good witness," "don't intervene in third party issues," etc., ad nauseum.
    The guards are not armed, so any escalation would not lead to them drawing a weapon. Further, no lethal weapon was presented by the attackers.
    That does not mean it couldn't happen, of course not, but it's likely it would have already escalated to that point, which means the guards probably would not have faced a lethal threat such as is assumed in the scenarios you reference when speaking of the old saw here about CCW's not getting involved.
    Further, I think there is a reasonable expectation that when present, security should provide protection. Any flaw in that is contractual, and again leads me to believe that contract guards of this type are useless.
    "Don't Tread on Me"

  4. #18
    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    The correct human response to the situation aside, it goes back to Metro Transit's procurement documents. Those documents did not procure a useful service. Just a service that employed a few people and deceived the average citizen that security was being provided. Another waste of taxpayer money.

    Procurement documents can specify the training, certification, equipment, skills, insurance coverage, and performance standards to be met by the contractor. As mcp1810 correctly pointed out, these people were doing what Metro paid to have done.

    It is amusing to see Metro and King County officials crying crocodile tears about this response. The officials of the security firm are not going to bite the hand that feeds them, thus the wishy-washy quotes about being disappointed etc. I hope the local media calls Metro on this. I guess that will depend upon whether the media is in bed with the government or not. We will see.

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    There are different "types" or "grades" or "levels" or whatever you want to call them of contract security. The most basic is just a warm body with a valid social security number that a company can show to their insurance company. If they can show they have on site security they can get reduced premiums. Of course the company is not going to pay (significantly) more to the security contractor than they save on their insurance. That would just be bad business.
    That is what most contract security work in this country is about. Probably half of the contract security workers in this country could be replaced by motion sensors and bar code scanners. A lot of their duties are as simple as having people sign for keys, or sign a log when they enter or leave "restricted" areas.
    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is meaningless work, but these folks could be replaced by appliances if someone wanted to spend the money on the hardware. It is work that needs to be done, but does not require a human to do it. This is your typical minimum wage security gig.
    As you move up the pay scale the intellectual effort involved (and generally the quality of worker) goes up.
    Not everyone gets to be Gecko45.
    The security industry is like any other service. You get what you pay for.
    If you expect Xe level of service and personel you are going to have to pay Xe level wages. You are not going to get it for what you pay someone to work the drive through at a burger joint.
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  6. #20
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    The point here is they put those guards in an awful situation. They could either do the wrong thing and get nailed by it, or do the right thing and get nailed by losing their jobs, possibly getting injuries or criminal charges, and possibly getting sued by bad guys. When you put someone in a position where all the options are bad, expect them to perform poorly.

    I agree that they should have decided to intervene, but I hate the situation they and other security guards are put in.

  7. #21
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    Federal Police Officers for the Department of Veterans Affairs are told when going through their Federal Police Academy in North Little Rock AR that they legally can only act\respond if something happens IN their jurisdiction.

    Example: If one of their FPO's is standing on his\her official VA Property and someone is being attacked 20 feet off their property - they are told to call the Local Police whose jurisdiction it is happening in.

    When questioned about "doing the right thing" the lawyer teaching this particular class replied "Do what your conscience and resume can handle" as in - if you do what's right and intervene you can and may very well lose your job.

    One of my friends is a prior Federal Air Marshall. He said they are restricted to only take action within their official jurisdiction too – and the only area that is their responsibility is INSIDE the airplane AFTER the door is sealed….

    Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it..?..
    For God, Family and Country!

  8. #22
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    I think what scares me the most here is the realization that I may one day have to defend against a young person, a girl at that! I think it is safe to say most here would have stepped in if they witnessed the attack. That would have required stopping, fighting, detaining, shooting, or killing a 15 year old assailant.

    Given the head kicking we saw in the video, I think stopping the assailant with deadly force would be reasonable. Anyone else ever considered shooting a 15 year old girl?
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    It disgusts and disheartens me that a 15yo girl would need to be shot, but after exhausting any other means, damn right I would.
    "Don't Tread on Me"

  10. #24
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arko View Post
    It disgusts and disheartens me that a 15yo girl would need to be shot, but after exhausting any other means, damn right I would.
    Yup. Exactly.

    They are only charging that gal with 1st degree robbery. Sentencing up to 129 weeks in juvenile detention. No assault charges!!!

    I would classify it as:
    RCW 9A.36.021: Assault in the second degree.

    RCW 9A.36.021
    Assault in the second degree.


    (1) A person is guilty of assault in the second degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first degree:

    (a) Intentionally assaults another and thereby recklessly inflicts substantial bodily harm; or

    (b) Intentionally and unlawfully causes substantial bodily harm to an unborn quick child by intentionally and unlawfully inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child; or

    (c) Assaults another with a deadly weapon; or

    (d) With intent to inflict bodily harm, administers to or causes to be taken by another, poison or any other destructive or noxious substance; or

    (e) With intent to commit a felony, assaults another; or
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  11. #25
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    I understand the part that these Security Guards did what they were told to do, I dang well don't agree with it, but I understand it. It was mentioned about jurisdiction and such here, that's why this country has so much Law Enforcement and yet possibly so much crime, jurisdiction could be the answer, Air Marshals can only apply their legal means inside the plane, FPOs for the VPA can't go 20 feet out of their jurisdiction, it gets down right ridiculous doesn't it. I'll tell you what, we've got more dang Law Enforcement in my city, I can't figure out how we have any crime in this freakin city, but we do.

    Actually it was just one girl beating up one girl that I saw, the other ones never did anything to her that I saw, that doesn't excuse it, but whatever happened, she dang well better learn how to fight better along the way also.

    There is blame plenty to go around, that's for sure. Hopefully some changes will come about.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

  12. #26
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    Agree with Guardian on Jurisdiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian View Post
    It was mentioned about jurisdiction and such here, that's why this country has so much Law Enforcement and yet possibly so much crime
    This is a very valid point.
    One possible answer is some form of security guard certification program which would confer on them some real powers-- at least if they witness a crime in progress.

    It shouldn't be that difficult to create a state law that basically allows any peace officer (city, state, county, state or Federal) or lawfully credentialed private security guard to legally intervene in ongoing witnessed criminal events.

    And in this situation we are discussing, a "good Samaritan law" could be put in place to protect an individual who makes a good faith effort at intervention; just as we have Good Samaritan laws for medical emergencies.

  13. #27
    Member Array Holger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Asbestos underoos are on...............
    Having been a union rep and also having worked private security I have absolutely no problem with the security guards and their actions.
    They did exactly what they are paid to do. If the folks there don't like what they got for their money they need to negotiate a new contract. These guys are probably making minimum wage, or close to it. If you want them to insert themselves into a violent situation you need to provide them with the training and the tools to do the job safely and you need to adquately compensate them for that risk.
    I love how the employer is disapointed in the response of the guards. I wonder what their employee handbook says to do in situations like this. Do you think more people have been fired by that company for following the written policies or from deviating from them? If the guards had gone hands on and the thing went sideways would the company cover medical and legal expenses or claim that since they violated written policy they were on their own?
    The security guards did their job and they did it well. It is no fault of theirs that the general public does not understand what their job really is.
    Let's add Union = Fail to the list. Thank God union membership is declining in America. What was once a useful method of protecting workers from unscrupulous employers has turned into a "Don't make me do anything worthwhile while paying me gargantuan sums of money" venture, especially when it comes to public sector unions.

    I hope the TSA unionizes someday...I feel safer already. "Hey, I'm not PAID to actually CONFRONT someone with a weapon in an airport....now where's my pension, suckers?!?"

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    Almost Everyone on this forum always says to just be a good witness and call 911. And then when someone takes your advice you jump down their throat for not intervening?

    That being said. I would have intervened, and I would intervene in other situations as well, Armed BG or not. I can't just stand by while someone gets hurt and a criminal gets away scott free.

    Security Guards can very easily get arrested for assault in these cases, or injured. If the guard was injured he would be fired and on his own for medical payment. Security guards are no different then you or me. The only difference is they wear a uniform to DETER crime. Most SGs don't carry handcuffs, let alone a weapon. They are a feel good measure for the sheep.


    So think about your reaction to this story next time you post in a "Would you help?" Scenario.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  15. #29
    Member Array Holger's Avatar
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    Then let's have the SG union come out and publicly say "hey, we're just here for eye candy. I might have the word "security" on my clothes, but it's really just a bluff. I'm just standing here on the off-chance someone who really wants to beat the crap out of you is intimidated by goateed, overweight guys wearing shirts that say "SECURITY."

    If you don't want to help, don't take a job that might actually require you to help. It ain't rocket science. For anyone to quibble over this is pathetic. If you don't want to actually provide "security," don't take a job as "security" guard. Or wear a shirt that says "I'm just here to take up space and taxpayer dollars."

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    Two years ago a gang of teenage hoodlums stomped a man into a coma in front of a few thousand people, at Valley Fair (MN version of Six Flags). Park "security" stood by and watched the whole thing, did not intervene, did not try to intervene.

    Situation was stopped by an off-duty policeman who happened to be nearby, who produced his handgun, which in turn caused the thugs to think about their own life. Gun stops crime. You won't hear that on the news.

    Unarmed security guards are worthless.

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