Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Taser Used by Police the RIGHT Way, Everyone Lived

Macon County Sheriff's Deputies saved a life and avoided killing or seriously injuring the intoxicated, knife wielding aggressor.

“I saw Johnny Hopkins Jr. with a knife in his left hand held to the throat of … [the homeowner],” wrote Farmer in the police report.

The report states he immediately drew his service weapon and Willis pulled and activated her taser. A female who was also in the room was able to get to the door and open it for the officers.

“In this type of situation, lethal force was justified,” Farmer said regarding the preparation of using his handgun. “We had tasers available, however, and we were able to react quickly, so that was not necessary.”

Hopkins did not respond to repeated demands to drop his weapon.

“I drew on him instantly through the window and shined my flashlight at him. When I warned him, he did back up, but he did not drop the knife,” Hopkins said.

Because of scattered items in the room, deputies only entered partway so as to keep a clear line of site of the victim and Hopkins.

When he and Willis were able to enter the home, he said Willis waited for his go-ahead before deploying her taser.

“Willis was to my right, and she said, ‘Just say when,’” Farmer said.

He gave the go-ahead and Willis deployed her taser striking Hopkins just left of the stomach and in his right shoulder.

“It was enough of a stun to make him drop the knife, but he still continued to resist,” Farmer said. It was at this point he and Willis “assisted” him to the ground.

Note: The Taser stun forced the subject to drop the knife, but did not incapacitate him. The deputies then "assisted" the subject to the ground without further Taser use. Despite being heavily intoxicated -- a factor Taser insists is to blame for Taser related deaths along with drug use and mental problems -- the subject is alive and not seriously harmed. In the other cases presented in this and other forums multiple Taser hits were used by police and subjects died.

Can we add 2 + 2 yet?

Teamwork, training, and the proper use of the tools at their disposal allowed these two deputies to difuse a lethal situation with no harm to anyone.

“[The homeowner] told us he believed [Hopkins] was going to kill him if we had not shown up,” Farmer said.

Farmer credits teamwork as the reason that no one was hurt in this situation. He said that officers are trained to the point of working step-in-step with one another.

“As far as teamwork, we don’t even need to talk to know what the other one is going to do. That’s how tightly we work together,” he said, crediting Willis for her quick response on the scene. “I trust these guys with my back in any given situation.”

He said he was glad the situation ended as well as it did, because the scene he walked in on could have ended very badly.

“We call that a success if we can walk away without anyone getting hurt and every officer able to go home to their family,” he said.

Job Well Done!

[UPDATE] Another case in Wisconsin: Police used the Taser ONCE, knife wielding, intoxicated subject is not incapcitated, officers then "assist" the subject to the ground. One Taser hit, no one died.

And another subject with a knife gets tasered in Omaha... What is it with all these idiots holding knives to other people's throats? It's almost enough for another edition of You Could Get Tasered!

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