POLICE vs. PASSIVE RESISTANCE: what is the proper type of force?
In a recent case , a mentally ill man was allotted 30 seconds to let go of a post and accompany the police to a mental hospital. He refused and was tased five times, handcuffed and shackled face down where he died. (Armstrong v. Village of Pinehurst (January 11, 2016).) In 2011, during an Occupy pro
The Orlando PD's Use of Force ContinuumSuspect resistance Officer use of force 1. No resistance - Officer presence 2. Verbal noncompliance - Verbal commands 3. Passive resistance - Hands-on tactics, chemical spray (The subject fails to obey verbal direction, preventing the officer from taking lawful action) 4. Active resistance - Intermediate weapons: baton, Taser, strikes, non deadly force (The subject's actions are intended to facilitate an escape or prevent an arrest. The action is not likely to cause injury) 5. Aggressive resistance - Intermediate weapons, intensified techniques, non deadly force (The subject has battered or is about to batter an officer, and the subject's action is likely to cause injury) 6. Deadly-force resistance - Deadly force (The subject's actions are likely to cause death or significant bodily harm to the officer or another person) (Adapted from the Orlando, Florida, Police Department's Resistance and Response Continuum)
A Chart Can't be DispositiveIn the Armstrong case, holding on to a post would be classified as passive resistance and hands-on tactics/chemical spray are recommended; a taser is not appropriate. The U.C. Davis students also failed to obey verbal direction and were passive resisters but chemical spray, though listed as an appropriate response constituted excessive force when sprayed in the faces of kneeling protesters.
For Non-Threatening Resistance-Less is MoreUse of force is an officer's last option -- a necessary course of action to restore safety in a community when other practices are ineffective." The level of force to be used is the minimum amount necessary to mitigate an incident, make an arrest, or protect themselves or others from harm. The appropriate level of force used varies based on the situation and the officer's level of training or experience. " (Michael E. Miller, "Taser Use and the Use-of-Force Continuum: Examining the Effect of Policy Change," The Police Chief 77 (September 2010): 72-76, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CPIM0910/index.php#/72)
ConclusionObviously, police training in hands-on techniques and de-escalating charged situations using verbal commands are needed. Only training and experience will result in increasing the likelihood of an appropriate response.