POLICE Magazine

JUN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1129771

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48 POLICE JUNE 2019 BARRON V. CALIFORNIA T he "suicide by cop" case in- volved a California Highway Pa- trol motorcycle officer who was sued in Barron v. State of California. It was night and several people called 911 to report a man on Interstate 5 walk- ing on the freeway, waving his arms er- ratically, jumping over the center divid- er on the freeway, intentionally trying to be hit by vehicles, and actually being hit by a car. e CHP created a traffic break, and a motorcycle officer moved forward to try to find the man and get him some help. Paramedics had already been called and were staging nearby. e officer stated the following at his interview, and later testified similarly: "As I came to a stop, I unbuckled my TASER. As I came to a stop, he started to approach my location… I stepped back beside my motorcycle and started giv- ing him commands to stop, stop where he's at. "He starts approaching pretty rapid- ly. He takes his right hand and sticks it behind his back. As he's approaching me, I went ahead and pulled out my duty weapon and continued to give him commands, 'Stop—stop—stop.' And he started yelling at me, 'I have a gun, and I'm going to shoot you.' I continued to say, 'Just stop, just stop.' 'I got a gun, I'm going to kill you with it,' [the man said]… By the time I get my gun all the way out and I'm putting out those com- mands, he's probably 30 feet from me now. As he's yelling, 'I've got a gun, I'm going to kill you.' "I ducked down behind my bike, he went around the right side of my bike… and he's continuing to yell, 'I have a gun, I have a gun, I'm going to kill you.' At this time, I believed he had a gun… and he had his right hand to the back to where I couldn't see his right hand. At that time, he went into the darkness out of my light, and I told him to stop again and he jerked both hands out and points his arms out and locks out his el- bows as if he had a firearm. And at that time, I opened fire…" e suspect died, and the jury re- turned a verdict in favor of the officer. THE GRAHAM FACTORS I n both of these cases, in their re- ports, depositions, and testimony in front of the jury the involved of- ficers explained what happened, what the resistance and attacks looked like, and why they did what they did. If not for their clear, forthright testimony, the verdicts in these cases could have been different. When determining whether to apply force and evaluating whether an officer has used reasonable force, a number of factors should be taken into consider- ation, as time and circumstances per- mit. ese factors include, but are not limited to: • e seriousness of the crime or sus- pected offense • e level of threat or resistance pre- sented by the subject • Whether the subject was posing an imminent threat to officers or a danger to the community • e potential for injury to citizens, of- ficers or subjects • e risk or apparent attempt by the subject to escape • e conduct of the subject being con- fronted (as reasonably perceived by the officer at the time) • e time available to an officer to make a decision • e availability of other resources • e training and experience of the simplifying t h e d u t y h o l s t e r made in the u.s.a. X - C A L I B U R TM The X-Calibur works with your body's natural mechanics, incorporating the Science of Human Factors to produce a secure, fast, and intuitive duty holster. p o i n t b l a n k e n t e r p r i s e s . c o m J TACTICS AND TRAINING PHOTO: GET T Y IMAGES

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