Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bellingham's Better Way For Police To Defuse A Tense Situation Without Fatal Force

Each time there is a new incident where police use fatal force to defuse a threatening situation, such as someone waving a knife, gun or just acting nuts, with the police shooting multiple bullets, I always wonder why there is not a better, safer, saner way?

Such as some sort of stun gun. Something less dire than shooting a taser dart.

And then I read that which you see screen capped here on Facebook, telling the story of how Bellingham, Washington Police Department police defused a confrontation with a man wielding a knife in a threatening manner.

Read this and ask why this is not standard operating procedure for all the police patrolling America.....

Just prior to 1 p.m. today our officers were dispatched to check on a man in his early 40's that was in a gravel lot near the McDonalds on Hannegan Road. Callers reported that he was displaying a kitchen knife and was yelling. The first two officers to arrive requested more assistance as the man was posturing as if he was going to attack them. Based on his behavior, and proximity to nearby citizens, the man could not simply be left alone. With additional resources on scene the officers were able to convince the man to set the knife down and as he moved away officers tried to block his path back to the knife. Seeing this the man lunged back toward the knife and an officer armed with a less lethal shotgun deployed bean bag style impact munitions striking the extremities of the man. The intent of the pain compliance measure was to drive him away from the knife and worked for a short time. A second officer deployed a Taser which successfully disrupted the man's ability to move long enough for an officer to place handcuffs on him. The man was quickly checked for injuries and then taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. He will likely be charged with brandishing a weapon and resisting arrest but his medical needs take priority. 

We are proud of the actions of our officers in this tense situation. Using proper equipment that they are well trained in likely prevented this situation from escalating to a deadly force scenario. Well done!

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