\But officers are heartless thugs out to kill people, right?\ The follow-up of the officer to this situation is beyond remarkable, and he deserves a medal for his behavior. His body camera catches not only the ambush, but him trying to talk the suicidal man down afterward. There are Active Self Protection lessons for LEO and CCW alike.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original body camera video here: https://get-asp.com/8ha7
News story on the prosecutor’s findings (and how important the body camera footage was) here: https://get-asp.com/mznq
What does this body camera footage teach CCW and LEO alike?
- If you go read the news story, this is evidence that gun control in America is a farcical, quixotic effort. The man who dies here has a criminal history dating back at least to multiple felonies in 1972 and was currently under investigation in a domestic violence incident. He was a prohibited possessor who was nevertheless waving a gun around and getting drunk. He couldn’t legally own firearms, and yet there he was. He was willing to try to murder a police officer (the body camera shows that clearly at least!), and no laws kept him from being able to do so.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. The body camera shows clearly that the officer had no ability to fend this attack off or defend against it, as the deranged man set a perfect ambush to kill him. Thank God he was wearing his vest!
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training!
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. The body camera shows how incredibly close the officer came to dying that day. I bet he got to spend some time thinking about life in the next couple of days!
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. In the moment of the shooting the body camera shows that the suicidal man was stopped because all four officers present shot him. They worked as a team.
- Our goal as self-defenders is to stop the threat. We are not vigilantes and we are not out to kill, we seek to stop the threat against us. Shooting to wound will not stop the threat reliably, and neither will shooting an attacker in an extremity. The only reliably means to stop an aggressor who means us death or grievous bodily harm is to put shots in the center of their available mass to cause nervous system collapse or bleeding out. (exsanguination is the technical term) The body camera shows the officer fire ONE shot and then stop, and that was really restrained. The whole video shows restraint, as the officers tried and tried to stop the threat before it came to that!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)