This officer fought for his life, and while he had every right to use deadly force against this suspect, his unconventional tactics made it unnecessary. Kudos to him for that!
If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos like this officer knocking a suspect out? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
News story on the unconventional tactics the officer used: https://get-asp.com/gcjf
Additional information from a LE perspective: https://get-asp.com/ukir
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves against an aggressive attacker?
- Our defensive strategy is always dictated by our mission. It’s worth remembering that the mission of military members (to overwhelm the enemy with force and drive them from the battlefield) is different than the mission of law enforcement officers (to protect and serve the public interest by subduing and arresting those suspected of crime) is different than the mission of armed private citizens (to protect their loved ones from harm by breaking contact effectively with violent criminals). Those varied missions will dictate what skills are needed and what tactics are employed! This officer had to take the suspect into custody, so he had to pursue the fight to hands-on. A CCW holder would not.
- Having a light mounted on your pistol is not for everyone, but for those who can make it work it does give you another tool in the toolbox. I carry the TLR-1 HL on my pistol and it works wonderfully. It does not replace a handheld light for general lighting needs, but for illuminating a known threat it is very helpful. The key, as always, is to train with it regularly and seriously.
- One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “proportionality,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ). Proportionality requires that the response is proportional to the threat, and escalating conflict is not allowed legally or morally. When we fail the test of proportionality by escalating conflict, we lose our innocence in the eyes of the law and put ourselves at risk of spending significant time in prison. Proportionality is also why I carry a pepper spray, because non-lethal threats require non-lethal responses. (I carry this one: http://amzn.to/1kxJ3v8 ) Likewise, when a threat like this suspect is shown NOT to be a deadly threat, we must not use deadly force against that threat! That’s why LT Weldon put his firearm away…he wasn’t facing a deadly threat in that moment from the suspect and needed his hands to take him into custody. Knowing when a threat is deadly is important!
- One of the pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “reasonableness.” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ) In every defensive incident we ask whether the actions of the defender were reasonable from an objective standpoint. Would an objective, reasonable person do what you did in the moment? A good test of whether your actions are reasonable is whether you did them to stop the threat or to punish someone (Charles Humes calls it “The Punisher Test”: https://get-asp.com/nybt it’s a good comparison) Would it have been reasonable for LT Weldon to have used deadly force when he was able to draw his pistol again against the suspect? Dubon had just fought him, gouged at his eyes, and tried to take his gun. LT Weldon was exhausted physically and facing a suspect who could have overpowered him in a few moments more, and he had no idea when backup would arrive. That makes it highly reasonable for him to stop that deadly threat definitively. Still, hats off to him for doing everything possible not to use deadly force!
- Fights are physically demanding. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill! LT Weldon had enough in the tank to win a LONG entangled grappling fight against a determined suspect, while in full police gear. Kudos to him!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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