Tuesday, February 26, 2019 (8-Noon)
Developing, guiding, training, documenting, investigating, and analyzing law enforcement officer (LEO) use of force can be very daunting in many respects with innumerable huge learning curves. To most, the basic objectives may seem simple:
- Guide (policy and training) LEOs to make optimal force decisions under the circumstances they face, maximally objectively document force use, and provide optimal force reporting;
- LEOs use the minimum force necessary to accomplish lawful objectives (United Nations (U.N.) standard);
- Clearly explain and differentiate the ideal force objectives from appropriately applied accountability standards, and
- Only justly hold LEOs accountable for misuse of force in violation of appropriately applied consequence standards.
There are many pitfalls and landmines to achieving these objectives. As examples:
- The ideal goal of using minimum force to accomplish lawful objectives (U.N. standard) is often wrongly conflated to U.S. Constitutional standards that, in essence, are to not intentionally abuse authority.
- Too many guidelines are inappropriately based on unsupported ipse dixit while they should be based on appropriately applied legal precedent, greater weight of known science, known foundational concepts, realities of force events, etc.
- Inappropriately conflated negative consequences are often based on mis, inaccurate, information, knowledge, degrees of certainty and evidentiary reliability, and foundational concepts.
Significant force events are very rare and occur (on average) less than once per career for all involved, including: LEOs, supervisors, trainers, chiefs/sheriffs, investigators, medical examiners, and government officials. The extreme rarity of such force events is often synergistically magnified by sensationalistic, rather than factual, abundantly enthusiastic media, coupled with abusively boisterous critics.
Attendees will benefit from this presentation by gaining appreciations and understanding for, and strategies for dealing with:
- The full timeline of force events and aftermaths and how the elements intertwine,
- Frequency of force use, including temporal arrest related deaths,
- Common errors in force guidance and inappropriate mingling and conflations of standards,
- Importance of objective evidence documenting of force events,
- Strategies to guide and train LEOs to help them optimally respond to and document such rare events,
- Pitfalls in investigating force events,
- Understanding correctly applied force standards and how they are often misused,
- Appreciating mistakes made by investigators, decision makers, and others in the aftermath of incidents and how those mistakes have resulted in horrendous consequences to LEOs, and
- Strategies to avoid the pitfalls and landmines. This material and the lessons are not limited to the U.S., they equally apply to other countries, including, but not limited to: United Kingdom (U.K), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.