Punching the back of the neck is acceptable detainment techniques for LEO's?

Bob Hubbard

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Police under investigation after Kentucky Derby beating video emerges

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By Carlos Miller
A Youtube video showing Louisiville Metro police officers subduing a man while punching him repeatedly in the back of the neck has prompted an internal investigation. The incident occurred in the infield of Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby earlier this month. It is not clear what crimes the suspect committed because the video only shows police walking up to him as he appears to be kneeling.
At least four officers have him under control while one of them punches him repeatedly as another officer yells quit fighting, quit fighting.
However, the man doesnt appear to be fighting.

I'm seeing a KY LEO punch a prone person repeatedly in the back of the neck here. I'm not seeing much if any resistance from the subject.

Anyone know more on the situation, lead in, etc?
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Police under investigation after Kentucky Derby beating video emerges

I'm seeing a KY LEO punch a prone person repeatedly in the back of the neck here. I'm not seeing much if any resistance from the subject.

Anyone know more on the situation, lead in, etc?

Just a guess.

Guy was drunk and being an ***. Cops gave him a chance to leave under his own steam. Guy walked off and tried to remain on the premises. Cops saw him.

When he was picked up between the two cops, he may have gotten slightly frisky - the dude in the orange jersey blocked the shot.

The 'quit fighting' punching cop was trying to get Citizen Drunk to stop resisting having the cuffs put on - very common in drunks. Distracting blows to keep him from concentrating on keeping his arms apart. The punches didn't look all that hard.

Anyway, just guessing, as I said. Could have been anything, but I'd take the cops side on this one, unless something horrible comes to light.
 
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I can hit pretty hard with a short punch, but I agree with you, those didn't look like power shots to me either.
 

Empty Hands

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They don't have to be power shots when the back of the neck is involved. The guy was fully restrained when the hits started coming. Joint manipulation would have been safer and more appropriate.
 

Bill Mattocks

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The grass was soft as was the ground underneath. You saw the cop kneel on the dude's head - it sank halfway into the turf.

The cop's technique might have left something to be desired, but it did not seem like excessive force to me. It was overwhelming force, and that's how we do (in my case, did) it. It's not supposed to be fair. It's supposed to be fast, safe, and over, and the cops always win, no questions.

I cannot tell you how many handcuffed drunks have challenged me to a fight, if I'd just remove the cuffs to make it 'fair'. No thanks. I'm happy to pummel mister kick-and-spit while he still wears the hand-irons. I'm not into fair.
 

Bill Mattocks

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They don't have to be power shots when the back of the neck is involved.

Looked more like the back side of the neck to me, not the direct back. A pressure point between neck and shoulder. I could be wrong.

The guy was fully restrained when the hits started coming. Joint manipulation would have been safer and more appropriate.

No, he was immobilized, but he was apparently resisting having the hand irons applied. Pretty common. Strong guys and drunks can often resist for while. It gets old quick, and breaking their arms is considered a no-no.
 

Archangel M

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Looks like the strikes were landing on the low neck/shoulder area and not directly down on the neck... IMO there should be an investigation, but more for training purposes rather than punitive ones. IMO the blows didnt appear to be "brutality" or excessive but I would question the officer as to the necessity for the strikes.

I would ask why Taser wasnt used if he was resisting. Looks like a classic "drive stun" opportunity (which would you rather have taken??).

The "common sense and good judgement" of doing it in broad daylight...while being filmed and in a crowd would be another issue for a supervisor as well. Some things that are fine and legal "play better" in an alley at 3am vs. the Ky Derby in the middle of the day.
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I've watched this video now about 5 times. I think some of you need to rewatch it. First the guy doesn't look like he's giving very much resistance on the video, of course that could be because of the angle and the fact that the cops are blocking most of the action with there bodies. However, the cop delivering the neck punches, when he kneeled on the perpetrator, he didn't just kneel. He dropped his bodyweight directly on to the neck, with his knee leading the way. That is a potentially lethal blow. It doesn't take much weight to break bones, especially the ones in the neck. Second there are three cops, if three grown men can't subdue a person who is not aggressively attacking them, without delivering strikes to potentially life altering targets, they shouldn't be cops. Also you can tell from the cops body language, that when he first lifted his knee to deliver that shot to the neck, he hestitated coming up. Just a twitch, and then he decided, screw it, I'm dropping it, right on his neck. And that's what he did. THis easily could have killed this guy. All 4 of these people got very lucky on this day.
 

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Aye, I was watching the clip and thinking very poorly of the way the situation was being handled (I know, I know, different culture so I shouldn't judge but I've just been looking through some of the material on http://carlosmiller.com/) and then the officer on the left jammed his knee in ...

Crikey! Lucky or good? I certainly can't tell from one viewing from this angle why the man being arrested hasn't got a broken neck. I'm certainly not inclined to view it again due to the negative impact it will have on my views of law enforcement in general in the States (can I even spell "tarring every officer with the same brush" :eek:).

I shall await the outcome of the whitewash ... er ... investigation, I meant obviously.

Oh and whilst I'm bandying about underinformed stereotypes, look at the state that field was in! Do you chaps not believe in picking up after yourselves? What a load of chavs :p.
 
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arnisador

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That does look like it was more than was needed, but it's always hard to tell from a video (esp. without the prelude).
 

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I want to know what the guy was doing or had done, that required him to be removed from where he was. The guy in quesiton looked to me, like he could barely stand on his own, let alone resist. Now, even if he was resisting, I would think that the LEOs have to adjust their use of force accordingly. In other words, I highly doubt they'd have been justified in pulling their guns, going on just what we saw.

I'm going to chalk alot of the officers actions to lack of proper training. Additionally, I would think that they would have resorted to their less lethal options first, ie: OC, as well as the tasers that I saw on a few of them. I would also bet there were other pain compliance things they could have done, other than punching, that would not have looked as bad as this did, to the bystanders.
 

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They don't have to be power shots when the back of the neck is involved. The guy was fully restrained when the hits started coming. Joint manipulation would have been safer and more appropriate.

What is your definition of fully restrained? Do you mean that the officers had him under control or that he was cuffed, because he was not cuffed when those pnches came. They were still in the process of doing that. Actually the first punch came while he was being taken down.

IMO, I would not say he was fully restrained, and it didn't look like the cops had much control over him in the beginning.

I do agree though...joint manipulation would have been a better way to go.
 

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What is your definition of fully restrained?

Right, you are correct to point out that he wasn't in cuffs. What I meant was he was face down on the ground, with his limbs controlled. The punching cop even had a hand on his neck, pushing him down into the ground. The guy could resist of course, but he had no reasonable ability to strike the officers or otherwise cause damage.
 

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You have to look closely.

At the moment one cop tries to lift the suspect up from behind, someone cuts in front of the camera's view. But look closely - it appears that the suspect is trying to escape the officer's grasp, you can hear the chatter from the officers increase, and they put the habeus grabbus on him and spin him down to the ground, face first. I believe he's wrestling with them or at least resisting as he goes down - but the view is blocked.

You can hear the cops at the end of the tape, one is telling him that he gave the suspect a break and he refused to leave and now he has to go away in handcuffs, isn't that a shame, etc - pure cop talk. I think that makes it pretty clear there was an earlier incident, not on the video, in which the cops told the drunken suspect to leave the area, and he didn't, which leads us to why the cop was trying to lift the suspect up off the ground in the first seconds of the video.

In the absence of further information, I still see nothing wrong here.
 

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I think there needs to be an internal investigation. At most, reprimand the punching officer. He didn't do anything wrong and I believe that he wasn't striking the drunk too hard...

But it's a perception thing. The fact that the world can now see this, and have Louisville PD seen in this light should require some form of punishment on those officers involved.

Video recording is everywhere. They make their PD look bad by looking like meat-head thugs.

Concerning the strikes, it doesn't matter in their lethality as much as the open statement to everyone in that public space: "the police will hit you in the back of the neck for being drunk".... instead of a better message: "the police will arrest you for being drunk."

It's a fine line, but with increasing video recording, it's a line not to be toed over, since we're sitting at our desks discussing this hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away.

Situational awareness doesn't just apply to citizens on the street. It applies to law enforcement, since they're supposed to be the ones that preserve the peace and uphold the law.

In terms of this video, regardless of the prelude to the incident, I question the escalation of force.
 

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Not trying to defend any other cops here but those strikes did not look all that powerful and, maybe I am really off he could have been working on the brachial plexus tie-in as a nerve strike. That sounds weak but so were those shots.
 

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I'm confused by what video other people are looking at. It's pretty clear to me that this guy is resisting. Now whether or not those blows to the back of the head/neck/shoulder area are abuse or not is difficult to tell because it's hard to tell where, specifically, he's actually hitting. As for whether their hard shots or not? You'd need to be on the receiving end to tell, short distance hits can be extremely hard if delivered right.
 

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youknow, maybe if the police beat the crap out of more people, and arrested less people, jails wouldnt be so overcrowed and people wouldnt be willing to be such asshats in public....
 

GBlues

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I'm confused by what video other people are looking at. It's pretty clear to me that this guy is resisting. Now whether or not those blows to the back of the head/neck/shoulder area are abuse or not is difficult to tell because it's hard to tell where, specifically, he's actually hitting. As for whether their hard shots or not? You'd need to be on the receiving end to tell, short distance hits can be extremely hard if delivered right.

Well, I'll tell ya, that knee drop to the neck wasn't very hard tell where it was going. o----0
^ ^
H N S

H is the head, N is hte neck, and S is the shoulder. So where did that knee fall?

K
o-/--0

^
Right about there.

The neck on the ground is like a bridge there is nothing to support it between the head and the shoulders. That is a tremendously devastating shot, when the targeting is done spot on. This cop didn't aim for the shoulders, he aimed for the neck! Period. Hate to be the barer of bad news, but this cop was out of line. There is no slide, from the knee striking the shoulders and then sliding to the neck. It hit the neck. Everbody is talking about these punches to the neck. THere isn't a lot of body weight behind those, but that knee even from that short height, can break bones. To say that you can't see where the shots are going, well in a word that's B U L L S H I T! Period. And furthermore, I would think that a resisting perpetrator would have resisted a little bit more before he was on the ground. He did not, looked to me like he was more intent on trying to not spill his beer!
 

Bill Mattocks

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And furthermore, I would think that a resisting perpetrator would have resisted a little bit more before he was on the ground. He did not, looked to me like he was more intent on trying to not spill his beer!

Drunks face down on the ground tend not to want to be handcuffed. I've seen it too many times. It's like a ritual they have to go through. Trying to get their hands together in back, palms facing out, can wear you out. I'm just saying, I've done it too many times. I am not sure I ever remember a conscious drunk who did NOT resist the hand-irons being applied.
 

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