Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Unarmed isn't Harmless

Mark pointed out a great post to me that you should probably read.  You can find it here:  The danger of fists

The poster's thoughts are worth your time.  An excerpt to give you an idea what he's saying:
Police use of force policies treat an officer being knocked unconscious or mounted as lethal force events. Firstly because as we’ve shown it’s extremely easy for the officer to be gravely injured just by the ongoing assault of fists, but also because when the officer is seeing stars or unconscious the perp will often go for the officer’s weapon and use it to kill them. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, in 2011 three officers were killed with their own weapons and five of them had their weapons stolen from them. (Not even counting how many were injured in the same fashion but survived) Better holster design and better defensive tactics have helped reduce the number of officers who die every year after losing a physical confrontation and having their weapon stolen, but every year we still lose police officers because they end up on the losing end of a “fistfight” and then their gun gets taken from them.

Of course, suspects don’t need to use the officer’s weapon to kill. Take this 17 year old who murdered an El Paso police officer using his bare hands. The Cliff’s notes version is that the teenager threw a punch that caught the officer good, then tackled the officer driving him to the ground. Then the teenager mounted the police officer (just like you saw in the MMA video above [see linked post for that video]) and rained down blows on the officer until he succeeded in dealing lethal damage to the officer’s brain. In the MMA ring, the mat isn’t exactly soft, but it has some give to it in order to prevent injury. On the street, it’s asphalt or concrete. There’s no give in concrete. Doubtlessly a contributing factor in the officer’s death was that the blows delivered by the criminal assailant were either bouncing his head off of the unyielding pavement or, even worse, delivered while his head was laying against the pavement, magnifying the force of the blows.  On a different section of the Uniform Crime Report we see that bare hands and feet have been responsible for the death of 4,028 people since 2007. To give you some idea of scale, that makes fists and feet a more popular instrument of lethal criminal violence than rifles and shotguns combined over the same period of time.
His post has more details and examples, but perhaps the quickest way to make the point is to post the first video he presents:

I encourage you to read his post.  It'll give you new perspective on "unarmed."

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