Two Cincinnati police officers are being accused of using “horrible judgment” by two experts following an August 8th Incident. The experts, both retired police officers, both said that neither the use of force nor the subsequent controversy had to happen. They added that the officers clearly did not follow the city police policy of de-escalation when confronting two young men in their mother’s living room in Clifton Heights. One of the experts said that the videos show the two officers actively escalating the situation instead of calming things down and eventually “using the Tasers as a form of torture to get them to do what they wanted them to do.” “Anyone with any common sense can see the officers never give the kids a chance … and they immediately turned to a weapon that is one step below using lethal force,” said Gary A. Rini, a longtime police officer and commander from suburban Cleveland who now works as a police consultant and expert witness.
Travis Yates, lead trainer for SAFETAC Training, conducts officer safety training across the country and calls the opinion of the experts “comedy.”
“First, they are claiming that the officers failed to de-escalate and didn’t give the kids a chance and that is just absolutely laughable. To the officer’s increased risk, they continue to give demands while letting them walk around the room, reach for unknown items and they let them continue to defy orders,” Yates said after viewing the video.
“My question isn’t that the officers did not de-escalate enough, it is why did they permit suspects that were under arrest to control the situation like they did,” Yates told us.
I happen to agree with Yates and you get the chance to attend ‘The First Three Seconds‘, you will know why. The more time that we give suspects, the more risk to everyone involved. Law enforcement must get back to the core officer safety basics and stop letting suspects and in this case, so called experts, define our safety.
Robert Johnson is a 20 year veteran law enforcement officer currently working at a large metropolitan agency. His assignments have included narcotics, gangs and training. He joined Law Officer in 2017 as an Associate Editor.